Nutritional therapy can have a profound effect on reducing the inflammation central to osteoarthritis. Much of the pain and loss of function in arthritic joints is from unwanted inflammation.
Fortunately, we can modify our diets to reduce inflammation. Central to this is the balance between essential Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats. Unfortunately, our Western diets are swimming in Omega 6 oils and are generally very low in Omega 3.
Too much Omega 6 will thicken the blood, increase inflammation and allow the development of numerous health problems. There is one major exception. A special Omega 6 oil called GLA – short for
Gamma Linolenic Acid – is very anti-inflammatory and is found in evening primrose, borage and black currant seed oils.
Too much Omega 6 does two things. Firstly, it blocks anti-inflammatory pathways; and secondly, it actively produces inflammation. Most anti-inflammatory drugs block the enzyme cyclooxygenase created by excess Omega 6.
Omega 3 does the exact opposite. It not only blocks inflammation it actively produces potent anti-inflammatory chemicals. Health authorities recommend a ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 of less than 5:1. I think this is too high and prefer under 3:1.
This is ridiculously easy to achieve. Firstly, we limit Omega 6 plant oils by reducing foods loaded with Omega 6 such as margarines, commercial dressings, vegetable oils like soya, sunflower and grapeseed and many commercial baked and fried goods. We then increase plant Omega 3 by using freshly ground flax seeds, chia and walnuts. We then target oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, trevally and kahawai. To this we add a quality Omega 3 fish oil supplement.
These measures alone can actively reduce joint inflammation. To get even better results any programme should include a good joint health supplement with about 800mg of chondroitin. For more information give me a call or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Join my full weekly newsletter at: www.abundant.co.nz
John Arts is a qualified nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health. Contact John on 0800 423 559. To read more go to www.sunlive.co.nz