Vitafoods Asia 2019



25-26 September 2019  




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Osteoarthritis : alternative therapies for oestoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a inflammation in joints.

Arthritis is a general term that means inflammation in joints. It can be prevented and relieved with alternative therapies.


Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis. It is associated with a breakdown of cartilage in joints and can occur in almost any joint in the body. Cartilage is a protein substance that serves as a "cushion" between the bones of the joints.


Osteoarthritis commonly affects the hands, feet, spine and large weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees.


Symptoms of osteoarthritis


Symptoms of arthritis include pain and limited function of joints. Inflammation of the joints from arthritis is characterized by joint stiffness, swelling, redness, and warmth. Tenderness of the inflamed joint can be present.


Pain can be felt after overuse or after long periods of inactivity. Joints may become aching and sore during movement.


Arthritis is primarily a proinflammatory disease. As such, a better understanding of the pro-inflammatory nature of arthritis is essential if new therapies are to succeed.


The role of inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, interleukin IL-1b, IL-6 and chemokines; inflammatory enzymes such as cyclooxygenase (COX-2), 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-9, MMP-3) in the pathogenesis of arthritis is well documented. Almost all of the inflammatory mediators linked to arthritis have been shown to be regulated by the transcription factor nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB).



Osteoarthritis alternative therapies 

The treatment of arthritis is very dependent on the precise type of arthritis present.


The goals of any treatment plan for OA include:


    • Controlling pain and other symptoms,
    • Improving your ability to function in daily activities,
    • Slowing the progress of the disease.


    Osteoarthritis usually is treated by physical therapy with muscle strenghtening exercises, cold or hot pack applications, removal of joint fluid, weight control, oral and injected medications. In some cases, surgery can be necessary and helpful to relieve the pain, when other options have been ineffective.




    Most people with osteoarthritis will use drug therapy to ease the symptoms of the disease. For pain control and swelling, treatment includes analgesics such as acetaminophen and opioids, NSAIDs, and intra-articular therapies such as glucocorticoids. In addition, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are used to modify the clinical and radiological course of RA. Examples include methotrexate (MTX), sulfasalazine, leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine and newer therapies such as anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α therapy, anti-CD20 therapy (rituximab) and abatacept. However, all of these agents are associated with numerous side effects [1].


    Agents derived from plants that can modulate the expression of pro-inflammatory signals clearly have potential against arthritis. Diacerin, glucosamine, chondroitine or unsaponifiables from soy and avocado are used for chondroprotection. But their efficacy on pain relief is very limited and only occurs over time (slow-acting drugs).



    [1] Khanna D, Sethi G, Ahn KS, Pandey MK, Kunnumakkara AB, Sung B,
    Aggarwal A, Aggarwal BB. Natural products as a gold mine for arthritis treatment. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2007; 7: 344-351.