How Food May Help Osteoarthritis

Several nutrients may benefit osteoarthritis, alleviating joint pain and inflammation as well as promoting cartilage repair.

Research suggests that vitamin C may minimize cartilage loss and slow the progression of osteoarthritis. Another powerful antioxidant, vitamin E, may relieve osteoarthritis symptoms, according to preliminary clinical research.

Population studies link low levels of vitamin D with an elevated risk for osteoarthritis. Vitamin D’s partner, calcium, may help bolster weight-bearing joints damaged by osteoarthritis and also stave off osteoporosis.

Some clinical evidence suggests that consuming omega-3 fatty acids and shogaols and gingerols (healing substances in ginger) may help relieve the tenderness and swelling of osteoarthritis. These compounds exhibit potent anti-inflammatory properties.

Though scientific data are limited, some experts believe consuming pineapple may defend against osteoarthritis and possibly improve symptoms.

The pineapple enzyme bromelain is thought to alleviate swelling associated with osteoarthritis, because this compound has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity in laboratory research.

Because osteoarthritis is more prevalent among women, some experimental evidence suggests that certain forms of estrogen may worsen the disease. So, scientists believe that phytoestrogens (estrogenlike plant compounds) may block the possible influence of natural estrogen on osteoarthritis. Phytoestrogens are plentiful in soy foods.

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