Vitamins For Arthritis
Adequate vitamins and nutrients in a diet are essential in ensuring a healthy immune system. Lack of certain nutrients could lead to the development of joint problems. People who suffer from arthritis should consume more of fruits and vegetables, and less of meat, especially red meat. Let's look at the vitamins and nutrients that are essential in helping a person to prevent arthritis or relieve arthritis pain.
Besides being good for the eyes, Vitamin A helps promote bone growth. Foods high in Vitamin A are: carrots, pumpkins, mangoes, peaches, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, kale, red peppers, oily fish and fish liver oil.
“Glucosamine produced in the body provides natural building blocks for growth, repair and maintenance of cartilage. Like chondroitin, glucosamine may lubricate joints, help cartilage retain water and prevent its breakdown. Trial results are mixed, but overall, glucosamine appears to reduce pain and improve function in OA. Research also suggests glucosamine may slow joint damage.”
B vitamins, especially vitamins B5 and B6, helps to reduce swelling. Studies have shown that people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis are often deficient in B6 and this vitamin has been successful to some extend in reducing joint inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis. Foods high in B6 are broccoli, asparagus, spinach, yams, bell peppers, salmon, tuna and cod.
Vitamin B3 (niacin), in particular, helps to dilate blood vessels and thus increase blood flow. It has been found to be beneficial in improving joint mobility for arthritis sufferers. However, for those with gout or high blood pressure, B3 may not be suitable. Foods high in B3 are peanuts, sunflower seeds, rice bran, wheat bran, brown rice, salmon, tuna and halibut.
Vitamin B12 helps in the formation of red blood cells and is essential for proper functioning of the nervous system. Lack of B12 can lead to anemia. B12 deficiency and anemia have been linked to arthritis, in particular rheumatoid arthritis. Shellfish like oysters, clams and mussels are especially high in B12. Other foods high in B12 are eggs, tuna, salmon, beef and mutton.
Vitamin C is an important vitamin. It is an antioxidant that helps to protect the body's cells from the ill effects of free radicals which may attack the joints. Vitamin C deficiency has been linked to arthritis. Vitamin C helps produce collagen, a fibrous protein used to connect body tissues and is a major component in joints. Foods rich in Vitamin C are oranges, grapefruits, guava, kiwifruits, papayas, strawberries, broccoli, kale, chilli peppers and cauliflowers.
Vitamin D and Calcium
Vitamin D is vital to the human body as it promotes absorption of calcium. Vitamin D is obtained through exposure to sunlight (sunshine vitamin). Foods high in vitamin D are salmon, tuna, cod liver oil, eggs and mushrooms.
Calcium helps to build strong bones and is necessary in preventing osteoporosis in old age. Weak bones can lead to weak joints and joint pain, which are symptoms of arthritis. Foods high in calcium are kale, spinach, almonds, flax seeds, tofu, sardines and dairy products.
Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that helps to relieve arthritis pain and increase joint mobility. Studies have shown that Vitamin E appear to work better as an arthritis pain relief than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, acetaminophe and aspirin. Foods high in vitamin E are spinach, kale, mango, papaya, broccoli, peanuts, almonds and sunflower seeds.
“MSM is an organic sulfur compound. Sulfur is needed to form connective tissue. MSM also seems to act as an analgesic by lessening nerve impulses that transmit pain. A 2006 pilot study of 50 men and women with knee osteoarthritis showed that 6,000 mg of MSM improved symptoms of pain and physical function without major side effects.”