Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. A flare-up describes what happens when a person experiences a particularly painful episode.
A flare-up can be difficult to predict, but with treatment it’s possible to decrease the number of flares and minimise or prevent long-term damage to the joints.
Taking certain supplements can help people to manage their condition.
Participants showed significant improvements related to joint pain
Evidence suggests a type of omega-6 fatty acid found in evening primrose oil, black current oil and borage oil can to help to reduce rheumatoid arthritis inflammation.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, one of the most promising studies was a placebo-controlled trial of 56 patients with active RA who received 2.8 g GLA.
Participants showed significant improvements related to joint pain, stiffness and grip strength at six months and progressive improvement in control of disease activity at one year.
Evening primrose oil is a rich source of GLA.
A smaller study found that a combination of evening primrose oil and fish oil (Efamol) significantly reduced the need for conventional pain relievers.
Another study found taking evening primrose oil helped ease morning stiffness in patients with the condition, said Holland and Barrett.
Commenting on the effectiveness of evening primrose oil, Versus Arthritis said, while the evidence isn’t conclusive, it may “help in the regulation of pain and inflammation”.
Holland and Barrett also outlined other health benefits of taking GLA rich supplements.
“It’s thought the GLA in evening primrose oil may improve acne, by reducing inflammation and minimising scarring,” noted the health body.
The health site pointed to a Korean study which found that GLA reduced inflammation in acne sufferers.
“But more evidence is needed before EPO can be recommended as an acne treatment,” it added.
In terms of dosage, Arthritis Foundation advised 2g to 3g daily in divided doses of either capsules or oil.
Devil’s claw supplements may also help to ease arthritis symptoms. According to the Arthritis Foundation: “Harpagoside, the active ingredient in devil’s claw, appears to reduce pain and inflammation in joints.”
According to Holland and Barrett: “As a traditional herbal medicine, it’s used for the relief of backache, rheumatic or muscular pain, and general aches and pains in the muscles and joints,” said Holland and Barrett.
Devil’s claw can be found in teas, tablets and capsules.
It’s also available in beauty products such as herbal bath soaks, gels and massage oils, says Holland Barrett.
“While there is no set upper limit, the European Medicines Agency guidelines do not advise exceeding 800mcg to 1g of devil’s claw a day,” cautioned the health site.
Source: Read Full Article