Arthritis in the News

For a long time I thought arthritis was just one of those things that accompanied getting older, along with an AARP card, early-bird specials, and white shorts with suspenders. But, like a lot of degenerative diseases, Dr. Fuhrman insists they don’t have to be a part of your life. You can do something about it. In Eat to Live he talks about how nutrition impacts arthritis:
Working with patients with autoimmune diseases such as connective tissue diseases, myositis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus is very rewarding. These patients had been convinced they could never get well and are usually eternally grateful to be healthy again and not require medication.


An aggressive nutritional approach to autoimmune illnesses should always be tried first when the disease is in its infancy. Logically, the more advanced the disease is, and the more damage that has been done by the disease, the less likely the patient will respond. My experience with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis is that some patients are more dietary-sensitive than others and that some patients have very high levels of inflammation that are difficult to curtail with natural therapy. Nevertheless, the majority benefit—and since the conventional drugs used to treat these types of illnesses are so toxic and have so many risky side effects, the dietary method should be tried first. Modern drugs often contribute to the disability and misery of patients with an autoimmune illness and increase cancer risk. Studies show that the long-term outcome is poor after twenty years of taking such medication.1 A recent study in the British Journal of Rheumatology showed the major drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis, such as azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, chlorambucil, and methotrexate, increases the likelihood that the person will die of cancer.2
It’s too bad you don’t hear about more doctors embracing this approach. Well, sometimes they come close. In this study researchers have identified a protein that leads to development of arthritis. That kind of sounds like nutrition, right? Janice Billingsley of HealthDay News is on it:
By identifying a protein that appears to be one of the culprits in the unhealthy buildup of this fluid, which is called synovial fluid, Dr. Yasushi Miura and her colleagues at Kobe University School of Medicine hope that a new, targeted medication can be developed to treat the disease.


"The protein Decoy receptor 3 (DcR3) is one of the pathological factors of RA and can be a new therapeutic target for treatment," said Miura, an associate professor in the division of orthopedic sciences at the medical school.

Her findings are in the April issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, the journal of the American College of Rheumatology.

DcR3 is a member of the large tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) "super family," which has been identified in the last decade as important in the regulation of cell growth and cell death, fundamental processes in biology, said Dr. Robert Hoffman, director of the division of rheumatology and immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida.

"We have known of the importance of cell growth and cell death in studying cancer but more recently have found that it is also important in autoimmune diseases like RA and lupus," he said.
1. Scott, D., D. Symmons, B.L. Coulton, and A.J. Popert. 1987. Long-term outcome of treating rheumatoid arthritis: results after 20 years. Lancet 1 (8542): 1108-11.

2. Jones, M., D. Symoons, J. Finn, and F. Wolfe. 1996. Does exposure to immunosuppressive therapy increase the 10-year malignancy and mortality risk? B.J. Rheum. 35 (8): 738-45.
Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Comments (0) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Post A Comment / Question Use this form to add a comment to this entry.







Remember personal info?