Optimizing Your Vitamin K2 Levels
We always recommend a healthy diet as the first line of defense against disease and nutritional deficiency. It can be difficult to obtain sufficient vitamin K2 from food sources, though, especially if youre vegetarian or vegan.
Cheese, eggs, butter, and meat have the highest levels of vitamin K2, but unfortunately, all of these foods carry their own health risks. Overconsumption of animal products can lead to health problems on par with rheumatoid arthritisin fact, theres considerable evidence that meat and dairy directly contributes to the development and worsening of arthritis.
For this reason, supplementation is a better way to ensure that youre getting the vitamin K2 you need to combat rheumatoid arthritis. Menaquinone-7 is by far the most potent and bioavailable form of vitamin K2, and therefore is the best supplement choice.
Because vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 are a match made in heaven, you should also consider taking a supplement that combines both into one product. We recommend this micelle liposomal formulation from Purathrive for maximum absorption.
Seven Days Fasting Followed By Vegan Diet
Fraser et al. observed that subtotal fasting where patients were allowed to have limited amount of vitamin and mineral supplementation, carbohydrate, and energy in form of vegetable juice decreased CD4+ lymphocyte activation and numbers. Activation of CD4+ T cell and further differentiation to Th1 and Th17 lineages are shown to be responsible for progression of RA . Thus, decreased T cell activation owing to 710 day fasting suggests a transient immunosuppression, thereby suppressing RA . Michalsen et al. have also shown beneficial effect of fasting on clinical improvement in RA patients as compared to non-fasting group, although the results were independent of alterations in intestinal flora .
A fasting of 710 days with partial nutrient intake of vegetable broth, herbal teas, parsley, garlic, and decoction of potatoes juice extracts from carrots, beets, and celery and a controlled daily energy intake followed by 1 year of a vegan diet as compared to omnivorous diet was studied in different trials . Together these studies observed remarkable decrease in swollen and tender joints, pain, erythrocyte sedimentation rate , and C-reactive protein .
Top 4 Supplements To Treat Arthritis Pain
Choosing the right supplement to ease your arthritis pain and inflammation can be confusing. Which supplements are most effective? Of the many types of supplements available in stores and online, the following 4 have been well-studied for their ability to treat arthritis pain:
Research suggests curcumin, found in the spice turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties and has the potential to reduce arthritis pain.
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Reduce Foods That Cause Inflammation
Many studies indicate a positive effect of an anti-inflammatory diet on disease activity in patients with RA. A non-inflammatory diet controls inflammation and reduces discomfort.
Foods that contain refined carbohydrates, gluten, and red meat are inflammatory and should be avoided or eaten in moderation.
The glycemic index of carbohydrates has a strong influence on systemic inflammation. The higher the glycemic index, the more inflammatory the carbohydrate. Whole grains have a lower glycemic index and are rich in fiber. Fiber decreases carbohydrates absorption and decreases mediators of inflammation therefore, whole-grain carbohydrates should be consumed daily.
However, it is advised that the whole grains consumed are gluten-free. Since gluten, a mixture of hundreds of proteins found in wheat grains triggers an altered immune response in RA. .
A few studies show that a gluten-free, vegan diet followed for one year was associated with anti-inflammatory properties and a significant decrease in RA disease activity .
Also, a high total protein supply has been associated with an increased risk of inflammation in RA patients. Therefore, protein from plant sources such as legumes is the best protein source for people suffering from RA. Legumes have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Red meat intake should also be limited ,
The foods with the highest anti-inflammatory properties include:
All of these decrease markers of inflammation
How Exercise Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis
You should avoid repetitive or hard manual work, but stay active with regular, moderate exercise to strengthen the muscles which help support and protect joints from damage. Swimming is particularly effective, as it doesnât put any pressure on the joints, unlike running. It also releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals.
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Turmeric And Black Pepper
Turmeric with black pepperFrom reading further into Rheumatoid Arthritis supplements / diets etc I came across some evidence that turmeric especially when added with black pepper can be helpful for Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers. The combination of the ingredients seems to have some anti-inflammatory properties.
How factual this is, in real terms I dont know. From my own perspective, I keep buying them. I am happy to keep buying them as I believe they are helping. Whether this is a placebo effect, who knows?
Again, I do not go overboard and take turmeric pills throughout the day. I generally take them with my evening meal and that seems to work for me.
Some simple advice read the label of the product your taking. I know that seems obvious, however I know from experience you can easily miss things. I picked up a new prescription from a pharmacy and took the pills given to me for several days before realising the pill bottle did not have my name on it but someone elses. I found out I was taking leukaemia medication for days, no wonder it made me feel crap. Thankfully there was no ongoing issue as a result.
I know this is a bit of an extreme example and not necessarily about supplements, but these things can happen.
Individual Food Items In Diet And Their Relevance To Ra
In an average diet comprising of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there are several food items which are rich source of some phytochemicals and their efficacy in eradication of diseases has been known and is included under traditional medicines on which 80% of the world population relies . Food items such as dietary fibers, cooking oil, polyphenols, bioactive compounds from several herbs and beverages like tea are among the cheapest sources of medication however, their bioavailability has always been a matter of concern.
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Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D
Your doctor can order blood tests to determine whether youre getting enough vitamin D, but here are a few more telltale signs of a deficiency:
- Chronic pain or aches that last for weeks, similar to symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis
- Melancholy or depressed mood
- Osteoporosis and brittle bones
- Fatigue and weakness that doesnt seem normal
- Excessive sweating, especially on your forehead
Maintaining an adequate vitamin D level is essential in the management of rheumatoid arthritis, says Elizabeth Ortiz, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and a rheumatologist at Keck Medicine of USC. It has been shown to help with pain control and may even be beneficial in controlling inflammation and disease activity.
Popular Supplements For Arthritis: What You Need To Know
Learn which supplements and vitamins might help with arthritis symptoms, and what risks some can pose.
Several nutritional supplements have shown promise for relieving pain, stiffness and other arthritis symptoms. Glucosamine and chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, SAM-e and curcumin are just some of the natural products researchers have studied for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis .
Some of these natural remedies may offer arthritis symptom relief, especially when you use them in conjunction with traditional treatments. Heres the evidence on some of the most popular supplements used to treat arthritis, and how they work.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the most commonly used supplements for arthritis. Theyre components of cartilagethe substance that cushions the joints.
Research on these supplements has been mixed, in part because studies have used varying designs and supplement types. A large National Institutes of Health study called the GAIT trial compared glucosamine and chondroitin, alone or together, with an NSAID and inactive treatment in people with knee osteoarthritis . Glucosamine improved symptoms like pain and function, but not much better than a placebo. Yet a 2016 international trial found the combination to be as effective as the NSAID celecoxib at reducing pain, stiffness and swelling in knee OA.
How to Take Supplements Safely
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Relax To Help Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Some suffers of RA find massage, aromatherapy, the Alexander technique, reflexology and acupuncture can help relieve symptomsA positive mental attitude also makes a big difference. Spending time doing something you enjoy is less time spent thinking about your pain. A recent survey found seven out of 10 people with RA avoid social events because of their symptoms, but seeing your friends and family could be just the thing to help you cope with life with RA.
This article has been adapted from longer features appearing in Healthy, the Holland & Barrett magazine. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
Causes And Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Regrettably, scientists have yet to discover the precise cause of RA. Nonetheless, genetics can play a role in the development of this illness. Worse still, children as young as two years old may develop the disease, while adults normally notice symptoms about the age of 30. Symptoms vary from person to person, but the following are some of the most common:
- Swollen, stiff joints that are warm or painful.
- Stiffness in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
- Fatigue in your joints or general fatigue.
- Weight loss that isnt clarified.
A blood test is the safest way to diagnose RA because it checks for stuff like:
- C-reactive protein
- Antibody factor for rheumatoid arthritis
- Antibodies against cyclic citrullinated peptides
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate has increased
- Iron deficiency anemia
Aside from that, the doctor can order imaging tests to determine what is going on in the affected areas and to monitor treatment progress.
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Sleep Aid Herbal Supplements
- Melatonin – Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that plays an important role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle, among other body functions. Data from clinical trials suggests melatonin supplements may be helpful in treating sleep disorders, such as jet lag, delayed sleep disorder, and sleep problems related to shift work.33
- L-tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan – L-tryptophan and 5-HTP are precursors to serotonin, which can then be converted to melatonin. Research has been limited on these compounds, with clinical trials of small or limited quality, and no recommendations can be made on their efficacy.33 Increasing levels of serotonin may interact with several anti-depressant medications, so it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider first.
- Kava – Kava comes from the plant Piper methysticum. It has been used traditionally in the South Pacific to promote relaxation. Research has shown that kava may have a small effect on reducing anxiety, but there are safety concerns: Kava has been linked to an increased risk of severe liver disease, and heavy use is linked with heart problems and eye irritation.34
- Valerian – Valerian comes from a plant . There is limited research on valerian as a sleep aid, and results from clinical trials have been inconsistent.35
Basics About Vitamins And Minerals
Vitamins are chemicals that our bodies need to maintain health. Except for vitamin D, which is produced in our bodies when were exposed to sun , we typically get our daily requirement of vitamins from dietary sources . Minerals are inorganic substances.
There is general agreement that consuming the recommended daily allowance of basic vitamins and minerals is needed to stay healthy. There is controversy, however, about whether some people should take more than the RDA of certain vitamins and minerals. Getting too much of some vitamins and minerals may be dangerous to general health. This is why it is important to talk to your doctor before you take any vitamin or mineral supplement .
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Articles On Natural Remedies For Ra Pain
Medication and other forms of treatment play a major role in managing rheumatoid arthritis. Supplements arenât a treatment — they donât promise to cure or treat any condition, and they donât have to meet the same standards as medications. But if youâre looking into trying some in addition to your treatment plan, hereâs what you should know.
First, be sure you talk to your doctor before you begin using any supplement or herbal medication. They may interact with other drugs, supplements, or herbal medicines you are taking and cause serious side effects. They may also put you at a higher risk for certain conditions.
Vitamin B Complex Trials For Rheumatoid Arthritis
In this trial, 43 participants with rheumatoid arthritis were randomly allocated to receive 5 mg vitamin B9 with or without 100 mg vitamin B6 once a day for 12 weeks.
- There was no reported difference in change in the disease activity score or number of painful or swollen joints.
- Those who received the Vitamin B9 and B6 combination demonstrated significantly greater reductions in some markers of inflammation.
- No side-effects were recorded.
A trial of low quality. Results of this trial were given a lower weighting when we came to our conclusion about the compound.
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Dietary Fibers And Whole Grains
Most of the staple food consumed all over the world are comprised of dietary fibers and whole grains. A definitive explanation for dietary fibers can be put as remnants of food not digested in small intestine, which then moves to large intestine and gets fermented by the microflora and induces several health promoting effects . Insoluble fibers such as cellulose and lignin are found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and soluble fibers include pectin, guar gum, and mucilage . Earlier studies have found an inverse relationship between intake of dietary fiber and inflammatory biomarkers such as plasma fibrinogen, hs-CRP, TNF-, IL-6 levels which are indicators of RA . However, contradictory reports were published as well by Hu and the group .
When germ, endosperm, and bran are present in same proportions as in intact grains, they are regarded as whole grains. Whole wheat, whole rice, oats, corn, rye, barley, millets, sorghum, canary seed, fonio, and wild rice are generally included in the category of common whole grains . Whole grains provide rich amounts of antioxidants, phytic acid, vitamin E and selenium, and these components are known to be involved in anti-inflammatory processes .
Could Vitamin D Help To Keep Rheumatoid Arthritis At Bay
After studying immune cells taken from the joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis, scientists have found that once the disease sets in, some types of cell lose their sensitivity to vitamin D.
The team which comprised researchers from University College London and the University of Birmingham, both in the United Kingdom reports the new findings in the Journal of Autoimmunity.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that arises because the immune system attacks healthy tissue usually the joints by mistake, leading to painful inflammation and swelling.
The disease often affects several joints at the same time, such as the knees, hands, and wrists. It inflames the lining of the joint and eventually damages the joint itself. This can lead to long-lasting pain, problems with balance, and deformity.
Estimates suggest that approximately 1 percent of the worlds population has rheumatoid arthritis, including around 1.3 million adults in the United States. It affects women more often than men, raising the question of whether hormonal factors may be involved.
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Immune Cells Lost Sensitivity To Vitamin D
For the investigation, the scientists used samples of synovial fluid taken from the joints of 15 people with rheumatoid arthritis aged between 40 and 85. Synovial fluid is a thick, sticky liquid that acts as a lubricant to reduce friction between bones that meet at joints.
They also examined blood samples taken from those with rheumatoid arthritis, and from individuals without rheumatoid arthritis matched for the same age and gender who had donated to a blood bank .
When they tested how immune cells in the different samples reacted to vitamin D, they found that some types of immune cell responded differently.
In particular, they found that some types of T cell taken from inflamed joints were less sensitive to the anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin D than those taken from the blood of the same people.
Corresponding study author Martin Hewison, a professor in the University of Birminghams Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, explains, This appears to be because immune cells from the joints of rheumatoid arthritis patients are more committed to inflammation, and therefore less likely to change, even though they have all the machinery to respond to vitamin D.
Dont Invest In Otc Supplements Before You Read This First
Theres something appealing about being able to help manage a chronic illness with so-called natural remedies like vitamins and minerals. That explains why theres no shortage of natural remedies marketed to people with rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of inflammatory arthritis.
There is a shortage, however, of solid scientific evidence to support whether or not you should take certain supplements. Will they actually help improve arthritis symptoms? Could they interact with other medications you take? Or might they potentially have negative side effects of their own?
Herbal supplements in particular concern me because theyre marketed using testimonials and not on any clinical data, says William Davis, MD, the chair of rheumatology at Oschner Health System in New Orleans and a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Rheumatology. As a physician, its my role to recommend treatments where theres a higher understanding of risks and benefits.
There are, however, certain vitamins and minerals that research shows can be an essential part of treatment for many patients with inflammatory arthritis. We asked Dr. Davis which ones you may need as part of your recommended treatment plan, as well as which natural remedies may show the most promise in helping with pain relief.
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