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All chronic conditions can be treated in some way that lessens the damage and aging that the condition would have caused if not treated. For arthritis, treatment means getting pain relief so you can continue to exercise and strengthen the muscles around the joint. It also means taking the right amount of vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin D, so that bone reconstruction is more normal. (In these ways, osteoarthritis can be less of a hazard.)
And here is a herbal remedy that should become mainstream. The push that one doctor started for glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate has been shown in four randomized studies. Since 95 percent of us will have osteoarthritis by the time calendar age 80 occurs, we have almost made this a RealAge (physiological age) benefit for all people. But the data are only for those with the diagnosis of osteoarthritis. This combination of "herbs" not only decreases pain substantially in over 50 percent of osteoarthritis patients by 3 months, but it slows, and even reverses some of the clinical and radiologic symptoms and evidence of joint disease.
Research has demonstrated that certain nutritional supplements can improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Supplements that have been found to be beneficial include zinc, copper, borage oil, fish oil, and ginger root (see chapter 156 of my textbook, Nutritional Medicine. www.doctorgaby.com). Because rheumatoid arthritis can be a serious illness, and because of the potential for drug-nutrient interactions, people with this condition who are interested in using nutritional supplements should be monitored by a nutritionally-oriented doctor.
Research substantiates possibly taking 3-4 supplements if you have arthritis. In addition to a multivitamin each day (which everyone should take) you should probably be taking glucosamine, chondroitin, fish oils, and cherry supplements. Two other supplements worth considering are avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.