Most of you might have come across people suffering from joint pains. Previously it used to be considered as an old age problem, but now it seems to be following -“NO AGE LIMIT”- many people are found suffering from it irrespective of their age.
Why do joint pains occur and what can be the cause for it? Majority of the chronic joint pains are due to rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. In this article, I would like to focus on rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder which means your immune cells are actually harming your body cells.
It is caused due to inflammation of the lining of the joints, resulting in painful swelling around the joint, unlike osteoarthritis. This, in the long term, leads to bone deformation.
So, you need to know something with such anti-inflammatory action plus lesser or no side effects.
Well, I guess these researches conducted in this regard, should help you find one.
One such research is the one conducted by Mr.Ahmed, an investigator at the University of Michigan Health System, in Ann Arbor on green tea and its role in reducing the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.
He has done a laboratory experiment, where the researchers isolated the cells called synovial fibroblasts from the joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
They found that the lining around the joints in the patients was inflamed, leading to the chronic pain.
Researchers then cultured the collected cells and exposed them to Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), an active ingredient in green tea extract and stimulated the immune proteins that cause the degradation.
From this research, they found that the cells near the joints that were pre-treated with green tea and then stimulated were better able to block the synthesis of proteins and enzymes that are causing the damage.
The team also found that EGCG even have that mode of action which the latest pain killers have.
Mr.Ahmed also stated that through his studies, it is hard to quantify the exact effect on suppression, but he was certain that the active ingredient EPCG present in Green Tea supplements significantly blocked the synthesis of damaging proteins in rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr.Tariq Haqqi of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and his team of researchers used mice to study the effect of polyphenols from green tea extract benefits in rheumatoid arthritis.
Researchers initially injected plain water to few mice and water containing polyphenols from green tea extract equivalent to four cups of green tea a day. Then, they also induced Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in mice.
With this, they observed that only eight of 18 mice which were given green tea extract developed Arthritis whereas seventeen mice out of 18 in the placebo/control group developed arthritis as they do not have antioxidants. Even in those eight mice it was a delayed onset and a mild response unlike in the control group.
Examination of joint tissue microscopically revealed marginal infiltration of joint cells in mice receiving the green tea in contrast with massive infiltration in the mice not fed green tea. The effect of the green tea appeared dramatic.
Hence, this research shows that antioxidants from green tea extract are effective against arthritis. So, they can either reduce it or prevent it.
Researchers also point out there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that people living in India, China and Japan — where green tea consumption is high – have lower rates of rheumatoid arthritis.
Salah-uddin Ahmed, Ph.D., research professor, internal medicine-rheumatology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor. Experimental Biology 2007, April 29, 2007, Washington, D.C.
Singh R, Akhtar N, Haqqi TM. 2010. Green tea polyphenols epigallocatechin-3- gallate: Inflammation and arthritis. Life Sci. 2010 Jun 19;86(25-26):907-18. Erratum in: Life Sci. 2010 Jul 31;87(5-6):196.