Friday, May 23, 2008

A Few New Alternatives for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling, limited-mobility and deformity (in severe, chronic cases) in the joints. It's a horrible condition that is often treated with very powerful medications that can have very powerful side-effects.

Thankfully, there are some natural (and safer) options that one can consider. I'll present a few options that have recently been reported on in the medical literature.

What are the two natural options you've eluded to?

The first is an extract from pomegranates called POMx. It comes in a powder form, contained within a capsule.

In a recent study, this natural extract was shown to reduce inflammation and lessen bone and joint damage in a rheumatoid arthrities model. By that, I mean that it was a study conducted on rats who were "given" symptoms comparable to those of rheumatoid arthritis.

Will these same results hold true for us, two-legged, human beings? Let's hope so. I certainly would consider trying this if I suffered from RA.

Here's a link to the study I'm referring to:

Pomegranate May Protect Against RA

The second exciting alternative can be found in the dairy section of your local market. I'm talking about the potential of a probiotic (a beneficial bacteria) called Lactobacillus casei .

You've probably tried this bacteria many times in your life ... in yogurt and other cultured dairy foods.

In a recent study (click here to read it), researchers found that giving L. casei to rats (with RA symptoms) helped to modulate (balance) the immune system and thereby lessened inflammation, swelling and joint damage.

This is fantastic news - if it translates to human RA sufferers.

Now, keep in mind that the dosage of L. casei needed, to modulate the immune system, may be higher than what you can get in a typical serving (or two) of yogurt. The study abstract doesn't specify a dosage.

Fortunately, there are also high-potency supplements with this beneficial bacteria available. In fact, there are many such products (and fortified foods) out there. The higher the potency (measured by the number of viable cells - which is listed on the label) the better.

Probiotics are considered to be very safe in most instances - even when taken in very high dosages.

If you'd like to learn more about probiotics, you may want to visit this site:

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about this topic.

The Vitamin Tutor

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