Sunday Dec 2, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) — Taking antioxidant nutraceuticals or supplements may help manage rheumatoid arthritis, according to a recent review article published in Toxicology and Industrial Health.
S.Y. Al-Okbi at Food Sciences and Nutrition Department, National Research Centre in Cairo, Egypt reviewed previous studies and found evidence suggesting that foods with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory bioactive components such as phenolics, polyunsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols, tocopherols and carotenoids can help ease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is recognized as a chronic inflammatory disease and prescription drugs are available to treat the disease, but they can cause side effects. Antioxidants on the other hand are known to be able to reduce oxidative stress and they are generally recognized as safe. For this reason, research has been conducted to examine if it is possible to use natural antioxidant nutraceuticals to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
The author has been conducting a series of studies on anti-inflammatory activity of various food extracts in animals and clinical settings with patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Studied food preparations included “fish oil, primrose oil, extracts of black cumin, fenugreek, liquorice, coriander, tomato, carrot, sweet potato, broccoli, green tea, rosemary, hazelnut, walnut, wheat germ, and date in addition to the probiotic Bifidobacterium bifidum.” according to the author.
Many of the studied nutraceuticals, the authors reported, showed an effect on inflammatory biomarkers, oxidative stress, antioxidant status, levels of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn), and colonic microflora among other benefits.
The author concluded “Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutraceuticals may serve as complementary medicine for the management of RA (rheumatoid arthritis).”