Helping arthritic joints (Part 1)

I am often asked whether cartilage lost through osteoarthritis can regenerate through taking supplements. Maybe I can answer this with an example. I recently received a call from a man in his late 60’s with osteoarthritis in his knees. This really affected his mobility and reduced his quality of life.

I put him on an anti-inflammatory eating plan and added two supplements.The first was Omega 3 fish oil at therapeutic doses. I then added my joint formula at a double dose. This meant he was taking 1600mg of high grade chondroitin and 1600 of glucosamine with 400mg of high potency 95% curcumin turmeric extract.

Within 3 months the swelling had gone down and the pain abating. Now 6 months later he has regained his mobility and can now do the recreational pastimes he had previously stopped.

The diet plan was a simple anti-inflammatory eating plan that is designed to change the ratio of inflammatory Omega 6 to anti-inflammatory Omega 3. This is the single most important dietary measure if you have any inflammatory disease.

If Omega 6 is too dominant our body will by default move to an inflammatory position. This will worsen any joint problems or in fact any damaged or diseased tissue. While we should cut back on Omega 6 the fastest way to change the Omega 6:3 ratio is to increase Omega 3 which we did by adding plant Omega 3 from freshly ground flaxseeds (better than LSA) and increasing oily fish with an Omega 3 fish oil supplement.

Can cartilage regenerate?

The evidence that cartilage damaged by arthritis can significantly regenerate is poor. It seems that once your cartilage is lost then it is gone.

There is however good evidence that high doses of chondroitin can help improve cartilage and general joint capsule function. This of course begs the question as to why his knees improved so much.

Benefits of high dose Chondroitin

There is good evidence that high levels of chondroitin can help improve the function of whatever cartilage remains. It does this by giving the specialised cells called chondrocytes that maintain cartilage the raw materials to improve cartilage function.

However most of the improvements are likely from reducing inflammation within the joint capsule. Curcumin from turmeric, chondroitin sulphate and EPA from Fish oil are very anti-inflammatory. Shutting down these inflammatory processes can help reduce swelling, fluid build-up and subsequently making joints more comfortable.

The best approach is to contact me for a personalised joint health programme. This way I can create a diet and supplement plan that takes into consideration all the relevant factors such as age, weight, health conditions and medication.

John Arts (B.Soc.Sci, Dip Tch, Adv.Dip.Nut.Med.) is a nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health. If you have questions or need help you can contact John 0800 423559.  You can email John at john@abundant.co.nz.

Please note that the health advice given through this column is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problem. © John Arts 2019

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