Arthritis: A type of milk which may reduce your painful symptoms and what to avoid

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Arthritis is an umbrella term for a range of conditions that cause pain and inflammation in a joint. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting nearly nine million people. According to the NHS, OA initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint – this makes movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness. Milk and dairy products help to keep bones strong but what is the best type of milk for those suffering with arthritis symptoms according to experts and what should be avoided?

There are also claims that avoiding dairy can help with osteoarthritis, said Medical News Today.

The site continued: “Although milk, cheese, and other dairy products can be problematic for some people, these foods can have anti-inflammatory effects in others.

“People who have inflammatory symptoms relating to gout find skimmed and low-fat milk protective against this condition.

“An elimination diet can help people to determine whether or not their symptoms improve or worsen with dairy intake.”

A study reported in the June issue of Arthritis Care & Research found that women who drank low-fat or skim milk experienced a slower progression of knee osteoarthritis.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School, followed 2,148 participants with arthritis symptoms in their knees for four years.

Researchers measured the participants’ joint space in the knee to see how much their osteoarthritis was progressing.

Narrowing of the joint space is a sign that osteoarthritis is getting worse, noted the study.

It concluded that the more milk women (but not men) drank, the less their joint space narrowed.

Tea is one of the most studied drinks when it comes to its benefits for arthritis patients, said the Arthritis Foundation.

The health charity continued: “Green, black and white teas are all rich in polyphenols – compounds from plants that have strong anti-inflammatory effects.

“Green tea is generally viewed as the most beneficial of all because its active ingredient is a polyphenol known as epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG).

“EGCG has been shown to be as much as 100 times stronger in antioxidant activity than vitamins C and E with studies showing it also helps preserve cartilage and bone.”

If deciding to cut out or reduce your amount of dairy products, it’s important to be consuming foods rich in calcium so as to not have your levels drop.

Good sources of calcium include: collard greens; kale; soybeans; chickpeas; almonds; and calcium-fortified juices and non-dairy milks.

Vitamin D is vital for strong bones and can be found in eggs, fortified juices and cereals.

It’s important to check the label of milk substitutes as some contain added sugars.

Soda and other sweet drinks are the main culprits when it comes to added sugars.

Anti-inflammatory diet experts often say you should cut out all added sugars, including agave and honey.

“The more simple sugars we consume, the more gunk our bodies produce as a result of multiple metabolic responses, said nutritionist Jaclyn London.

She added: “This sets off a chain reaction that can increase free radicals, which can be damaging to healthy tissues, and inflammation-promoting cytokines proteins produced by our immune system, which can exacerbate the process of cellular damage.”
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