Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Arthritis Relief without Harsh Chemicals

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Arthritis Relief without Harsh Chemicals

Article excerpt

Holistic practitioners are experiencing more positive results with various types of arthritis without the use of harsh chemical entities and their invariable side effects.

As we know, the term arthritis covers a large variety of illnesses. The major type, rheumatoid arthritis, can be viewed as a diseased state in which swelling and inflammation are the major factors. Osteoarthritis involves the wearing away of joints and other bone structures because of wear and lack of cartilage.

For rheumatoid arthritis, the major nutritional aid is bromelain. The usual dose is 500 milligrams (mg.) three times each day. Bromelain has traditionally been used as a safe, nonirritating substance that can often serve as a replacement for aspirin and stronger anti-inflammatory drugs, thus avoiding a host of adverse effects. Some nutritionists also use MSM, an organic sulfur-containing compound that helps make the joints more flexible.

It is possible that avoiding certain foods might be beneficial in both types of this malady. The main foods that some recommend avoiding are:

* Nightshades: tomatoes, white potatoes, bell peppers, and eggplant.

* Gluten: an ingredient in pasta, white bread, and other grain products. Products with a high allergy profile such as milk and some dairy products.

None of these avoidance procedures is universally successful. In addition, the various arthritic maladies are often made more baffling by the phenomenon of "spontaneous remission," which means that the illness may simply disappear, sometimes with and sometimes without treatment. Thus, one can never be entirely sure whether improvement is a result of a particular therapeutic modality or spontaneous remission.

Although certain foods can be avoided, some foods might benefit more arthritis patients:

* Cherries: but avoid all fruits with artificial dyes

* High-grade salad oils: olive and flaxseed oils

Vegetarians with osteoarthritis may have a special problem with some remedies such as glucosamine and chondroitin, shark cartilage, bovine cartilage, collagen, and cetyl myristoleate. The following nutrients may be used instead:

* Bromelain: This plant-derived enzyme can reduce swelling and inflammation. The usual dose is 500 mg. three times daily.

* Silica: Preferably derived from the horsetail plant, it supplies the main material that makes up cartilage. …

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