Botanical Nutrition

by Rob Seeman official blogger of the health food movement


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How does diet affect Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis? Up the Omega-3

The title of this blog entry is an obvious question for anyone seeking natural solutions to health challenges.  In natural medicine, we often take it is a base assumption that changing diet will have impact on health outcomes.  The way in which specific dietary changes will affect body systems, however, is not always clear particularly when there is pathology such as in autoimmune and chronic inflammatory conditions.hand_pain

 

One study done in Germany about 10 years looked at Mediterranean diet or extended fasting in patients with FM or RA and found no changes in intestinal microflora or secretory immunoglobulin A (a endogenous inflammatory compound).  This may not tell us all that we need to know about these pathologies and their relation to diet, but it gives us some food for thought.  Would anyone else like to see a followup study with natural anti-inflammatories or even probiotic supplementation?

One interesting Korean study found that EPA & DHA Omega-3s (fish oil) supplementation in Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers helped them to lower their dosage of NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inlammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, etc.).  While this is far from a dietary ‘cure’ for RA, it could be of immense benefit because of the myriad health benefits of Omega-3, as well as the decreased load on the liver when NSAID dosage required is lowered.

Another study in the International journal Rheumatology found that a vegetarian diet along with fish oil supplementation could greatly reduce symptoms for RA sufferers. “A diet low in arachidonic acid ameliorates clinical signs of inflammation in patients with RA and augments the beneficial effect of fish oil supplementation” found the researchers.


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CBD : key to a natural victory over pain?

There is a new dietary supplement you may want to try if you have pain, and it is called CBD.

CBD (Cannabidiol) is often referred to as a “component of marijuana” which helps with pain, as well as things like brain disorders.  However, it is not just a component of marijuana, as it is now being legally super-critically extracted from Hemp, a form of Cannabis sativa without the banned ingredient THC.

Researchers have found that not only does CBD relieve pain (nociception) when taken in combination with morphine it has a synergistic effect (sum is greater than the whole of the parts).  This could also mean that potentially CBD could help those using prescription pain drugs by lowering the dosage for their pain meds and therefore positively impacting overall health.

As a supplement for pain we can expect to see new dietary supplements offering Hemp CBD as an ingredient, and as a stand-alone nutrient. One thing to make note of though, as it is very new to market it is usually quite expensive!