I have several relatives and friends who suffer from osteoarthritis. That’s not surprising.
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the U.S. More than 30 million Americans suffer from it.
Perhaps you have the condition yourself.
It strikes when the cartilage in joints wears down from overuse or injury. Bone rubs against bone, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Doctors commonly treat osteoarthritis with cortisone shots. But a recent study found these injections often do more harm than good. They can actually speed up the progression of arthritis, making it worse.
After getting cortisone, some patients end up with serious complications. These include stress fractures, bone deterioration, and joint destruction.
Fortunately, there are effective natural approaches to relieving osteoarthritis that are safer than cortisone injections. One that is often overlooked is bromelain (pronounced BRO-muh-lane). It’s a mixture of enzymes extracted from the pineapple plant.
Bromelain has a long history of use in traditional medicine throughout Central and South America. Researchers at Britain’s University of Southampton analyzed 10 clinical studies testing bromelain. That concluded that it effectively reduces stiffness, pain, and swelling of the knee and shoulder.
A study published in the journal Clinical Rheumatology looked at 103 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Researchers randomly assigned 52 of them to take a daily mix of enzymes featuring bromelain. The remaining 51 took the painkiller drug diclofenac (Voltaren). After six weeks, the patients rated the bromelain mix as being just as effective as diclofenac. And they found bromelain safer and more tolerable than other arthritis meds.
A study published in the journal Biomedical Reports reviewed therapeutic uses for bromelain. Researchers concluded the supplement lowers production of TGF-beta. It’s a compound that causes inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Other Benefits of Bromelain
Studies have found that bromelain can treat other conditions as well…
- Heart disease. A review of medical literature published in the journal Biotechnology Research International found bromelain lowered the risk of stroke, peripheral artery disease, and heart attack. This is partly due to bromelain’s ability to inhibit blood clots.
- Muscle pain. A study from North Carolina’s Elon University had participants run for 30 minutes at 80% of their maximum heart rate. Some of the runners were given an enzyme mix featuring bromelain. The others took a placebo. Afterward, the bromelain group had less muscle pain.
Bromelain is widely available from online retailers and health food stores. For dosage, consult product labels.
Talk to your doctor before taking it. It can potentially increase the effects of sedatives, antibiotics, blood thinners, and anti-seizure drugs.
Bromelain can sometimes cause mild side effects when taken in large doses. These include nausea and diarrhea.
If you suffer from osteoporosis pain, don’t get a cortisone shot until you try this natural solution first.