More than 100 different disease conditions have been collectively termed as arthritis. It is a condition characterised by joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. It significantly hinders the joint movement among the patients and adversely affects their regular day-to-day activities.
Though medications are available for this condition, they need to be consumed regularly in order to avoid the suffering and flare-ups due to arthritis. It has been found that with certain changes in the diet and life style patients can experience considerable relief from the disease symptoms.
Thus lately lots of research is being conducted in order to provide the rationale behind the alternate arthritis therapies and home remedies being used from the yester years.
Is alcohol good for Arthritis?
Can I perform my day-to-day activities, now that I have arthritis?
Being a patient with arthritis, should I make any dietary changes?
Is it safe for the patients with arthritis to have alcohol?
These are some common queries that most physicians and doctors have to answer to their patients. It is common to have confusions and questions regarding the changes one needs to make in his/her lifestyle when facing the symptoms of arthritis. Pain and swelling make the lives of the patients extremely troublesome.
There are certain days when the stiffness and inflammation gets severe and hinder the bodily movement considerably among the patients. Thus along with medication, patients need proper care and support from family and friends to recuperate from their symptoms.
Apart from the conventional treatment options; a number of alternate therapies have also been used to relieve the symptoms of arthritis. But due to the lack of scientific evidence most of these alternate therapies do not get prescribed by the doctors. However in recent times some work has been conducted in this respect to provide with natural and effective cure for the symptoms of arthritis.
One such remedy is consumption of a glass of Red Wine. Yes, you read it right? Red Wine!
Patients are usually advised not to consume alcohol as it might increase the occurrence of flare ups and pain due to arthritis. But this is not true for Red wine! This alcoholic beverage helps you cope with your condition and soothes your joints.
Red wine has long been known for its health benefits. It has been found to have cardio-protective functions and to lower the level of ‘Bad’ cholesterol in the body. It has also been known to lower blood sugar level and improve the power of the brain.
Thus the question arises that what makes red wine have so many health benefits in humans?
And the answer is the presence of the polyphenol named Resveratrol (3, 5, -trihydroxy-Trans-stilbene). Resveratrol is a plant-based polyphenol which is found in varying concentrations in different plant sources. The concentration of resveratrol is highest in the skin of red wine grapes. Research proves that resveratrol possesses significant anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, DNA protective and anti-mutation properties. These properties make red wine effective against arthritis.
A group of researchers at Imperial College London, England looked into the mechanism of action of resveratrol found in red wine and confirmed that it possesses anti-inflammatory properties. This group found that resveratrol inhibits the release of inflammatory mediators like Interleukin-8 (IL-8) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) among the patients.
Additionally it was found to inhibit the transcription of iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase) and COX-2 (cyclooxygenase). IL-8 and GM-CSF play important role in recruiting inflammatory leukocytes to the site of inflammation. They also prolong the survival of these inflammatory cells in the body thus triggering the symptoms of pain, joint stiffness and swelling.
This paper proved the effectiveness of resveratrol and also showed that it could be of use in various different inflammatory conditions like COPD, asthma, and arthritis. This paper proposed the use of resveratrol as aerosols to increase bioavailability in case of inflammatory conditions of the respiratory tract . Thus it paved the way towards better understanding of the role of red wine in soothing symptoms of arthritis.
In recent years many groups investigated about the role of resveratrol, and in turn red wine, in treating disease symptoms in the case of arthritis. One such study conducted by the scientists at University of Glasgow looked into the therapeutic effects of resveratrol in treating collagen-induced arthritis in a mice model. In this paper the team administered varying amounts of resveratrol to the arthritic mice model and monitored the level of antibodies and cytokines (determinant of an inflammatory reaction) in the mice
. The results obtained were highly encouraging as they showed that resveratrol results in lowering of inflammatory mediators like cytokine in the serum of the models. This proved that resveratrol could be used to protect against disease development and in alleviating disease symptoms in arthritis.
In has been known that resveratrol inhibits the activation of NF-kappa B by suppressing the release of IL-1beta and TNF-alpha. This was proved through a study conducted in 2007 on experimental rabbits. Arthritis was induced in these models by injecting lipopolysaccharides in the knee joints of the experimental rabbit.
Later these test groups were injected with 10 mmol/kg of intra-articular resveratrol injections daily for a period of two weeks. The cartilage destruction was monitored in these models. It was found that resveratrol group had a decreased proteoglycan content and synovial inflammation.
Thus it was concluded that resveratrol may protect against cartilage damage . Another similar study established that resveratrol treatment significantly reduced the production of COX2 and PGE2 in arthritic rats which results in lowering of paw swelling and cartilage degeneration. This study further evinced the role of resveratrol in alleviating symptoms of arthritis.
In recent times research groups have been investigating the role of resveratrol in treating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis and have come across a number of encouraging results. During one study, aimed to learn about the role of this polyphenol in rheumatoid arthritis, it was found that resveratrol lowers the expression of matrix metallo-proteinases (MMPs) and bone remodelling proteins in in vitro model for rheumatoid arthritis.
This thus protected the cartilage from subsequent matrix degradation and bone resorption . Another study added to this knowledge by proving that polyphenols present in red wine has a significant effect on the expression of genes involved in cell cycle, mitosis, apoptosis and chromosome segregation . These in vitro studies thus proved that resveratrol is an effective therapeutic target and could be used to develop effective anti-arthritic drugs.
Owing to the known positive effects of resveratrol in treating symptoms of arthritis, scientists are now developing chemical derivatives of resveratrol that could be used for anti-inflammatory effects in patients with arthritis.
During one such study, researchers studied about the effects of resveratrol derivatives with amide functionality in exercising an anti-inflammatory role in an inflammatory disease model. One such derivative was thus recognised that strongly inhibited the production of nitric oxide, prostaglandins and tumour necrosis factor in the disease model. This derivative was found to be 2, 4- dihydroxy-N-(4-hydroxyphenyl) benzamide.
This chemical was found to possess the strongest anti-inflammatory role and could thus be further used to develop potent anti-inflammatory agent .
Thus research so far has proven the positive effects of resveratrol the most common polyphenol found in red wine in treating the disease. Further work to establish the role of regular consumption of red wine per se in the patients is desirable to further provide an evidence in support of use of resveratrol in this form among the patients.
With scientific proof, enjoying a glass of wine daily by the patients would be more pleasant. Till then you can take this alcohol in moderate amounts and avail its various health benefits.
What is the right amount of Red Wine that I can take?
It is very important for people to exercise control during the intake of red wine. Alcohol in large amounts deteriorates your disease condition and also affects your health otherwise. Normally alcohol intake is measured in terms of number of “drinks”. One such drink is equivalent to 4 ounces or 120 mL of wine.
For the purpose of therapeutic benefits, patients are advised to take one to two drinks on a daily basis. Red wine in moderate amounts is good for health.
Apart from this we do have resveratrol supplements available in the market. These supplement are generally obtained from plant source, i.e., P.causidatum. Most of these supplements contain 250 to 500 milligrams of resveratrol. However it is not recommended to use such supplements in high doses without consultation with your medical care provider. Many times such supplements interact with your other medications and might have other side effects.
Thus patients must always take advice from their physicians before adding any such supplement in their diet. However use of a glass of red wine is usually harmless and does not require similar monitoring as does the resveratrol supplements.
With more research much more products derived from resveratrol are expected to be introduced in the market to provide the arthritic patients with many treatment options. But for now, it’s a glass of red wine that is prescribed to the arthritic patients !
What precautions should I take while drinking red wine?
Usually red wine has not been associated with any side effects. But like any other product, red wine in excess too might show adverse reactions. These include confusion, flushing, blackouts, seizures, diarrhoea, vomiting, trouble in walking, etc. long term use can have severe health consequences like dependence, cardio-vascular disorders, liver diseases, pancreas problems, mental problems and certain types of cancer.
ence prolonged use must be avoided. Again alcohol is unsafe to be consumed during pregnancy. It might lead to miscarriage or foetal alcohol syndrome. Thus pregnant and nursing women must avoid use of alcohol in any form. Patients suffering from porphyria and other blood related problems must also avoid taking red wine in their diet .
Leading a normal life with arthritis might be tough but is not impossible. With proper medication, regular exercise and strong will-power one can easily fight against the odds. Along with the conventional medicines, patients must try to include some essential elements to their diet in order to relieve from the symptoms of the disease.
Nature is indeed the best medicine. One such medicine is Resveratrol, a polyphenol that has a significant anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effect. Resveratrol can be easily added to your diet through red wine. This alcoholic beverage contains significant amounts of resveratrol and thus helps in fighting against the symptoms of arthritis.
hus this alcohol is beneficial for you and deserves to be included in your daily diet!