What is the Best Vitamin for Arthritis
Arthritis literally means “joint inflammation” — redness and warmth within the joint. Because inflammation is painful, arthritis limits movement. The three most common types of arthritis are:
• Rheumatoid arthritis
The causes, symptoms and risk factors for each of these forms of arthritis may differ. You may suffer from more than one type of arthritis — for example, gout and osteoarthritis.
Kneecap pain, also known as patellofemoral pain, strikes people of all ages. Some people notice pain in both knees, while in others it is relegated to only one leg. While the exact cause is often unknown, that doesn’t mean you need to suffer from a sore joint. There are plenty of things you can try that might ease the pain in both the short and long term.
Vitamin C is essential for the body to make collagen, an important part of the cartilage that protects the ends of bones in joints. It is also an antioxidant, which helps the body protect damage to tissues like cartilage. Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetable sources of vitamin C provides sufficient nutrients to build and maintain normal healthy joints as well as maintain healthy body weight, which prevents excess stress on joints. More vitamin C does not stimulate the body to build more cartilage in humans.
However, in the 1990’s one observational study reported that higher dietary vitamin C intake was associated with lower risk of developing knee pain and, among persons with osteoarthritis, lower risk of cartilage loss. Overall, dietary intakes of antioxidant vitamins (C, E or carotenoids) were not associated with the incidence of osteoarthritis.
Current Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI’s) for vitamin C do not state joint health as a function beyond its role as a nutrient essential for building collagen. Although not typically found in foods we eat, there are some components commonly taken as supplements with the intent of helping support healthy joints.
Chondroprotectives, like glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, and s-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), are among supplemental ingredients with some evidence of benefit. These protective ingredients may provide building blocks for joint cartilage and synovial fluid or they may affect osteoarthritis through other mechanisms, such as reducing inflammatory actions that negatively affect joint cartilage and increase joint inflammation.
In addition to these supplements, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components are being actively researched to determine their roles in supporting healthy joint tissues or even in treating inflammation associated with arthritis. These include omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins (C, A, and E), bioactive components of fruits, vegetables, teas, spices and nuts, as well as herbal therapeutics, like the resin from the Boswellia serrata tree relative to osteoarthritis.