Anti Inflammatory Nutrients
By Debi Hopkins
Because I have struggled at different times in my life with aches and pains in my joints, I decided to research this area for this months installment in the Family Homestead newsletter.....and share what I found with you readers!
Many studies have shown that certain nutrients can be taken to supplement our daily diet, in order to boost our body's ability to control and reduce inflammation.
Fish oil supplements, which are rich in EPA and DHA, help meet the body's need to convert alpha linolenic acid to EPA and DHA. The reason this is important is because trans fatty acids, found in many processed foods, interfere with the enzymes involved in making EPA and DHA.
Fish oil supplements can also speed up the benefits of eating fish two or three times weekly. Look for fish caught in the wild, rather than farm raised, as it is more apt to not contain high levels of mercury. Fish oil supplements help to reduce levels of many inflammation-promoting compounds, including prostaglandin E2 and CRP. Studies have shown that daily fish oil consumption eases pain and results in a reduced need for anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen.
Recommended Dosage: 3 grams of fish oils daily. Flaxseed oil capsules may be used by vegetarians.
Gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, is technically an omega-6 fatty acid, and it is part of the body's normal system which helps to balance and control excessive inflammation. GLA also boosts levels of prostaglandin E1, which in turn reduces inflammation caused by prostaglandin E2.
Recommended Dosage: 1.4 grams to several grams daily. GLA supplements are derived from evening primrose, borage, or black currant oils. The amount of GLA is more important than the source, so read the fine print on the label.
Several clinical studies have found that natural vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) can significantly lower inflammations levels in the body, and this effect may account for the vitamin's well-known heart healthy benefits.
Recommended Dosage: 400 IU daily, but a clearer anti-inflammatory effect may be achieved at 800 or 1,200 IU daily.
Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant required by the body for the formation of collagen, one of the most basic proteins in the body.
Dosage: 500-1,000 mg or more in divided dosages, daily,
Glucosamine, and chondroitin. These supplements are commonly used to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis and to rebuild articular (joint) cartilage. Glucosamine and chondroitin provide rich sources of sulfur, a mineral that helps hold tissues together.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) - helps with anti inflammatory problems and has tissue-rebuilding benefits. MSM also provides rich sources of sulfur.
Dosage: 1,000 mg to 20,000 mg in divided dosages daily.
Thousands of antioxidant flavonoids have been identified in plants, and probably all have some anti-inflammatory properties - and are likely a big part of the reason why vegetables are so helpful in restoring good health. Several specific flavonoids may be helpful in reducing inflammation, specifically quercetin, Pycnogenol, and grape-seed extract.
Dosage: 300-500 mg of quercetin daily or 150-300 mg of Pycnogenol or grape-seed extract daily.
All herbs are rich in flavonoids, which likely accounts for their anti-inflammatory properties. Boswellia, cat's claw, devil's claw, green tea extracts are particularly potent anti inflammatory herbs. Some herbal teas, like Green tea, because of their mild flavor, have the advantage of being consumed as a beverage.
Dosage: Herbal potencies can vary quite a bit, depending on their form, such as capsule/tablet, tea or tincture. Follow the label directions or seek the advice from a naturopathic physician or a herbalist.
Most of these anti inflammatory nutrients will go a long way towards boosting your immune system too, which means our bodies are better able to deal with the cold and flu virus' prevalent during this time of the year.
Debi Hopkins is the mother of 3 children and grandmother to 8! She and her husband have enjoyed the homesteading life for the last 25 years. She enjoys Bible studies, gardening, sewing, cooking baking, studying health topics and anything that helps to make her house a home! You can visit her website Lydias-Legacy http://www.lydias-legacy.com/ and enjoy a! ll the great resources she has for the homemaker!