Arthritis is, of course, an inflammatory disease. In fact, that’s true of any disease ending in -itis.
The Arthritis Foundation recently summarised studies covering over 360,000 people and concluded that the inflammation that occurs indirectly from osteoarthritis and directly from rheumatoid arthritis significantly raises the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis1.
So much so that nearly 50% of all adults with heart disease also have arthritis.
Worryingly, the common drug treatments of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) increase the risk for heart attack or stroke. In 2018, the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) issued a stern warning about these drugs, advising that they can lead to heart events within just a few weeks of use.
An article in the British Journal of Cardiology2 states that in arthritis:
“… the degree of inflammation correlates with the risk of cardiovascular disease, suggesting that the treatment of the inflammatory disease process could reduce this excess risk”.
So an anti-inflammatory joint care supplement can help protect against heart disease as well as reducing symptoms of arthritis.
Colin Rose is a Senior Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is the Founder and Director of Research and Innovation of Uni-Vite Healthcare and author of a recent book: Delay Ageing: Healthy to 100, where he reveals how to slow ageing and, therefore, help prevent later-life illness.
Age-related illnesses are all connected
One of the weaknesses of modern medicine is the compartmentalisation of diseases. The general pharmaceutical model is to find a ‘silver bullet’ drug that will hit a single disease, but only after it has surfaced.
The ‘nutraceutical’ model we are following at Uni-Vite Healthcare is to provide the body with the broad range and high level of nutrition that will help to prevent what are inter-connected problems – all related to the ageing process.
In fact, it is well established that chronic (persistent) inflammation is not only a factor in arthritis but is a key driver of most later-life illnesses. Yet, chronic inflammation is undetectable outside a medical test (eg a C-Reactive Protein test).
Inflammation and disease links
! Inflammation increases the risk of heart disease1,2
! Inflammation increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes12
! Inflammation directly prompts the development of some cancers9
! Inflammation provides an environment that encourages the spread (metastasis) of tumours9
! Inflammation is a central mechanism in Alzheimer’s6
! Inflammation is linked to depression7
! Inflammation is strongly linked to worse Covid outcomes and long Covid itself28,29
The result is that over 60% of people world-wide die of a disease linked to inflammation.5
Consequently, an anti-inflammatory diet supported by anti-inflammatory supplements is not only key for arthritis – it is an essential defence against a host of later life problems and against ageing itself.
How does inflammation lead to cancer?
Over time, chronic inflammation causes DNA damage and damage to DNA can lead to the development of abnormal cells and cancer. For example, the National Cancer Institute confirms that people with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases have an increased risk of colon cancer10.
In addition, inflammation creates an environment where cancer is more likely to spread.
As Cancer Research UK states:
"... it’s clear that fledgling tumours hijack inflammation and use it to accelerate the progression towards full-blown cancer."
How does inflammation lead to diabetes?
Diabetes can both cause inflammation and result from it. So, as type 2 diabetes starts to develop, the body becomes less sensitive to insulin and this insulin resistance leads to inflammation.
A vicious cycle can then result, with more inflammation causing more insulin resistance. The result being that blood sugar levels creep higher and higher, eventually resulting in type 2 diabetes12.
How does inflammation lead to depression?
Inflammation can affect any body cell and that includes glial cells, which are key players in the central nervous system. A 2019 study showed how when neuro-inflammation occurs, the normal functioning of the brain is impaired, which can lead to depression7.
How does inflammation lead to ageing?
As we get older, the level of chronic inflammation increases, and this condition has been termed “inflamm-ageing.”
Inflammageing is a very significant risk factor for both physical decline and death in older people, as most, if not all, age-related diseases share an inflammatory origin.
A natural anti-inflammatory joint supplement can help all-round health
Uni-Vite JointShield contains not just Glucosamine, but the powerful natural anti-inflammatories Curcumin and Boswellia, as well as Vitamins D3 and K2.
Here is how these nutrients help not just osteoarthritis (OA) sufferers, but help defend against inflammation generally.
♥ Curcumin from the curry spice turmeric
There are now over 500 studies confirming that curcumin is one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory compounds20. That’s why research over many years shows that curcumin supplements have been shown to help reduce the risk, not just of joint inflammation and pain, as in arthritis, but of heart disease, stroke and possibly even Alzheimer’s20 – as there is an inflammatory element in that disease too.
Boswellia has anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and analgesic properties20. Which is perhaps why in its resin form – frankincense – it was a gift of one of the Three Wise Men!
Boswellia and curcumin both help ‘switch off’ the three main inflammatory compounds in the body – called 5-LOX, TNF and IL-1. A survey report in 2020 confirmed Boswellia was “an effective and safe treatment option for patients with OA.”
♥ Vitamins D and K
JointShield also contains vitamins D3 and K2. In 2019, a study13 confirmed that vitamin D3 and K2 worked in tandem to help form new cartilage and osteoblasts, the cells that promote new bone growth.
But that’s not all. Vitamins D3 and K2 also combine to reduce inflammation and improve the elasticity of your arteries. And this improves blood circulation, which helps prevent cardiovascular disease. That cardio-protective effect is strengthened because vitamin D3 enhances the amount of nitric oxide in the blood14, which further opens blood vessels and makes it easier for blood to flow.
Of course, JointShield also contains glucosamine – which if it is combined with vitamins K and D not only inhibits the breakdown of cartilage, but also helps to regenerate cartilage15,16.
Perhaps surprisingly, recent research has shown that glucosamine can also reduce chronic inflammation, protect against DNA damage, improve skin elasticity and skin health19, and encourage the formation of mitochondria. Glucosamine has even been found to help increase life-span in various animal models17,18.
All this means that JointShield is not only recommended for arthritis – but has additional benefits for heart health – and for ageing itself!
Combine JointShield with NutriShield for ideal anti-inflammatory effect
Since inflammation is a major factor in almost all age-related diseases – and in ageing itself – consider NutriShield – if you are not already taking it.
NutriShield was originally formulated by Dr Paul Clayton, then Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine. The aim was to create a nutritional defence against age-related illnesses – and to slow ageing itself.
NutriShield can further increase your intake of effective anti-inflammatory nutrients – like Omega 3, grapeseed extract, green tea extract, and bilberry extract. These are also antioxidants helping to counteract free radical damage to cells and DNA. This oxidative damage is a key cause of ageing itself.
NutriShield also contains lycopene, lutein and beta carotene – which have been shown to reduce the damage from free radicals and switch on genes that are cardio protective and broadly health protective22,23.
NutriShield also contains even more glucosamine and curcumin – and for added cardio-protection contains betaine. This nutrient not only helps protect the liver25, but – in conjunction with B vitamins and folic acid – reduces the level of a protein called homocysteine in the blood27. High levels of homocysteine are a heart disease risk27.
Recently, researchers reporting in Frontiers in Immunology at have signalled that betaine also “has beneficial actions in several human diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease”26.
Make supplements part of a healthy eating and lifestyle choice
It is the synergistic effect of many nutrients working together that tackles problems like arthritis. But, as we have seen, the inflammation that is a key factor in arthritis is also a driver of many other age-related diseases – and indeed of ageing itself.
In my book Delay Ageing, and repeated here, you can see how to make healthy eating and lifestyle choices, including adding the right supplements, which really make a difference.
JointShield is more than a way to tackle arthritis. And can be coupled with NutriShield to create a daily regime that helps counteract and therefore slow multiple causes of the ageing process itself.
THE HEALTHY EATING PLAN
The Delay Ageing Food Plan has a lot of plant foods but does not demand you become a vegetarian or vegan. More what has been termed a ‘reducitarian’ – eating mainly plant protein but with fish and some meat.
|GREEN foods||2 a day||Broccoli, chard, spinach, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, sprouts, rocket, asparagus, green peppers, peas, courgettes/zucchini, celery, leafy salads, mangetout /sugarsnaps|
|RED foods||1-2 a day||Strawberries, raspberries, cherries, red grapes, red pepper, red onion, tomatoes, apples, chilli peppers|
|YELLOW and ORANGE foods||1-2 a day||Carrots, sweet potatoes, oranges, grapefruit, mango, apricot, pumpkin, banana, sweetcorn, squash|
|BLUE and PURPLE foods||1-2 a day||Blueberries, bilberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, black/concord grapes, raisins, plums, aubergine/eggplant, beetroot|
|WHOLE GRAINS||2 a day||Wholegrain bread, cereals, pasta, rice, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, rye, barley, etc|
|Fruit/vegetable JUICE||max 1 a day||Single or mixed fruits or vegetables (pure fruit/veg, no added sugar)|
|PREBIOTIC and HIGH FIBRE foods in addition to fibre in fruits, grains and vegetables||4 -5 times a week||Onions, garlic, leeks, artichokes, lentils, bananas, beans (kidney, haricot, borlotti, black-eye etc), chickpeas and products eg. dhal, hummus. Add occasional fermented foods, like sauerkraut, miso, kefir, tempeh.|
|MUSHROOMS||3 x a week||All eg. chestnut, portobello, oyster, shiitake, maitake, chanterelle, reishi 8|
|HERBS and SPICES||as frequently as you can||Turmeric, ginger, cayenne, chilli, curry powder, basil, thyme, black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, rosemary, nutmeg, sage, coriander, etc. They add health benefits and flavour, reducing need for salt.|
|SOYBEANS and products||1-2 times a week||Tofu, edamame, miso, textured soy protein, natto|
|NUTS and SEEDS||small handful daily||Nuts eg. walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts. Seeds eg. flax (linseeds), chia, hemp, sesame, pine, pumpkin.|
|2-3 times a week||Salmon (esp. wild), herring, trout, anchovy, mackerel, sardines, pilchards. Occasional shellfish eg. prawns (for selenium, zinc).|
|1-2 times a week||Chicken, turkey, game, duck, lamb. You need about 1g a day of protein per gram of body weight. Organic/free range if you can.|
|EGGS (Optional)||up to 7 a week||Organic and free-range hens have better feed quality and lifestyle, and their eggs have higher nutrients.|
|in moderation||Dairy contributes calcium, magnesium and vitamins, but these are also in vegetables. Choose organic milk and butter, real cheeses, especially green and blue, and plain ‘live’ yogurts.|
|Plant-derived FATS and OILS||as needed||Extra virgin olive, flaxseed or hempseed oils for salads and general cooking. Avocado oil for high-temperature frying.|
|DARK CHOCOLATE||2-3 squares daily||Cocoa flavonols are healthy and there’s much less sugar and no dairy compared to milk chocolate.|
|DRINKS||frequent||6-8 glasses equivalent of water-based drinks ie. water, teas (green, black, chamomile, herbal), coffee. Moderate red wine (women 1 glass a day; men 1-2).|
|Comprehensive nutritional health supplement||daily||This eating plan is already far healthier than the average person's diet. But it still falls short of the optimum all-round health-protective nutrition intake in the level and range of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, DNA-protective and immune-supporting nutrients each day.
NutriShield Premium contains 43 protective nutrients in optimum daily amounts - a baseline that reproduces the micro-nutrients in the world's healthiest diets. It's also your safety-net, because in reality we all enjoy the occasional take-away, ready meal, croissant or bacon roll!
EAT FEWER PRO-INFLAMMATORY AND PROCESSED FOODS
|All refined sugar foods||EAT FEWER||Sugary soft drinks, cakes, biscuits, confectionery|
|All refined starchy foods||EAT FEWER||White-flour baked goods, white rice, crisps, snacks|
|Processed and fast foods||EAT FEWER||With high fat, particularly saturated animal fats and excess Omega-6 oils like sunflower, corn and palm|
|Smoked or cured meats||EAT FEWER||eg. Bacon, ham, hot dogs, with nitrosamines linked to cancer|
THE DELAY AGEING FOOD PYRAMID
You will have seen food pyramids before, but ours is inverted, with the foods to eat most of at the top, and foods to eat sparingly at the bottom.
Notice that the inverted foundation consists of vegetables, because veggies contain some of the most protective nutrients and fibre. But there is another reason. When University College London published their study confirming 9-10 portions of fruit and veg a day as optimal, they also showed that consuming vegetables had an even greater protective effect than eating fruit.
ACTIVITY AND LIFESTYLE
|Physical activity||5 times weekly at least half an hour||Brisk walking, active gardening and housework, yoga, exercise and dance classes, gym workouts, swimming, cycling, all kinds of active sport
Some strength training eg. push-ups against the floor or wall or the plank, helps to retain muscle mass as you get older.
|Mind relaxation||daily||eg. an effective 3-minute relaxation exercise.|
|Mental activity||daily||Puzzles, quizzes, planning projects, organising events|
NutriShield Premium Health Supplement
NutriShield Premium contains 6 different combination capsules. It is a supplement that can double the average person’s intake of phyto-nutrients, carotenoids and Omega 3 – as well as providing optimum levels of vitamins and minerals. It was originally designed by Dr Paul Clayton (former Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine), and has been updated and improved every year since.
JointShield Natural Supplement
JointShield Triple Action contains Glucosamine, Curcumin,Boswellia, Vitamins D and K, plus Lecithin and Piperine which increase bioavailability of the other anti-inflammatories.
Delay Ageing book explains the ageing process and how you can postpone it
Medical researchers agree that if you slow ageing, you also delay the onset of age-related disease. And we know that it’s not just nutrition. Sleep, reducing stress and cardio and strength exercise are also essential to longevity and ageing well.
My book Delay Ageing: Healthy to 100, published in 2020, explains the latest ageing science in an accessible way.
It’s been rated 5-star and I am sure you will get a lot of benefit from it, as so many have already.
And if you have got value from this article, why not share it with a friend?
And register now for a free e-newsletter on the latest in nutrition and health research.
- Cardiovascular risk in rheumatoid arthritis - The British Journal of Cardiology (bjcardio.co.uk)
- Learn About The Connection Of Arthritis and Heart Disease Now.
- Inflammation and Cancer: Triggers, Mechanisms, and Consequences - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Understanding the link between inflammation and cancer - Cancer Research UK - Cancer news
- What is inflammation, and why is it dangerous? - Harvard Health
- Inflammation as a central mechanism in Alzheimer's disease - PMC (nih.gov)
- Inflammation as the Potential Basis in Depression - PMC (nih.gov)
- Chronic Inflammation (Inflammaging) and Its Potential Contribution to Age-Associated Diseases | The Journals of Gerontology: Series A | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
- Understanding the link between inflammation and cancer - Cancer Research UK - Cancer news
- Risk Factors: Chronic Inflammation - NCI (cancer.gov)
- The integration of inflammaging in age-related diseases - PubMed (nih.gov)
- The Role of Inflammation in Diabetes: Current Concepts and Future Perspectives - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Beneficial Effects of Vitamins K and D3 on Redox Balance of Human Osteoblasts Cultured with Hydroxyapatite-Based Biomaterials - PMC (nih.gov)
- Nanomedical studies of the restoration of nitric oxide/peroxynitrite b | IJN (dovepress.com)
- A Review of Articular Cartilage Pathology and the Use of Glucosamine Sulfate - PMC (nih.gov)
- Glucosamine sulfate use and delay of progression of knee osteoarthritis: a 3-year, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study - PubMed (nih.gov)
- D-Glucosamine supplementation extends life span of nematodes and of ageing mice | Nature Communications
- Total mortality risk in relation to use of less-common dietary supplements - PMC (nih.gov)
- Glucosamine: an ingredient with skin and other benefits - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials - PMC (nih.gov)
- Effectiveness of Boswellia and Boswellia extract for osteoarthritis patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis - PMC (nih.gov)
- Lycopene as a Natural Antioxidant Used to Prevent Human Health Disorders - PMC (nih.gov)
- Dietary lutein modulates growth and survival genes in prostate cancer cells - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Lycopene: A Natural Arsenal in the War against Oxidative Stress and Cardiovascular Diseases - PMC (nih.gov)
- Beneficial Effects of Betaine: A Comprehensive Review - PMC (nih.gov)
- Betaine in Inflammation: Mechanistic Aspects and Applications - PMC (nih.gov)
- Homocysteine Levels: How They Effect Your Risk for Heart Disease (webmd.com)
- COVID-19: The Inflammation Link and the Role of Nutrition in Potential Mitigation - PMC (nih.gov)
- New Clues To Long Covid: Prolonged Inflammatory Response (forbes.com)