The question I would like to bring to your attention today is can vitamins help to fight Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). I decided to do some studying on the subject and what I found was some interesting facts that helped me support this idea. Let me start out by telling you a little more about RA. More than a million people in the United States have RA. RA typically develops between the ages of 25 and 50. RA is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints that affects an estimated 1.3 million Americans.
The disease occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thin membrane that lines the joints. The results can be joint damage, ongoing pain, inflammation, loss function and disability. The joints most commonly affected by RA are those of the hands, feet, wrists, knees, elbows, and ankles. In RA, the primary site of the attack is in the thin layer of tissue that is around the joints.
Studies have shown that those Americans with RA have vitamins deficiencies. The most common vitamin deficiencies in RA is folic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, and Selenium. Food of course is the preferred source for getting the vitamins and minerals. Vitamin Supplements will work in getting the vitamins and minerals that you don’t receive from food. I would like to discuss with you two particular vitamins that studies have shown to help fight RA.
Research has made a case that Vitamin D helps protect older women against RA. Recent Studies has also linked deficiencies of Vitamin D to other disorders such as certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. General population studies indicate that about one in three people are Vitamin D deficient especially during the winter months. The easiest way to make sure you are getting the proper amount of Vitamin D is through Vitamin Supplements.
Another Study used data from the Iowa’s Women Health Study, which followed almost 30,000 women, aged 55 to 69, for 11 years. Over the course of those 11 years, the women involved were questioned about their eating habits, their use of nutritional supplements and other health related issues.
During the test, 152 of the women developed RA. The investigators found that women whose diets were highest in Vitamin D had the lowest incidence of RA. Women who got less than 200 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D in their diets each day were 33% more likely to develop RA than women who got more. So how much is enough Vitamin D. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine says that older women should consume 400 to 600 IU per day in order to have an adequate Vitamin D intake.
Vitamin C can also be linked to lowering RA risks. In another study, researchers looked at the link between fruit and vegetable and dietary antioxidant intake and the development of inflammatory arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in a group of 23,000 men and women who entered a large cancer study in the U.K. between 1993 and 1997. As a part of that study, the participants kept track of what they ate in a weekly food diary.
Between 1993 and 2001, 73 people developed inflammatory arthritis affecting two or more painfully swollen joints for at least a month, and 40% of them met the criteria for having RA. Compared with those who did not develop the disease, researchers found that those with arthritis ate fewer fruits and vegetables. Specifically, people who ate the least amount of fruits and vegetables had double the risk of developing inflammatory arthritis.
The study also showed that people who got less than 40 mg of Vitamin C from fruits and vegetables had four times the risk of developing inflammatory arthritis. In the United States, the recommended dietary allowance for men is 90mg of Vitamin C a day and for women is 75mg. Now by taking a look at just those two certain vitamins, I find that vitamins do have added benefits in fighting RA. The vitamins do this by fighting the free radicals (unstable molecules that cause damage to cells) associated with the development of the disease.
Now to get the benefits of all vitamins, it would your best option to take a multi-vitamin. I would also like to say that the best multi-vitamin is a liquid vitamin instead of the standard capsule/pill. Not only will you get the full benefits of the vitamins but the liquid vitamin will work faster because it will absorb into your body quicker.
I know a 74 yr old lady that has been taking a liquid vitamin for the past 6 months and says that it has definitely helped to fight her RA. She takes 2 oz of this vitamin a day. This liquid vitamin has 410mg of Vitamin C per ounce, 1107 IU of Vitamin D3 per ounce and many more essential vitamins and minerals.