Osteoarthritis: Nutrition for Prevention and Treatment
Osteoarthritis (OA) is also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Degenerative arthritis consists of the mechanical abnormalities of a particular joint that leads to the decay and break down of the joint cartilage and bone. Degenerative joint disease can be primarily caused by hereditary, developmental inefficiencies, metabolic alterations, and mechanical stresses, and nutritional deficiencies. In many situations, osteoarthritis accompanies other conditions such as diabetes, inflammatory diseases (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lyme’s Disease, Gout, etc), obesity, traumatic injury, and blood disorders.
Nutritionally, there are multiple minerals, vitamins and herbs than can give relief for a person that experiences pain and discomfort due to osteoarthritis. Although peer-reviewed literature occasionally demonstrates conflicting results when comparing nutritional and herbal therapies, clinical results prove the overwhelming effectiveness of supporting the natural biological process that is dependent on micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
- Glucosamine sulfate: Glucosamine sulfate is used to stimulate the rebuilding of damaged cartilage in osteoarthritis. It is not known to interfere with anti-inflammatory drugs, although some companies process their glucosamine sulfate with sodium chloride which can negatively affect a person’s symptoms.
- Vitamin C – Iron – Alpha-ketoglutaric Acid: These substances are required for hydroxylation of L-proline to L-hydroxyproline which is needed for quality collagen production in osteoarthritis. Some of the best foods to get these nutrients include chard, spinach, kidney beans, kale, papaya, bell peppers, and broccoli.
- Manganese: Manganese is a trace mineral that’s important for tissue repair when patients have osteoarthritis in addition to supporting skin, bone and cartilage. Manganese is also important for the natural production of the superoxide dismutase (SOD), a powerful antioxidant enzyme. According to Katherine Toye,”Manganese-based SOD helps prevent the deleterious effects of the super oxide free radical from destroying cellular components, and without it, cells are susceptible to damage and inflammation. Immediately after trauma, the body starts coding for more SOD1 to be produced, and repletion of manganese after inflammatory trauma is necessary to keep the free radical defense system in proper working order.”
- Vitamin D and Calcium: Vitamin D is required for calcium absorption in the gut and maintaining calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and prevent hypocalcemic tetany (spasms that result from lack of minerals in the blood stream). Vitamin D is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Without enough vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoarthritis.
There are a variety of nutritional factors involved with the prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis. A lifestyle and diet that negatively affects the nutritional requirements that bones and joints need will result in accelerated degeneration of the osteoarthritis. Nutritional requirements work best when found in a nutritional complex and a patient would benefit greatly by incorporating nutritional supplements in a whole food base and not as a single, isolated part.
Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis are frequently associated with pain. For pain relief, and nutritional support for complications due to osteoarthritis, contact our office.