Vitamin C as an Anti-Inflammatory! Found here Vitamin C Anti-Inflammatory
This vitamin acts as an anti-inflammatory, relieving arthritis pain, and rids the body of free radicals. Vitamin C is vital to any arthritic therapeutic program, because Vitamin C has an intimate therapeutic relationship with each of the major causes of arthritis: physical structure of joints and bones, collagen; immune response against infectious agents; nutritional deficiency; and stress.
Vitamin C is an requirement for almost every step in the creation of collagen, a fiber like protein which forms the strong connective tissue required for strong bones, cartilage, the same structures which breakdown or deform in arthritic diseases. Hence, Vitamin C should play a role in any health promoting and arthritic prevention program, in order for wound healing and regeneration of connective tissues to proceed at optimal levels. Vitamin C also plays a roles Arteriosclerosis, the clogging up of arteries with cholesterol, which interferes with normal circulation and metabolism of bones and joints, leading to gradual deterioration and ultimately to arthritis.
The role of Vitamin C in maintaining and strengthening immune resistance to infection, and especially in the function of particular white cells, is yet another part of Vitamin C's power against arthritis. Considerable research points to a major role played by microorganisms, perhaps an RNA virus in association with a cell-wall deficient organism, in arthritis. Vitamin C's multi-faceted role in stimulating lymphocyte production, modulating the levels of circulating antibodies. Vitamin C also play a role in the production of the body's natural anti-viral substance, interferon, and in the inhibition of the prostaglandins PGE2 and PGF2, which are involved in inflammatory responses - swelling, arthritis pain, tenderness and heat. Lastly Vitamin C's therapeutic effects in dampening allergic responses, which are often a critical component of arthritis, all speak to Vitamin C's essential role in the successful treatment of arthritis.
Vitamin C and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which leads to inflammation of the lining of the joints, resulting in destruction and deformity of the affected joints. It has been reported in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease (abstract), that consumption of foods high in vitamin C seem to protect against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints. This study involved more than 23,000 participants who had entered a large cancer study in the U.K. The participants kept food diaries and were arthritis-free at the study onset.
Researchers compared the diets of 73 participants who developed inflammatory polyarthritis during an eight-year period, and 146 who remained arthritis-free. After analysis, researchers concluded that people who developed arthritis ate fewer fruits and vegetables than those who did not develop the disease. Participants who ate the least fruits and vegetables had twice the risk of developing inflammatory arthritis. The results were even more striking it came to vitamin C: Individuals with low daily levels of vitamin C were three times more likely to develop joint inflammation compared to those with the highest daily intake, the researchers said.
There was also a significant difference in how much vitamin C people with arthritis consumed compared to those who did not develop arthritis. Participants who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C were three times more likely to develop the arthritic condition than those who consumed the highest amounts of vitamin C. The positive effect of vitamin C on rheumatoid arthritis may be because:
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, fighting molecules which trigger rheumatoid inflammation.
Vitamin C serves a role as a cofactor in collagen synthesis, the main protein in joint tissue and bone.
Vitamin C plays a role in fighting infection and may work to control inflammation which is linked to infection. Some believe infection can trigger flares of rheumatoid arthritis.
At first glance, the new findings may seem at odds with the results of another, similar study released just last week. That study, conducted by researchers at Duke University, found that excessively high levels of vitamin C might encourage the development of osteoarthritis.
Study results, which appear in Arthritis & Rheumatism have shown that the long-term use of vitamin C may worsen the severity of osteoarthritis of the knee. Researchers analyzed the effect of eight months of low, medium, and high doses of vitamin C in guinea pigs. Guinea pigs, like humans, are not able to synthesize vitamin C for themselves.
The high dose group developed the most severe osteoarthritis of the knee and worst cartilage damage. The researchers in this study concluded that dietary intake of vitamin C should not be supplemented above the current recommended dietary allowance: 90 mg per day for men; 75 mg. per day for women.
But Dr. John H. Klippel, president of the Arthritis Foundation, said the two studies may not be so far apart.
"First of all," he said, "we have to remember that these are two different disease processes." Klippel said that Vitamin C may be especially effective in preventing rheumatoid arthritis because it's a powerful antioxidant, fighting molecules that trigger rheumatoid inflammation.
Co-author of the Duke University study Pattison agreed, noting that vitamin C "also has a critical role as a cofactor in collagen synthesis, the main protein found in [joint] tissue and bone, critical for bone and joint health." Vitamin C may fight rheumatoid disease in a third way. According to Pattison, infection can trigger flare-ups of the rheumatoid immune response, and vitamin C's "integral role in fighting infection" may work to keep infection-linked inflammation at bay.
Klippel pointed out that both studies stress moderation in vitamin C intake as the best route to healthy bones and joints. "It's excessive amounts of intake that seems to be the problem in osteoarthritis," he said. Friday, June 11 (HealthDayNews