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 Arthritis  Holistic-online.com

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Nutritional Therapy

Betaine HCL Many individuals with RA are deficient in stomach acid and other digestive factors. Supplementation with betaine HCL with meals will aid in protein digestion and possibly reduce food sensitivities through improved digestion.

Copper Copper is a component, along with zinc, in one type of superoxide dismutase. Deficiency may result in significant susceptibility to free radical damage as a result of decreased SOD levels.

The wearing of copper bracelets has been a long-time folk remedy which appears to have some scientific support. Presumably copper is absorbed through the skin and chelated to another compound which is able to exert anti-inflammatory action. (Many doctors suggest that the beneficial effects observed through copper bracelet is simply from a placebo effect.)

An excess intake of copper may be detrimental due to copper's ability to combine with peroxides and damage joint tissues. Take 2 mg. daily.

DLPA (D,L-phenylalanine) DLPA is a mixture of the natural form of phenylalanine (the L form) with its mirror image (the D form). The D form has been shown to be an effective pain reliever against the chronic pain of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain and migraine headaches. It appears to inhibit the breakdown of endorphins, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the body's own pain relieving system. (More Info)

EPA Studies have shown that a diet rich in polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fat supplemented daily with 1.8 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) brought about significant improvement in patients suffering from RA. Flaxseed oil is the most effective and economical means of taking it.

Flavonoids Several bioflavonoids are shown to possess beneficial effects in individuals with RA. Some flavonoids inhibit the release of histamine and the production of leukotrienes (a potent inflammatory compound). For best results, take flavonoids with pancreatic enzymes or bromelain between meals.

Glucosamine sulfate-not to the same extent as for osteoarthritis, but also considered moderately effective in treating RA. Take 500 mg three times daily. 

Glutathione peroxidase is important in reducing the production of inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Free radicals, oxidants, prostaglandins and leukotrienes are known to cause much of the damage to tissues seen in RA. So, we can infer that a deficiency of selenium can adversely affect sufferers of RA. One clinical study indicated that selenium combined with vitamin E had a positive effect. We recommend supplementation of selenium if you are suffering from or are prone to RA. RA places and increased demand for selenium in the body. Selenium also plays a synergistic role with other antioxidant mechanisms.

Manganese Manganese functions in the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase which is deficient in patients with RA. Manganese supplementation has been shown to increase SOD activity. This, in turn, increases the antioxidant activity. Take 30 mg daily.

Niacinamide High doses (900 to 4,000 mg in divided doses daily) of niamicide had been found to be very effective in the treatment of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. 
Caution: High doses of niacinamide may result in significant side effects such as glucose intolerance and liver damage. Take this only under strict medical supervision.

Proteolytic enzymes Pancreatic enzyme preparations and the protein digesting enzyme of the pineapple (bromelain) have been demonstrated to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent. They reduce swelling and help the body eliminate the immune complexes that would otherwise be deposited within the joints. For best results take pancreatic enzymes and bromelain between meals.

Selenium Serum selenium levels are low in patients with RA. Selenium plays a valuable role as an antioxidant and serves as the mineral cofactor in the free radical scavenging enzyme glutathione peroxidase. Take 200 mcg daily.

Superoxide dismutase This antioxidant enzyme protects cells and tissues from free radical damage. The injectable form of this enzyme has been shown to be effective in the treatment of RA and osteoarthritis. It is not clear whether an orally administered SOD has any beneficial effect as it may not survive the digestion in the intestinal tract.

Tryptophan Tryptophan is an amino acid that is found to be deficient in individuals with RA. It is the precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin dampens our perception of pain. Tryptophan also increases endorphin activity. Tryptophan supplementation has been shown to reduce the level of pain in patients suffering from acute as well as chronic pain. Best results are obtained if you combine tryptophan supplementation with a diet consisting of 80 per cent carbohydrate, 10 per cent protein and 10 per cent fat.

Vitamin C Vitamin C is an important antioxidant. Vitamin C increases SOD activity, decreases histamine levels and provides anti-inflammatory action. Take 1,000 mg three times daily.

Vitamin E Vitamin E is an important antioxidant. It also works in combination with glutathione peroxidase and other antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase). It also has a slight anti-inflammatory action due to its effect on prostaglandin and leukotriene synthesis. Vitamin E combined with selenium supplementation has been shown to improve RA.

Zinc Zinc is an antioxidant. It also works with the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Zinc levels are typically reduced in patients with RA.

See Also:     Nutritional Therapy for Arthritis

Food/Diet Therapy for rheumatoid arthritis

Nutritional Therapy for Osteoarthritis

Nutrition Infocenter in Holisticonline.com

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