Arthritis: Two daily pills shown to help target inflammation to reduce symptoms

Arthritis: Two daily pills shown to help target inflammation to reduce symptoms

Ruth asks This Morning doctor about milk helping arthritis

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Arthritis refers to a range of conditions that involve pain and inflammation in the joints. The condition is said to affect around 10 million Brits. Could daily supplements help to ease your painful symptoms?

The Arthritis Foundation (AF) says that curcumin, also known as turmeric, is a “potent anti-inflammatory”.

Turmeric is a common spice and a major ingredient in curries.

The organisation notes that in 2016, an industry-sponsored systematic review of randomised controlled trials found that 1,000 mg a day of curcumin “reduced OA pain and inflammation as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like diclofenac and ibuprofen”.

It added: “Another 2016 study suggests curcumin might help prevent bone breakdown in people with RA.”

However, it warns that high doses of turmeric can act as a blood thinner and cause an upset stomach.

It also says that you should avoid turmeric/curcumin if you take blood thinners such as warfarin or are about to have surgery, are pregnant or have gallbladder disease.

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Research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered that maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.

Another key finding of the research was that the impact of vitamin D on inflammatory disease cannot be predicted using cells from healthy individuals or even from the blood of patients with inflammation as cells from the disease tissue are very different.

The researchers concluded that if vitamin D is to be used in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, clinicians may need to prescribe much higher doses than currently employed or provide a treatment that also corrects the vitamin D insensitivity of immune cells within the joint.

Doctor Louisa Jeffrey from the University of Birmingham said: “Research indicates that maintaining sufficient vitamin D may help to prevent the onset of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

“However, for patients who already have rheumatoid arthritis, simply providing vitamin D might not be enough.

“Instead, much higher doses of vitamin D may be needed, or possibly a new treatment that bypasses or corrects the vitamin D insensitivity of immune cells within the joint.”

According to the NHS, in the spring and summer months, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from natural sunlight exposure but taking a daily supplement of 10mcg of vitamin D is recommended during the autumn and winter months.

Other ways to help reduce painful symptoms include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercise
  • Use hot and cold therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Massages.

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