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Treatment options for Arthritis

Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional intervention may well give relief to many sufferers of these debilitating conditions. Good nutrition is important to good health for everyone and for someone who has arthritis, good meals and nutritious food are even more important to help the body cope with the stresses of this long term disease. In all forms of arthritis, the most helpful diet is a normal diet that is nourishing
and well balanced. The following natural agents may be incorporated into a regime to help relieve the pain and inflammation associated with degenerative joint disease, concentrating mainly on osteoarthritis.

Green Lipped Mussel Extract

Green Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) is a shellfish found off the waters of New Zealand. For centuries this edible shellfish has been a major part of the diet of local populations. 1n 1974 it was found to be potential natural remedy for arthritis.

Numerous animal & human studies published since then have indicated that that this product from the sea might offer safe and effective relief from the debilitating symptoms associated with both Osteo & Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulphate

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are naturally occurring substances found in the connective tissues of the body, including the cartilage that covers the ends of bones in the joints.

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Glucosamine Sulphate

It functions as the primary building block for proteoglycans, large molecules in cartilage that give it viscoelastic (buffering) properties. When taken orally, glucosamine sulfate is absorbed readily into the system and can be traced to cartilage as soon as four hours after consumption.

Similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as Cox-2 inhibitors), glucosamine sulfate has been shown to have unique anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, in some laboratory tests, the supplement demonstrated a protective effect on the cartilage as well. These studies suggest that Glucosamine sulfate may inhibit the breakdown of cartilage and may have the potential to help build-up cartilage.

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Glucosamine Hydrochloride

Another form of glucosamine available as a nutritional supplement, is considered to be as effective as the sulfate form. This hydrochloride form is more available to absorption into the body, so a smaller dose delivers an equivalent amount in the system.

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Chondroitin Sulphate

It is a larger molecule also found in cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate has been studied much less extensively, but early results show that it also seems to work as an anti-inflammatory and reduces pain. Some laboratory studies suggest that chondroitin sulfate may slow cartilage breakdown and even spur cartilage growth.

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Boswellia Serrata

It has traditionally been used for a myriad of disorders and today its major use is as an anti-inflammatory agent for musculoskeletal problems.

Research has compared Boswellia with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents and it has been shown to be as effective with fewer side effects. Non-steroidals such as ibuprofen can cause gastrointestinal side effects, but Boswellia has no such activity.

The mechanism of action of Boswellia is still not fully understood, but it is thought to be due to the Boswellic acid and its derivatives exerting anti-inflammatory effects by reducing the inflammatory and immune response, which leads to faster healing.

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It is is a digestive enzyme extracted from papaya and pineapple that serves to reduce soft tissue swelling and pain. The enzymes also reduce the accumulation of inflammatory exudates in the joint, which further compromise joint function.

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(Methyl Sulphonyl Methane) is an organic salt found in plants and animals and manufactured in the body from sulphur-containing amino acids. It is a primary sulphur donor, which has antioxidant properties. Studies have demonstrated the efficiency in reducing the signs of arthritis in animals. It may also inhibit autoimmune reactions.

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Vitamin E

It is a vitamin which has an anti-inflammatory action due to its effect on prostaglandins and leukotrienes formation and it acts synergistically with other anti-oxidants as a free radical fighter. It inhibits the enzymatic breakdown of cartilage and stimulates cartilage synthesis.

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Eicosapentaenoic Acid

Supplementing the diet with fish oils that provide EPA enhances the formation of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins (PG3 series) and inhibits the formation of the inflammatory leukotrienes.

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Gammalinolenic Acid

It is the active constituent of oil of evening primrose and acts in the body in a very similar way to EPA. By enhancing the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins (PG 1 & 2 series) evening primrose oil minimizes arthritic pain.

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