Going Green on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes pain and swelling in the joints. I’m not a sufferer myself, however, the disease runs in my family and my father is someone that lives with it every day.
Currently, there is no cure for RA. Treatment for this disease is based on reducing the inflammation to slow the progression of the disease. In my father’s own search for Rheumatoid arthritis natural remedies and pain relief, he came across an interesting medical study conducted on mice that were fed green tea.
The study, led by Dr. Tariq Haqqi of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, used mice to study the effect of polyphenols in rheumatoid arthritis. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants found in matcha green tea.
The mice in the study were given either plain water or water enriched with green tea. The dosages given were comparable to human consumption of four cups of green tea per day. All the mice were then injected with collagen for the purpose of inducing arthritis. Collagen-induced arthritis is considered very similar to human rheumatoid arthritis.
The study results concluded that mice which were fed the green tea polyphenols were significantly less susceptible to developing collagen-induced arthritis than the mice not fed green tea polyphenols. Of the mice fed green tea that did develop arthritis, it occurred as late onset and mild. Only 8 out of 18 mice receiving green tea polyphenols developed arthritis, while 17 out of 18 mice not receiving green tea polyphenols developed arthritis
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.
In many countries such as India, China, and Japan, green tea is regarded as healthful with the potential to prevent certain illnesses. Seemingly, rheumatoid arthritis in these countries exists at a much lower rate than elsewhere around the world and some people believe strongly in the effect of green tea.
EGCG (epigallocatechin 3-gallate) is the polyphenol in green tea which is considered to be the active ingredient. According to a report in Arthritis Research & Therapy (2010), EGCG constitutes up to 63% of total catechins. In terms of antioxidant activity, EGCG is 25 to 100% more potent than vitamin C or vitamin E. One cup of green tea provides 60 to 125 mg catechins (including EGCG).
My father is now a daily drinker of Matcha green tea. Unlike ordinary green tea, 1 cup of matcha is equal to the nutritional content of 10 cups of regular brewed green tea. Matcha is a great supplement to add to your diet and the health benefits have been proven time and time again.
Matcha is not a cure for arthritis by any means, however, studies have proven that it is an excellent preventative measure to include a few cups of green tea to your daily diet. It certainly won’t hurt and at the very least will help keep your immune system fighting strong.
There are many other sources in the plant world where studies have shown that they can also relieve pain and swelling brought on by arthritis. The health benefits of turmeric and curcumin are also excellent complementary treatments for arthritis.