By Dr Harold Gunatillake Health Writer
All types of arthritis affecting single or multiple joints cause stiffness, pain, swelling and progressive disabilities. It is a scourge of old-age. As there is no definitive allopathic cure, people would seek any form of treatment to get relief, even from unqualified charlatans…
Therapeutically there is no cure, allopathic treatment cannot halt the disease and ultimately surgical replacement may be a cure with certain tolerable side effects. Meanwhile, for relief, people with arthritis may apply liniments, anti-inflammatory balms as counter-irritants, non-steroid type of anti-inflammatory drug therapy (NSAID), heat, cold, long term physiotherapy, herbal and ayurvedic treatments, acupuncture and other therapies, with invariably poor results.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in Western countries; in the USA prevalence of osteoarthritis ranges from 3.2% to 33% depending on the joint. Its prevalence increases with age, and sex differences are evident. It is now prevalent in Asian countries, like Sri Lanka, the incidence seems to be increasing as the populations seems to live much longer years. It can also create substantial disability. The risk of disability attributable to knee osteoarthritis alone is greater than any other medical disorder in the elderly, apart from cardiac diseases.
Obesity seems to be one of the main factors for increased arthritic conditions, especially in the weight bearing joints.
Promising results from Bromelain in pineapples
Bromelain is not exclusively found in pineapple. It is mainly concentrated in the stem and the core of the pineapple more than in the fruit. So don't throw away that tough, fiberous core! Just chop it up, throw it in a blender with some water and pulse to convert it to juice. Drink this all alone as your between-meal arthritis-healing snack of choice, so that the enzymes go straight to work digesting the gunk in your joints. Don't add other fruits or veggies to the juice, because the bromelain will ignore your joints and digest the other food instead.
In addition to smaller quantities of Bromelain, the flesh of the pineapple fruit has hefty doses of vitamin C and manganese, both of which are vital to joint repair.
Bromelain and Vitamin C weaken with cooking, so it's best to eat your pineapple raw. Fruit skewers alternating fresh pineapple chunks with strawberries are a great way to do that. But grilled and cooked pineapple is extraordinarily tasty too, and the manganese is heat-stable, so you will benefit no matter what you do with it. (Just don't rely on canned pineapple – you'll never get the Vitamin C or the Bromelain that way).
Bromelain for Knee Osteoarthritis
This data therefore provided a plausible basis for the further assessment of Bromelain in musculoskeletal disorders.
Ref: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2004 December
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