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 Beyond Glucosamine Sulfate – Relief From Arthritis Pain 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Women's Nutrition Detective by . View all columns in series

Tomatoes are an ingredient in brown meat sauces like Worcestershire and steak sauce, as well as salad dressings, some luncheon meats, gravies, and baked beans, so read labels carefully. Green olives may be stuffed with pimentos, a sweet red pepper, and dried pepper flakes are frequently sprinkled over pasta dishes. Don’t forget that many spices contain different varieties of peppers including cayenne, chili, paprika, and curry powder. Cayenne pepper is also called capsaicin, an ingredient added to many vitamin and herbal formulas. Yes, it’s important for you to eliminate them for now.

Eliminate Hidden Nightshades
Avoid sauces, especially Thai, barbecue, Cajun, Mexican, Southern, and Jamaican dishes as well as Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire. Prepared mustards usually contain paprika also.

Rogers, Sherry A., MD. Pain Free in 6 Weeks

Test yourself
Is it worth reading labels carefully for two weeks and temporarily avoiding nightshades to identify the source of your arthritis pain? I think it is. Here’s a way to make it a little easier. Spend a day or two getting ready for this experiment, then eliminate all nightshades entirely — 100 percent — for two full weeks. Did your pain subside or disappear during this time? If so, nightshades are a problem for you.

At the end of two weeks, eat one food from the nightshade family by itself, like a tomato or bell pepper, and watch for any reactions. You may feel tired, agitated, your heart may race, you could have more pain, or you could have other undesirable side effects. If so, continue to avoid them for three months or more. If not, bring them back into your diet. Some people with arthritis can eventually add small amounts of nightshades back into their diet – like the amount found in salad dressing. Others can’t. But it’s important to avoid them completely at least for two or three months if they trigger arthritis pain.

Cigarettes and Alcohol
Tobacco is a member of the nightshade family. If you smoke, you won’t know how much it’s contributing to your pain until you stop. If you drink alcohol, avoid vodka. It’s made from fermented potatoes, remember?

Beyond EFAs: cetyl myristoleate
Many great discoveries are made by chance. Cetyl myristoleate (CM), a fatty acid that regulates inflammation and pain, is one of them. Its application for arthritis was discovered accidentally by Harry Diehl, a chemist doing research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). His assignment was to research and develop drugs that would be effective against arthritis. Harry began by injecting laboratory rats with a bacteria-like substance that caused extreme inflammation in their joints. Then he injected this same substance into a strain of mice. Remarkably, the mice remained arthritis-free.

After careful examination, the only difference Harry could find between the rats and mice was that the mice naturally had CM in their joints. Could this fatty acid actually have prevented arthritis in the mice? To find out, he gave the rats CM and then injected them with the arthritis-producing bacteria. None of the rats developed arthritis!

For the next few years, Harry experimented with CM on his own and found that CM not only prevented arthritis, but relieved its pain and symptoms as well. For some reason, the NIH wasn’t interested in Harry’s discoveries. This doesn’t surprise me. After all, you can’t patent CM and sell it through pharmaceutical companies. It’s simply a fatty acid found in fish oils, coconut oil, and other foods that lubricates joints and reduces inflammation.

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 About The Author
Nan Fuchs, Ph.D. is an authority on nutrition and the editor and writer of Women's Health Letter, the leading health advisory on nutritional healing for......moreNan Fuchs PhD
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