If you suffer the pains and aches of arthritis, the bacteria in beef may be the source of your problem.
That’s right – research now shows that not only is beef implicated in many cases of rheumatoid arthritis, but what you eat – no matter what kind of arthritis you have – may have plenty to do with the aches you feel in your joints.
Unfortunately, conventional medicine has mostly tackled arthritis with painkillers, mainly anti-inflammatory drugs. But research now proves that natural methods, such as changing your diet, may work just as well – or better.
They could hardly be worse than the NSAID drugs that are the “standard of care.”
These drugs send more than a hundred thousand people a year to the hospital and cause about 16,500 deaths. Those figures are based on a 1998 study for which there has been no follow-up, probably because the drug companies and the medical profession don’t want to know more.
In view of the horrendous casualty list, they probably think the less said, the better.
But for those like myself who have arthritis pain, there’s an urgent need to find natural solutions, and this article looks at one of the most promising. . .
Move Better With Less Pain
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, tests now show that following a vegan diet may significantly ease its destructive, painful effects. This form of arthritis is fairly rare compared to the common osteoarthritis, and that’s a good thing because it’s a major health disaster.
A review study in India that looked at a wide collection of studies into how food affects arthritis concludes that a year on a vegan diet produces a “remarkable decrease in swollen and tender joints and pain” in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
In one of the studies the authors reviewed, the folks on a vegan diet (no meat and dairy or any other animal products) started their regimen with a week-long, medically supervised fast. During the pre-vegan fast, people could consume a modicum of vegetable broth, vitamin and mineral supplements, water, parsley, garlic and some juice extracts.
The Indian researchers note that vegan diets “have been repeatedly reported to be clinically beneficial.”1
Contaminated Meat and Milk
One reason that vegan diets may help with arthritis is revealed by a study at the University of Central Florida. The researchers there stumbled on a connection between rheumatoid arthritis and a strain of bacteria with the long-winded name Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis. You will be relieved to know I’m just going to call it MAP for short.
The researchers point out that MAP can be picked up by humans by eating infected beef or drinking infected milk. About half of all beef and milk contain this microbe.
The MAP bacteria have also been found to be involved in Crohn’s disease – a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. People suffering from both of these conditions share some of the same genetic susceptibilities.
“Here you have two inflammatory diseases, one affects the intestine and the other affects the joints, and both share the same genetic defect and are treated with the same drugs,” says Florida researcher Saleh Naser. “Do they have a common trigger? That was the question we raised and set out to investigate.”
It seems they both are linked to the MAP bacteria. According to Naser, if you have the genetic mutation that makes you more vulnerable to rheumatoid arthritis, exposure to these bacteria in your food may be the impetus that sets off the disease.
Other Lifestyle Choices Affect Arthritis Pain
Aside from a vegan diet, researchers have found other ways to fight both rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis:
- A study in Sweden found that going on a Mediterranean diet, eating mostly fruits and vegetables along with fish and limited meat, can reduce the inflammation of arthritis. The researchers also noted that the diet produced “an increase in physical function, and improved vitality.”2
- Lab studies in the Middle East have shown that a mixture of turmeric and ginger can help control the symptoms of arthritis. These herbs are well-known as natural anti-inflammatories. They may also protect against heart problems and other health issues that afflict folks with rheumatoid arthritis.3
- Research at Duke University demonstrates that for older people with rheumatoid arthritis, a walking program that involves very brisk walking can cut back on arthritic inflammation, improve the function of the immune system and boost cardiovascular fitness.4
If you have the much more common osteoarthritis – also associated with inflammation — then consuming a prebiotic that feeds your beneficial gut bacteria may help your joint problems.
A study at the University of Rochester Medical Center shows that taking the prebiotic oligofructose may produce a change in your digestive bacteria that cuts inflammation in your knees and other joints. Researchers have not yet figured out exactly how this happens. But the finding parallels other research showing that the well-being of your gut bacteria can strongly influence the rest of your body.5
Now, most of these recommendations for arthritis – eating more fruits and vegetables and getting more exercise – improve your health whether you have arthritis or not. In fact, lifestyle hacks like these almost always lower inflammation — the chief culprit in arthritis and just about every chronic health issue.
So even if your joints aren’t bothering you right now, why not start living healthy today?