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   Mar 05

Arthritis pain: Spicy ingredient could ease joint inflammation and other symptoms

Arthritis affects around 10 million people, young and old, in the UK.

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the two most common types of arthritis, and symptoms include inflammation in and around the joints, warm, red skin over the affected joint, and weakness and muscle wasting.

While there is no cure, there are ways proven to ease pain and other symptoms.

While the NHS recommends painkillers and corticosteroids to treat arthritis, studies suggest alternative treatment methods such as topical creams that contain capsaicin.

Many studies have shown that capsaicin effectively reduces pain from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia

Many studies have shown that capsaicin, an active component of chili peppers, effectively reduces pain from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia – a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.

Capsaicin has been found to temporally reduce substance P, a pain transmitter.

It’s pain-relieving properties have been shown in many studies, including a 2010 study published in Phytotherapy Research, which revealed a 50 per cent reduction in joint pain after three weeks of use.

It is available as a topical cream, gel or patch.

But capsaicin can cause burning and irritation. So Arthritis Foundation recommends you avoid applying it near your eyes or on sensitive skin.

Scientific evidence has also been carried out to suggest borage seed oil can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Borage seed oil, also known as starflower oil, is made from the seeds of the borage plant, a herb native to the Mediterranean region but grown in other countries, including the UK.

But how does it help improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?

According to Arthritis Research, borage seed oil contains very high levels of two types of polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acids, 20 to 26 per centgamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linolenic acid (LA, which your body converts to GLA).

The charity explains: “GLA is an essential fatty acid that’s important for maintaining a joint’s cell structure and function. Your body converts it into hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which regulate your immune system and fight joint inflammation.

“GLA might also suppress inflammatory responses by directly acting on some inflammatory cells.”

Borage seed oil, or starflower oil, is available to buy over the counter from pharmacies and health food shops in the from of capsules or bottled oil.

Eating broccoli could also lower the risk of developing joint pain, according to scientists from the University of East Anglia.

Source: Express

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