Reviewed by Dr Jeffrey Lederman, DO
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is the breakdown of the cartilage tissue that cushions the ends of the bones between the joints to prevent the bones from rubbing against each other. When the cartilage breaks down, bone ends make direct contact, which can result in bone spurs, abnormal bone hardening, inflammation and pain. Bones can become more brittle and fracture more easily.
Osteoarthritis is often called “wear and tear” arthritis because its onset is usually gradual, over the course of many years, and often due to an unhealthy aging process, such as a poor, high-inflammatory diet, obesity and intensive, repetitive motions from manual labor or certain athletic activities. Osteoarthritis also can occur as a result of trauma or injury.
Vitamins C, D and K2 could help prevent osteoarthritis or mitigate its effects.
Vitamin C helps develop, protect and repair the body tissue, and as a result, may help prevent or reduce the severity of osteoarthritis.
Vitamin C helps the body make collagen, which is part of the cartilage tissue that cushions the ends of the bones between the joints. Without enough Vitamin C, the body cannot properly repair and maintain the collagen tissue, which may lead to the breakdown of cartilage in osteoarthritis.
Vitamin C also is an antioxidant that helps protect the body’s cells from free radicals, which are highly reactive, destructive molecules that cause inflammation and that can damage body tissues including cartilage. Protecting the body’s cells from free radicals may also defend it against osteoarthritis.
Foods high in Vitamin C include oranges, lemons, chili peppers, dark leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, and herbs like parsley and thyme.
Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 work together to maintain bone health, which is important in warding off osteoarthritis. Vitamin D promotes bone strength because it helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamin K2 helps direct the calcium to the bones and helps prevent calcium loss from the bones. Vitamin K2 helps direct calcium to where the body needs it – the skeleton – and helps prevent the calcium from being deposited where the body doesn’t want it, such as into the blood and arteries.
Sources of Vitamin D include sunlight, mushrooms, salmon, tuna, mackerel and fish liver oils. Vitamin K2 is found in sauerkraut, fermented cheeses, dairy foods like grass fed butter and organ meats.
Written by Jessica Braun
Jessica is a writer and an editor at WholesomeOne. She can be reached at jessica.braun[at]wholesomeone[dot]com.
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- Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/drb62/480699341