Im­prov­ing car­ti­lage

Waikato News - - NEWS / HEALTH - John Arts ■ John Arts (B Soc Sci, Dip Tch, Adv Dip Nut Med) is a nu­tri­tional medicine prac­ti­tioner and founder of Abun­dant Health Ltd. For ques­tions or ad­vice con­tact John on 0800 423559 or email john@abun­ Join his full weekly news­let­ter at w

I have been help­ing some­one with os­teoarthri­tis (OA) in a knee, thumbs, back and neck.

We started with a dou­ble dose of my joint sup­port for­mula which gave her over 1500mg of high grade chon­droitin and glu­cosamine with 200mg of my pro­pri­etary rapid ab­sorp­tion 95 per cent cur­cumin ex­tract (from turmeric).

We added Omega 3 fish oil to help re­duce the in­flam­ma­tion in and around the joints. The re­sult is that six months later her knee is al­most pain free and her back and thumb much bet­ter.

In the­ory, OA is one of the sim­plest dis­eases. For years we thought that the car­ti­lage in our joints just wore away over time. We now know that OA is in fact a com­plex dis­ease where the pro­cesses that re­duce car­ti­lage more like cor­ro­sion than ero­sion. Ge­net­ics, life­style and nu­tri­tion all play a part.

Car­ti­lage is very dif­fer­ent from other tis­sue types. It has no nerve or blood sup­ply and it ap­pears as life­less tis­sue. Car­ti­lage is ac­tu­ally dy­namic tis­sue. It is a ma­trix of pro­teins (col­la­gen and elastin), chon­droitin sul­phate, wa­ter and liv­ing cells called chon­dro­cytes.

Re­search shows that the health of chon­dro­cytes is cen­tral to the de­vel­op­ment of OA. Each chon­dro­cyte looks after a small patch of car­ti­lage, re­pair­ing dam­age by se­cret­ing new car­ti­lage ma­trix where needed.

The prob­lem is if chon­dro­cytes are dam­aged or worse die. This means that cell can no longer main­tain car­ti­lage.

Even­tu­ally the car­ti­lage thins lead­ing to a (painful) bone on bone sce­nario.

Nu­tri­tional ther­apy can re­ally help. I use a three-pronged ap­proach to sup­port­ing car­ti­lage.

Firstly we add com­pounds that can sup­port and build car­ti­lage.

Se­condly we add com­pounds that re­duce the in­flam­ma­tion cen­tral to arthri­tis. Of­ten the in­flam­ma­tion causes more pain and mo­bil­ity loss than the ac­tual car­ti­lage dam­age.

Thirdly we add the an­tiox­i­dants that pro­tect chon­dro­cyte cells from fur­ther dam­age.

An ex­cel­lent study (Carlo and Loeser, 2003, Arthri­tis Rheuma­tol­ogy) in­ves­ti­gated the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the an­tiox­i­dant glu­tathione and death of car­ti­lage pro­duc­ing chon­dro­cyte cells.

They con­cluded “These re­sults pro­vide ev­i­dence that in­creased ox­ida­tive stress with ag­ing makes chon­dro­cytes more sus­cep­ti­ble to ox­i­dant-me­di­ated cell death through the dys­reg­u­la­tion of the glu­tathione an­tiox­i­dant sys­tem. This may rep­re­sent an im­por­tant con­tribut­ing fac­tor to the de­vel­op­ment of os­teoarthri­tis in older adults“.

In English this means that the chon­dro­cyte cells that main­tain car­ti­lage can be dam­aged or even die if we have low lev­els of the an­tiox­i­dant glu­tathione.

Our bod­ies make glu­tathione from the trace min­eral se­le­nium.

New Zealand soils have low lev­els of se­le­nium, mean­ing that most of us have in­suf­fi­cient se­le­nium to make the glu­tathione we need to pro­tect not just chon­dro­cytes but most cell types.

This is why a good mul­ti­min­eral/multi-an­tiox­i­dant that in­cludes se­le­nium and other car­ti­lage pro­tect­ing an­tiox­i­dants is a good idea at any age.

If pro­tect­ing chon­dro­cytes is the best way to pre­vent OA, the real ques­tion is what should we do if we al­ready have OA?

At a min­i­mum I would com­bine and anti-in­flam­ma­tory diet with at least 750mg of qual­ity chon­droitin, glu­cosamine plus a well-ab­sorbed turmeric (cur­cumin) ex­tract. To this we would add Omega 3 from diet (fish and flaxseeds) and sup­ple­ments.

Ide­ally we would then add a broad spec­trum multi-min­eral/ an­tiox­i­dant/vi­ta­min sup­ple­ment.

I have been help­ing some­one with se­ri­ous pain from OA in her thumbs and knees.

We re­viewed her diet and added three sup­ple­ments: A high chon­droitin joint sup­ple­ment, Omega 3 fish oil and a po­tent multi-an­tiox­i­dant.

After three months she rates the thumbs as 80 per cent im­proved and the knee 90 per cent.

Feel free to con­tact me for more in­for­ma­tion.

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