by Max Aspinall: Nutritional Researcher and QRA Practitioner - 24th of November, 2015
The Devils Claw
This last week has seen the celebration of the lives of 2 great rugby geniuses, Jonah Lomu who, I have to confess, heightened my interest in the game of rugby. He changed rugby forever, in my eyes anyway. He changed the game from thuggery to thrilling in a matter of moments. Of course his success was also due to the foresight of the rugby administrators picking him out and looking after him. That though, is another story which will be told by others for many years to come.
The other celebration of rugby this last week was the retirement of Richie McCaw. Once again he shows us all, his class. The world is full of ‘World’ leaders and not one can show us that class of leadership. They all belong to someone, only the odd one or 2 stands head and shoulders above others. In this Richie is not just a leader he is a world class leader and they are almost a non-existent breed in our money obsessed greedy world in which we all struggle with for personal survival.
While honouring these 2 great ambassadors for the game of rugby, give a thought for what this throws up. Jonah died suddenly of a heart condition, so we are told, aged 40 and November 11, Laurent Vidal, Andrea Hewitt's fiancé and coach, dies suddenly in his sleep aged 31. We expect our top sports people to be getting the best dietary advice and it seems that doesn’t always work. The common thread amongst these 3 men has been their commitment to maintaining great physical shape. And avoiding rheumatoid arthritis is about us maintaining good physical shape over our whole life.
When Dr Leonard Hayflick tested human cells in the 1960’s he determined the average healthy life of a human cell should be 125 years. Having our joints fail early in life must suggest we are doing something very wrong to ourselves. And these early deaths have to make us wonder. These world class athletes and humans, people we need as leaders, miss out on so many years of life that they were due for.
As we have just lost 2 real leaders, I trust Richie McCaw returns to other and more important battles in the future, he is world class and we need people such as him in the front line for a long time to come.
Another of the dominant matters many of us have to face as we age is rheumatoid arthritis and that is caused by another tough, unyielding, fit, crafty and deadly other life form. A bacteria, in this case, the porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria. This bacteria causes the inflammatory condition, rheumatoid arthritis, and that begins with, what we know as, gingivitis. Researchers from Halle-Wittenberg of Germany's Martin-Luther University (MLU) concluded:
"DNA of periodontopathogens can be found in synovial fluid and oral bacteria may play a role in the pathogenesis of arthritis.”
This research has been confirmed at other universities around the world including our New Zealand Dunedin School of Medicine. While rheumatoid arthritis has a number of causes, this porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria plays an important role in the condition’s initial development. This is the main culprit in the cause of inflammation we know as rheumatoid arthritis. It works something like this. The joint cartilage that allows our joints to flex contains cells called chondrocytes. These cells act as sponges for the synovial fluid, which together protects our body’s joints. The synovial fluid provides these sponge cells with the oxygen and nutrients the cells need to keep healthy. The synovial fluid feeds these cells. The porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria causes inflammation in these cells and this inflammation stops the cells from receiving the synovial fluids that feed them. The chondrocytes (spongy cells) then turn on themselves and feed off each other: Result is rheumatoid arthritis. How these cells receive the synovial fluid in the first place is simple. We move, the joints flex and move. To do so, moves the synovial fluid around supporting the joint due to the pressure created by our movement, this causes the cells to take up and then return the fluid back into the capsule that is the tank where the synovial fluid is stored in the joint(s).
The synovial fluid is the shock absorbing fluid that over time decreases in the nutrient density needed due to our ageing or slowing down processes as do the chondrocyte cells also, therefore as time passes we become less agile. The secret is for us to maintain full movement of the body. Walking or running over uneven ground and over and under obstacles is wonderful for all our joints. Playing sport where we move and twist the body and doing Tai Chi and yoga are also vital for joint health. This keeps the chondrocyte cells flexing and moving the synovial fluid in and out feeding these spongy cells. This ensures we constantly clear, clean and refill these cells with nutrients the synovial fluid has to provide. Therefore we also must have a diet that provides the basic nutrients the synovial fluid needs to carry out this task.
So the health of our gums and teeth ensuring we avoid gingivitis is vital in insuring the joints chondrocyte cells don’t become inflamed, blocking the ability of the synovial fluid to interact freely between the synovial capsule and the chondrocyte cells during movement. This is rheumatoid arthritis.
The porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria remains in the body once it has become established and then is difficult to dislodge. Once we have had gingivitis the bacteria once beaten back, lies dormant waiting in the body for a chance to come out and attack. Its cue to act is when we remain in a sedentary position often for long hours, particularly sitting doing nothing such as watching TV or working at the computer. Stress also elevates its activity.
The secret to allowing our body to heal itself when joint pain caused by inflammation occurs, is for us to ensure the health of these regions of the body; our joints. Firstly there must be regular if not constant movement and as little time spent sitting as is possible. The most dangerous of the sitting postures is when under tension. Working on the computer, watching full length movies and other such passive past-times.
Then there is nutrition. We must feed the synovial fluid. To do so causes the chondrocyte cells to want to release the causes of the inflammation, overcoming the bacteria and the debris from the inflammation, sending both into the body’s intercellular fluids. There it is attacked by the immune system and deposed of through the body’s waste cycle. As we age we require to increase the bodies nutritional and movement need, yet the tendency is for us to do the exact opposite. To do the exact opposite is committing suicide. Our body finds someway of relieving the pain through such mechanism as stroke, heart failure, and cancer etc.
What foods nourish the synovial fluid? Top of the list is Devils Claw. Other foods are green tea, turmeric, garlic (the bodies and natures natural antibiotic. It also works on all animals and plants) These are powerful antioxidants and our need for them tells us we haven’t over earlier years consumed enough antioxidants, and now we pay the price. The price in money and in having devalued our health and life and often the life of those closest to us. We will have passed on poor nutritional guidance to the rest of our family through our diet being deficient over the years and this teaches the others in our family our poor nutritional habits.
Inheriting rheumatoid arthritis is more pathetic than it is genetic. Then having to find a good source of quality aptly named Devils Claw is not easy. (There are a number of common weeds in New Zealand that are considered the equal of Devils Claw.)
Taking drugs to relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis is to completely ignore the causes. Taking drugs will increase the severity of the condition and increasingly shorten a life, guaranteeing and early death. That death will be certified as another cause, but that cause will have been brought about by the increasing severity of the rheumatoid arthritis nutritional deficit conditions which was depleting the body through continuing the poor nutritional habits. It is unwise allowing the condition to continue to develop under the fog of the relief the dulling action of the drugs that are used to treat the symptoms. This escalates the causes, rather than facing and addressing them. The causes being a combination of physical laziness and a poor diet over many years. And we pass these poor personal habits on to our offspring who then inherit a shortened life unless they mend their ways. It is time also that we are told the truth about these conditions. Then we are all able to take control of our health instead of just being treated with toxic medical chemicals that seldom if ever achieve the desired outcomes.