Learn about MRI and MS

written by: Scott L. Gold, MD -  June 12, 2016 Shared from MS Views and News News letter 6/2016

http://www.msviews.org/msviewsandnews4/index.php/2012-05-28-00-15-54/2012-07-04-00-19-28/794-mri-and-ms

We've pulled some highlights from the article linked above that is definitely worth the full read!

MRI hardware and software have advanced significantly, helping physicians to more accurately detect diseases earlier in their course. In the case of multiple sclerosis, this has had a dramatic impact on the diagnosis and treatment of our patients. We now have a technique that more accurately confirms our clinical suspicion of MS even after the first attack, provides a way to better predict the course of the disease, allows us to start disease modifying therapies earlier in the course of the disease, and enables us to more quickly determine when that therapy is ineffective, even before a person develops symptoms or disability....

...up to 5-10 -may develop silently, for every one clinical attack a person may experience. This is primarily seen in the vast areas of the brain that are relatively silent, especially when the lesions are small. This discrepancy is less likely in more compact areas such as the optic nerve, brainstem, and spinal cord. 

There are some limitations, however. The disease course and disability in individual patients may not correlate with the severity of the findings by MRI. About 5% of persons with clinically definite MS may have normal MRI’s. About 4% of normal individuals may have lesions that mimic MS plaques. This is further compounded by the variability in interpretation by radiologists and neurologists when they view the abnormalities seen.

While the frequency of checking an MRI from physician-to-physician, we generally check an MRI every 3-6 months for more aggressive forms of the disease or every 1-2 years for less aggressive forms or if the disease has come under good control over several MRI’s with a particular disease modifying therapy.

Please click on the link above for the complete article written by Dr Scott L. Gold.

 

STRIVE FOR AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET

 

Inflammation is the body's normal response to injury or irritation. The four signs of inflammation , which you have seen many times are swelling, redness, heat, and pain.

Inflammation serves to bring more blood and immune activity to an injured area. Inflammation can also cause harm to the body if it doesn't end when it has served its purpose or occurs when there is no purpose.  

Abnormal inflammation is the root of accelerated aging and many chronic diseases. Chronic inflammation causes injury to our tissues followed by attempts by the body to heal itself causing a vicious cycle.  Conditions which are the result or worsened by chronic inflammation include Multiple Sclerosis, Chrohn’s/Colitis, arthritis, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, Lupus, Psoriasis and many more autoimmune illnesses.

For acute and or dangerous inflammatory events there are many powerful anti-inflammatory drugs available, such as steroids, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These treatments are not without significant side effects especially with long term or frequent use.

We have the power to change the amount of inflammation that occurs in the body by changing our diet. These changes may take 6-8 weeks to notice the results of the diet, but they will occur. 

The primary steps of the anti-inflammatory diet are as follows:

ELIMINATE PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED AND REDUCE REFINED POLYUNSATURATED OILS (omega-6) (soybean, corn, sunflower, and safflower). We get enough of these naturally in the foods we eat. The goal is to reduce the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 oils to reduce inflammation. Since the American diet has an overabundance of polyunsaturated fats, reducing our intake can help this ratio.

ELIMINATE ALL TRANS FAT (Partially hydrogenated oil such including margarine, vegetable shortening, and all foods containing trans-fatty acids). These fats produce inflammatory hormones called prostaglandins. Instead of polyunsaturated oils, rely on monounsaturated, extra-virgin olive oil or unrefined canola oil for cooking and eating. Eat your fat in natural foods like nuts, nut butters, avocado, and seeds or seed oils

INCREASE INTAKE OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS by eating wild salmon, high omega-3 eggs, sardines, walnuts, freshly ground flax seeds or oil, greens, and soy foods. The omega-3 fats in these foods increase the production of anti-inflammatory hormones. You can also take fish oil supplements with DHA & EPA. Make sure the supplements are free of PCB’s and mercury.

INCLUDE PLENTY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. Choose as many different colored foods as possible. Usually the darker and brighter the higher the antioxidants! Eat 6-9 servings or more per day of fruits and veggies and organic when possible.

EAT LOW GLICEMIC. Hi glycemic foods are foods which are easily digested by your body (quick energy rush) such as processed white flours, fluffy potatoes, sugar, and processed grains. Instead, choose beans, whole grains, whole grain breads, pastas, and small amounts of natural sugars from fruit or maple. The more fiber and longer it takes to break down in your body, the less inflammation that occurs.  This slow absorption into the blood also prevents elevations in blood insulin causing inflammation, obesity, fat deposits in your arteries and diabetes.

REDUCE RED MEAT SERVING SIZES and choose grease fed organic when available.

ADD GINGER AND TURMERIC TO YOUR MEALS. These 2 substances are potent anti-inflammatory agents. (See our blog post on Medicinal Spices for more ideas.)

CHOOSE GREEN TEA AND RED WINE.

CONSUME FERMENTED FOODS AND DRINKS.

CONSIDER DARK CHOCOLATE (>70% COCOA) WHEN YOU HAVE A SWEET TOOTH. Dark chocolate has 6 times higher antioxidant content than the healthiest fruits/veggies.

Whenever possible, use organic foods and locally grown produce to avoid pesticides and loss of nutrient content.

 

 

Multiple Sclerosis: Manage Your Muscles WebMD

Medicine and physical therapy can strengthen your muscles, prevent stiffness, and improve flexibility. There are also a lot of things you can try on your own to make them work better.

Put yourself in motion. Exercise keeps your muscles flexible and strong. It's a good idea to combine three types of exercise:

  • Strength training 
  • Range of motion
  • Stretching 

You can do these exercises alone, or you can work with a physical therapist who will show you how to do each movement safely and effectively. Here's what's involved:

  • Strengthen. To keep your muscles strong, work them with light weights or exercise bands a couple of times a week. If you get a muscle spasm in the middle of your routine, stop and wait a few minutes for it to relax. Also stop if you feel any pain. Exercise should never hurt.
  • Improve range of motion To prevent stiffness, do exercises that take your joints through their full range of motion. For example, lift your arm up and over your head, or bring your leg out to the side and back.
  • Stretch. Do a series of stretches at least twice a week. Pay special attention to muscles that tend to get tight and spasm, like the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. As you stretch, slowly move each muscle into position. Hold the position for up to one minute. Then gently release it.

Exercise as often as you can without tiring yourself out. If your workout takes too much effort, try exercising in a cool pool. You put less pressure on your joints that way, so you'll use less energy. Warm water also relaxes and soothes your tired muscles.

Rest when you need it. Stay active, but don't overdo it. Balance activity with periods of rest to give your muscles a chance to recover.

To help you sleep better at night, try relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing before bed. Massage is another great way to soothe tight muscles so you can sleep.

Try a new position. Sometimes you can relieve muscle spasms just by shifting position. To ease spasms in your knees and hips, lie on your stomach. Or turn on your side and put a pillow or rolled-up towel between your knees.

Loosen up. Tight, heavy clothes limit your movement and make muscle stiffness worse. Dress in loose clothes made from light fabrics. Wear comfortable shoes that give your feet plenty of wiggle room.

Keep cool. Heat and humidity can also make your muscle problems worse. When it's hot outside, stay indoors in the air conditioning, especially when you exercise. Take lukewarm or cool showers and baths instead of hot ones. Try putting a cold pack or cool washcloth on your muscles to ease spasms.

Stay healthy. A cold, the flu, or other infections can set off your muscle symptoms. To avoid catching anything, wash your hands often with warm water and soap, and stay away from anyone who looks sick. Keep small bottles of hand sanitizers in your car, at your desk, and other convenient spots.

 

http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/live-thrive-15/feel-best/muscles?page=1

Fighting back against Parkinson's - in the ring

Lesley Stahl and her husband Aaron Latham who has Parkinson's Disease. Aaron is a

Lesley Stahl and her husband Aaron Latham who has Parkinson's Disease. Aaron is a

Great Story Today on "CBS Sunday Morning" by Leslie Stahl, whose husband has Parkinson's and credits the program with improvement in his tremors.

Stretching for Stiffness, Sparring for coordination, Shouting for "soft voice syndrome", Punching for tremors, Footwork for balance

"Dr. Combs-Miller said the high intensity-type exercises can be neuro protective. "It enhances the uptake of the dopamine in the brain. It can improve growth of neurons.

"All the evidence we have now shows that, with exercise, particularly high-intensity exercise, we can improve strength. We can improve their walking ability and their balance and their quality of life. And likely, we're also seeing changes within the brain as well.""

Use this link to watch the video of the segment:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fighting-back-against-parkinsons-in-the-ring/3/

For more information on this program:

www.rocksteady.org

42 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT RAW FOODS

The nutrition facts in this article apply to far more than juicing. important details to think about in food prep and diet in general.

Don Weissman, MD Life Sciences and Healthcare: Strategic Business Development; Medical Affairs, Laision and KOL Governance

 

I’m sharing this article from a group I follow in linkedin -Medical Fitness Association

 

    1    Eating 6 large carrots is equivalent to drinking 8 ounces of carrot juice.b

    2    For best juicing results, use fresh crisp, precooled vegetables.  If you need to freeze fresh produce, use frozen produce within 2 to 3 months for best juice flavor.f

    3    There are two basic juicers available on the market: centrifugal juice extractors and cold press juicers (a.k.a. masticating juicers). Specialists suggest buying a centrifugal juicer if you a) want to use the juice mostly for cooking, baking, or other processes where the juice will eventually be exposed to heat, b) don’t mind if it is less efficient at extracting all the nutrients, and c) are trying to save cash. A cold press juicer is more helpful if you a) are interested in cleansing, making nut milks and green juices, and fresher juices, b) want to pack as many nutrients into your body as possible, and c) can afford a more expensive juicer.a

    4    Because carrots greens, rhubarb greens, or the peels of oranges and grapefruit contain toxic substances, these greens and skins should not be juiced. However, the pithy white part of citrus just underneath the skin is very nutritious. To benefit from this pith, grate the peel off oranges and grapefruits instead of peeling.a

    5    Good quality juicers can run anywhere from $100–$500. The most expensive juicer is the original Norwalk hydraulic press juicer for $2,495.c

 

Juicing for 2 people and cleaning up takes about 10-15 minutes

    1    Depending on cooking temperature and time, vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients are lost in varying degrees while cooking. Other negative affects of cooking food include the following: 1) proteins become denatured, which renders them useless to the body, 2) water in food evaporates, which leads to the loss of valuable minerals and water-soluble vitamins like vitamins C and B-complex, 3) food reduces in volume but maintains its calorie count, so you end up eating more calories by volume of food than your body needs, 4) food softens, making it easier to eat quickly and overeat, and 5) high heat creates toxins, especially when cooking starches and fats.g

    2    When choosing raw fruits and veggies to juice, terms such as “pasteurized” and “hydrogenated” indicate that the food has been heated above the 118° threshold, which make them cooked—not raw—foods.f

    3    Raw foodists argue that humans are the only mammals that continue to drink milk (and another mammal’s milk—the cow’s—also something no other mammal does) after being weaned because of the belief tha t milk is important for calcium. However, plants provide all the calcium the body needs without the health risks of milk. Some of the best sources of calcium are collard greens, kale, spinach, okra, broccoli, and almonds.a

    4    While juice can provide the same calcium as milk, milk may be more satisfying than raw juice because milk has more protein. Some juices also have more calories than milk.h

    5    Green juice is rich in chlorophyll, which helps the body detoxify and circulate oxygen. It also balances the body’s pH by reducing acidity. Low-grade acidosis can zap energy and contribute to many health problems, such as kidney stones.d

    6    The leaves of celery are often bitter, so it is recommended to remove them before juicing.a

 

Lemon and lime peels contain D-limonene, an anti-aging compound

    1    The skins of fruits such as kiwi and papaya should be removed prior to juicing, but the skins (peels) of lemons and limes may be left on.a

    2    While all pits, such as plum pits and peach pits, should be removed before juicing, the seeds of citrus fruits, grapes, papaya, and melons may be put through the juicer.a

    3    Form leafy veggies into a compact ball or roll before inserting them into the juicer’s feed chute to keep individual leaves from getting stuck between the juicer’s feed chute and the plunger that is used to push the food down.a

    4    Juicing avocados and bananas produces a puree rather than a juice, so it is often more effective to blend them instead.a

    5    The softer the texture of a fruit or vegetable, the thicker the juice produced. Apricots, peaches, pears, melons, and strawberries are soft-textured fruits, so their juice is very thick. Many raw foodists combine these juices with thinner juices, such as carrot or apple.a

    6    Beet greens, parsley, spinach, and watercress yield very rich and thick juices. They are very strong flavored and taste best when combined with other fruits and vegetables. For example, green vegetable juice mixed with carrot juice procures a sweeter vegetable flavor.a

 

Apple seeds contain cyanide and should be removed before juicing

    1    Because apple seeds contain cyanide, it is important to core apples and carefully remove seeds before juicing.a

    2    To make juice clear, filter juice through layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. This will also remove any foam that forms during juicing. You may also strain the juice through a fine mesh strainer to reduce pulp and foam.a

    3    Because enzyme degradation occurs almost immediately after juicing, most experts do not recommend storing homemade juice longer than 24 hours.e

    4    Because homemade raw juice is not pasteurized, it is important to wash fruit and veggies thoroughly (even organic ones) and to drink raw juice immediately after it is made to minimize the risk of food-borne illness, such as E. coli and hepatitis. Additionally, the antioxidants and other phytonutrients start to break down almost immediately once they are exposed to light and air.e

    5    Because juicing removes fiber from fruit and veggies, the body absorbs fructose sugar from fruit juice more easily, which can upset blood sugar levels. Because of this, many health professional encourage people to drink more veggie juices and to limit fruit juice to a glass a day.h

    6    In a Department of Agriculture study, researchers analyzed 12 fruits and found that 90% of the antioxidant activity was in the juice rather than the fiber.g

    7    A juicer is not a blender. A blender mixes/pulverizes instead of extracts. Specifically, blenders do not separate the juice from the fiber whereas juicers or juicing machines do.a

    8    Raw food dieticians recommend drinking juiced raw vegetables immediately after they are prepared and on an empty stomach. They suggest waiting 10–15 minutes to eat after drinking 8–30 ounces. If you drink more than 30 ounces, they suggest waiting at least 45 minutes before eating. Drinking juice on an empty stomach helps the nutrients to be absorbed more quickly and efficiently.a

    9    Because juicing removes fiber from food—and fiber is an essential part of healthful diet and long-term health—dieticians don’t recommend replacing regular meals with juices except for short-term weight loss or cleansing programs.e
Chewing juice helps the digestive process

    10    Raw food nutritionists recommend chewing raw juice. When drinking juice, chewing activates the digestive elements in the mouth, which helps assimilate the juice in the body.a

    11    While raw food dieticians recommend giving up coffee, if a person must drink it, they suggest drinking it at least 30 minutes before or after drinking a fruit or vegetable juice. Coffee and caffeine are highly acidic, dehydrating, and taxing to the body.a

    12    While oysters and chocolate are well-known aphrodisiacs, juiced celery and watermelon can also boost sex drive. For example, celery increases male pheromones and watermelon helps relax blood vessels that increase the libido. Avocados contain a vitamin B, which is said to boost male hormone production.d

    13    Juiced coconuts provide a rich source of electrolytes. In fact, doctors have used coconut juice to fight dehydration due to dysentery, cholera, and influenza.d

    14    Juiced papaya is an excellent digestive aid. The fruit contains papain, an enzyme that helps digest proteins. Ginger, which helps relax the intestinal tract, and cabbage, which helps clean waste form the stomach and upper bowels, both provide additional digestive power.d

    15    By eating a whole apple, you can get up to 15 times the amount of fiber of drinking juiced apples.h

    16    Each ½ cup of fruit has about 60 calories, so 4–5 cups of juiced fruit has the equivalent of about 480–600 calories in each serving. In other words, portions still matter even when juicing. Juice can contain more calories than some sodas.h

    17    
Juiced broccoli is rich in healthy nutrients

    18    Juiced broccoli can help boost a person’s immune system. Broccoli is high in vitamin C, which increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells. Adding garlic, which contains sulfur-based compounds, also has a powerful immune boosting quality.d

    19    To make juice more balanced with protein, raw foodists suggest adding almond milk, Greek yogurt, flaxseed, or peanut butter.e

    20    Physicians recommend talking with a health care provider before incorporating juice into a diet to avoid potential food and drug interactions. For example, large amounts of foods high in vitamin K (e.g., spinach and kale) may interact with some anti-blood-clotting medicine.e

    21    Most physicians do not recommend using juicing as an extreme weight loss measure. Research shows that adding protein is essential to preserving muscle mass during weight loss. Additionally, at the end of an extreme diet, the body’s metabolism may have temporarily slowed, which makes the body more prone to building fat cells.e

    22    Juicing as way to detox or cleanse the body hasn’t been scientifically proven. Researchers note that the body’s liver and kidneys detox the body whether a person is juicing or not.e

    23    While eating a plant-based diet is linked to lower risk of heart disease and cancer, there is not significant research linking the health benefits to juicing specifically.f

    24    While fans of juicing claim that juicing is better than eating whole fruits and veggies because the body does not have to work to process fiber, most people do not receive the recommended amount of fiber per day anyway.e

    25    Raw foodists suggest that the leftover pulp from juicing can be put back into the juice or used in cooking, such as muffins or broth.b

    26    Most Americans (90%) do not eat the U.S. daily recommended amount of fresh fruits and veggies. Juicing can help a person meet the daily recommendation in one drink.a

— Posted September 15, 2013

References

a Baird, Lori, ed. 2004. The Complete Book of Raw Food. New York, NY: Healthy Living Books.

b Cohen, Alissa. 2010. Raw Food for Everyone: Essential Techniques and 300 Simple-to-Sophisticated Recipes. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

c “Juicer Types: The Difference between Cold Press Juicers vs. Centrifugal Juice Extractors.” Huffington Post. February 8, 2013. Accessed: August 8, 2013.

d Masterson, Faye. “The Best Juice for What’s Bugging You.” Shape. January 16, 2013. Accessed: August 8, 2013.

e Nguyen, Anna. “Juicing: How Healthy Is It?” WebMD. January 2012. Accssed: August 2013.

f Patenaude, Frederic. 2002. The Raw Secrets: The Raw Vegan Diet in the Real World. Montreal, Canada: Raw Vegan.

g Rose, Natalia. 2007. Raw Food Life Force: Enter a Totally New Stratosphere of Weight Loss, Beauty, and Health. New York, NY: Harper.

h “Squeezing Truth Out of Juice Myths.” CBS NEWS. November 17, 2009. Accessed: August 8, 2013.

Medicinal Spices

Luscious Life Nutrition, Inc

The ancient Middle Eastern civilizations utilized all types of plant, animal and mineral products to treat disease. The Ebers Papyrus, which was written in Egypt about 1500 B.C., mentions the use of several spices as medicines, including coriander, cumin, fenugreek and mint. Today, we are still researching and using spices to treat many illnesses.

 

Most spices and many herbs contain more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables.

Each different spice or herb is valuable for the functioning or treatment of different conditions. Most of these have fewer or no side effects compared to drugs. Several spices are potent anti-inflammatory agents and help to reduce progression of inflammatory conditions such as autoimmune diseases or other inflammatory conditions. Other spices act as Cox-2 inhibitors similar to Celebrex and other drugs. Many spices actually contain salicylates which are also found in aspirin and therefore can help with pain.

Below is a list of some of the medicinal uses for culinary spices/herbs. In order to improve health, it is therefore important to not only think about choosing healthy food, but to think about spicing it up to make it both delicious and boost its health value.

 

Spice/Herb / Medicinal value

Turmeric (curcumin= key ingredient) antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cancer prevention properties. shown to inhibit virtually every biomarker tested.

 

CUMIN

1629mg.salicylic acid(aspirin)/100gm. Helps with digestion and used for colds and fever.

 

GINGER

Potent anti-inflammatory. Used for nausea.Chewing on

fresh ginger relieves sore throat and horseness

 

GARLIC

Known to reduce blood pressure and help prevent heart disease. Contains antiviral and antibacterial properties.

1 clove/day helps lower cholesterol

 

NUTMEG

Relieves diarrhea and colic. Aphrodisiac

 

FENNEL SEED

Carminative which relieves gas and indigestion

 

CORIANDER

Diuretic, reduces cholesterol, allergies, inflammation

 

MUSTARD SEEDS

Increases appetite and stimulates production of gastric

juices. Mustard oil used to treat arthritis. Stimulates

bowels.

 

SAFFRON

Antibacterial and useful for treating digestive disorders. A

remedy for headache when applied to temples. Effective

in treatment of liver, urinary and uterine dysfunction.

Aphrodisiac.

 

CHILI PEPPER (CAPSAICIN)

Increases gastric acid flow thereby reducing stomach

pain and ulcer. Reduces arthritis pain when used

topically in capsaicin cream. Contains vitamin A and

more vitamin C than citrus fruits.

 

CINNAMON

1 tsp./day helps lower blood sugar in diabetics. Used as a

liniment to soothe headache, rheumatic pain and

toothaches.

 

ROSEMARY

Inhibits breakdown of brain neurotransmitters to enhance

memory. Used to stimulate hair follicle growth. Cox-2

inhibitor properties

 

LICORICE

Many use as a corticosteroid alternative. Reduces

inflammation. Used to relieve stomach, throat, intestinal

pain It has estrogenic and other steroidal properties and

is used to normalize and regulate hormone production.

Glycyrrhizin, a major component of licorice root, is

structurally similar to adrenal cortical hormones. It has

proven especially helpful in treating adrenal exhaustion,

infertility due to hormonal imbalance, menopausal

dysfunctions, and Addisons disease. Deglycyrrhizinated

licorice will not raise blood pressure.

 

BASIL

Improves appetite, aids digestion, and combats fatigue.

Has antibacterial properties. Has been used as an

aphrodisiac and for depression. High in antioxidants

 

THYME

Potent antibacterial. Active ingredient in Listerine

mouthwash to “kill the germs that cause badbreath”

Read More

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

IMG_5448.JPG

 

By Joy Wagner, RN and Founder, fitMS NeuroBalance Center

At fitMS NeuroBalance Center we believe that “we are what we eat” and “we are what our food eats.” That’s why an anti-inflammatory diet is key to optimal health and that this concept does NOT mean a one size fits all diet.

It’s important to determine which foods YOU need to eliminate from your diet. Each of us is unique when it comes to foods, supplements, medications that work for us. My food sensitivity tests revealed some expected culprits and some complete surprises. Eliminating the major ones on my list was life changing for me – eliminating my asthma attacks completely and improving all the digestive symptoms I have suffered with for years.

If you are interested in suggestions for improving your diet, check out all the information on our website about an anti-inflammatory diet and medicinal spices. In addition, the Center offers nutritional counseling, food sensitivity/allergy testing and counseling, weight loss management and disease management counseling.
Email
info@fitms.org or call us at 847-800-6162 for information.

The article (see link below) is a great example of the profound impact diet has on all people and especially those with inflammatory health conditions. I do not support the suggestion in this article that MS patients don’t need their disease modifying medications if they change their diet and feel better; please consult your healthcare professional before discontinuing any prescribed medications.

http://bit.ly/1J4UZcO

Please also remember that supplements should be discussed, as well, because everything you swallow impacts your health – “Natural,” “Plant Based,” “Organic,” “Raw” and many other buzz words we see on labels, do NOT guarantee they are safe or beneficial for everyone.

Work as a team with your Doctors. Get on and stay on treatment. Eat healthier, exercise, get enough sleep. Learn how to manage your stress. Surround yourself with positive people. Stay informed! 

EATING BROCCOLI AND OTHER CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES TO COMBAT INFLAMMATION

EATING BROCCOLI MAY HELP PREVENT OSTEOARTHRITIS

I’m posting a link to this article and a few highlights for several reasons… if cruciferous foods have enough anti-inflammatory impact to stop and reverse osteoarthritis (about to be studied) and the pain associated… imagine the impact it could have on MS and a host of autoimmune conditions.

Dr Terri Wahls at the University of Iowa is already studying the impact on MS!!

 

Eating broccoli may help prevent osteoarthritis

28 Aug 2013 MEDICAL NEWS TODAY

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO SEE THE ARTICLE ON MEDICAL NEWS TODAY

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO SEE THE ARTICLE ON MEDICAL NEWS TODAY


New research from the UK suggests that sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts, could help fight osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis.

Led by the University of East Anglia (UEA), the study used cell and tissue tests to show that sulforaphane blocked cartilage-destroying enzymes by intercepting a molecule that causes inflammation.

The researchers also found that mice fed a sulforaphane-rich diet suffered significantly less cartilage damage and osteoarthritis compared with mice whose diet did not contain the compound. Their research is published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Sulforaphane is released when eating cruciferous vegetables such as:

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Brussels sprouts

Kale

Cabbage

Bok choy or Chinese cabbage.

Previous studies have already suggested that the compound has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

For instance, in 2012, US researchers reported how they found sulforaphane can prevent cancer by changing the way genes are expressed or activated.

First major study to show sulforaphane may influence joint health

But this new study is the first to show in a major way how the compound influences joint health. The team wanted to find out if sulforaphane got into joints in sufficient quantities to have an effect.

Lead researcher Ian Clark, professor of musculoskeletal biology at UEA, says:

“The results from this study are very promising. We have shown that this works in the three laboratory models we have tried, in cartilage cells, tissue and mice.”

Prof. Clark says they now want to show it works in humans, “It would be very powerful if we could,” he adds.

The team is planning a small trial in 40 osteoarthritis patients due to have joint replacement surgery…

Osteoarthritis is a painful and often limiting joint disease affecting the hands, feet, spine, hips and knees in particular.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the condition affects 27 million American adults. In the UK, figures from Arthritis Research UK, who helped fund this new study, suggest more than 8.5 million people have the disease.

Age and obesity are the most common contributors to osteoarthritis. There is currently no cure, other than pain relief – which often does not work, or joint replacement.

“Developing new strategies for combating age-related diseases such as osteoarthritis is vital, both to improve the quality of life for sufferers and to reduce the economic burden on society.”

Although surgery is successful, he says, it is not the answer. Once you have the condition, it is important to slow its progress, and progression to surgery. Plus, he explains that prevention is preferable, and changes to lifestyle and diet may be the only way to achieve it:

Prof. Clark: “As well as treating those who already have the condition, you need to be able to tell healthy people how to protect their joints into the future.

There is currently no way in to the disease pharmaceutically and you cannot give healthy people drugs unnecessarily, so this is where diet could be a safe alternative.”

Could other dietary compounds protect joints?

Studies like these help establish whether changes to diet might work. Prof. Clark says once you know that, you can can start looking for other dietary compounds with similar effects, and then be in position to advise people what to eat to protect their joints.

Professor Alan Silman, medical director for Arthritis Research UK, says:

“Until now research has failed to show that food or diet can play any part in reducing the progression of osteoarthritis, so if these findings can be replicated in humans, it would be quite a breakthrough.”


Catharine Paddock PhD. “Eating broccoli may help prevent osteoarthritis.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 28 Aug. 2013. Web.