Dr. Tara Skye Goldin's Newsletter, The Joint Issue Natural Medicine That Gets Results!
June 2010


I have been spending a fair amount of time in the garden and coordinating landscaping. The summer heat has already hit here for a few days here and there. The spinach has already started to bolt. I think with the early heat wave that we have been having I may need to learn about shade cloth.

I am a haphazard gardener. My family never gardened while I was growing up so I have learned things from friends and books here and there. The latest and greatest thing I learned a few years ago was using straw as mulch to retard the weeds. This is a good thing since I am also a lazy gardener....

Which also brings us to this month's newsletter topic. Joint health. I choose to present it during the summer since that is when many of us get more active. Longer bicycle rides, rock climbing, long hikes into the high country.... and sometimes as we age the knees, back, hands, shoulders, hips, etc. don't perform the way they used to. While aging is a natural consequence of the years going by, it is a bummer when we lose our abilities to do what we love. This particular issue contains some information to nutritionally support our bodies musculoskeletal system. Rock on!

in this issue
Gluten Arthritis Connection Glucosamine sulfate in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using acetaminophen as a side comparator. Boswellia serrata (Frankincense) for Arthritis and other Inflammatory conditions Fish Oil for Arthritis Pain Relief Salmon Recipes (always use wild salmon!) An Apparent Relation of Nightshades (Solanaceae) to Arthritis

Glucosamine sulfate in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using acetaminophen as a side comparator.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of the prescription formulation of glucosamine sulfate (1,500 mg administered once daily) on the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (OA) during a 6-month treatment course. METHODS: Three hundred eighteen patients were enrolled in this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial in which acetaminophen, the currently preferred medication for symptomatic treatment of OA, was used as a side comparator. Patients were randomly assigned to receive oral glucosamine sulfate 1,500 mg once daily (n = 106), acetaminophen 3 gm/day (n = 108), or placebo (n = 104). From Arthritis Rheumatology

Boswellia serrata (Frankincense) for Arthritis and other Inflammatory conditions

Animal studies performed in India show ingestion of a defatted alcoholic extract of Boswellia decreased polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration and migration, decreased primary antibody synthesis, (1,2) and almost totally inhibited the classical complement pathway. (3) In an in vitro study of the effects of beta-boswellic acid on the complement system, the extract demonstrated a marked inhibitory effect on both the classical and alternate complement pathways. (4) An investigation of Boswellia's analgesic and psychopharmacological effects noted marked sedative and analgesic effects in animal models. (5) From Alternative Medicine Review

Fish Oil for Arthritis Pain Relief

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA. The potential benefit of fish oils on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been the subject of many previous studies. Overall, the results suggest that fish oil supplements containing the omega 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can reduce stiffness and pain. But could these supplements also help reduce the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in RA patients? From Journal of Rheumatology

Salmon Recipes (always use wild salmon!)

Salmon is high in omega 3 fatty acids which as written in the previous article will help to combat inflammation, while also improving brain function. An all around good source of nutrition. Always use wild salmon in your recipes to avoid contaminants. Enjoy!

An Apparent Relation of Nightshades (Solanaceae) to Arthritis

Diet appears to be a factor in the etiology of arthritis based on surveys of over 1400 volunteers during a 20-year period. Plants in the drug family, Solanaceae (nightshades) are an important causative factor in arthritis in sensitive people. This family includes potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.), eggplant (Solanum melongena L.), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.), and peppers (Capsicum sp.) of all kinds except the black pepper (family, Piperaceae). A buildup of cholinesterase inhibiting glycoalkaloids and steroids from consumption and/or use (tobacco) of the nightshades and from other sources such as caffeine and some pesticides (organophosphates and carbamates) may cause inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis appears to be a result of long-term consumption and/or use of the Solanaceae which contain naturally the active metabolite, vitamin D3, which in excess causes crippling and early disability (as seen in livestock). Rigid omission of Solanaceae, with other minor diet adjustments, has resulted in positive to marked improvement in arthritis and general health.From the Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery

Gluten Arthritis Connection

JOINT VENTURE Ties between arthritis and gluten intolerance.

By Dr. Steve Windley, M.D.

A common source of pain, arthritis is chronic inflammation of the joint tissue which can lead to deformity and joint destruction. Sometimes, arthritis arises from previous trauma or injury. Other cases may be due to an overuse of a specific joint. Often, the joints acquire the injury from the immune system attacking the joint tissues, referred to as an autoimmune reaction. Now, gluten intake has been pinpointed as a possible factor in the effects of autoimmune reaction.

Arthritis pain could, in many cases, be linked to the ingestion of gluten. This protein, found in wheat, barley and rye, is also problematic for those with a genetic intolerance, called celiac disease, thought to be present in approximately 1 in 100 to 1 in 150 people. Research has been done on possible correlations between gluten and arthritis. Multiple studies have shown that gluten may affect or worsen arthritis, and by avoiding gluten, patients may see notable improvements [1,2]. This avoidance might improve various forms of arthritis, including that associated with other autoimmune problems like psoriasis [3]. The gluten connection commonly affects the major joints, such as the knees or the spine, but is not limited to these areas [4].

It is interesting to note that gluten intolerance may have a significant impact on joint pain in children. There is evidence suggesting gluten intolerance could be higher in children with chronic arthritis pain. This is very important as it may impact the child's pain outcome and potentially several other conditions related to gluten intolerance, such as weakened bone density or thyroid disorders.

There are blood tests that can test for the presence of celiac disease. While some patients don't actually have the genetic intolerance to gluten, they might still feel substantially better by significantly limiting or completely eliminating gluten from their diet. This could be particularly important for children. Though dietary changes are often difficult for children, it may be worth the effort for a young one with chronic pain from an unknown cause. The same could be said for an adult with a history of other problems related to celiac disease, such as osteoporosis, bowel issues or thyroid problems.

While gluten intolerance will not be the cause of every case of arthritis, there is enough evidence to suggest gluten as a possible culprit for many. This ailment should be considered for unresponsive cases of arthritis in both children and adults.


1. Bourne, J.T., Kumar, P., Huskisson, E.C., et al. (1985). Arthritis and coeliac disease. Ann Rheum Dis, 44.(9):592-598.

2. Lubrano, E., Ciacci, C., Ames, P.R., et al. (1996). The arthritis of coeliac disease: prevalence and pattern in 200 adult patients. Br J Rheumatol, 35.(12):1314-1318.

3. Michaelsson, G., Gerden, B., Hagforsen, E., Nilsson, B., Pihl-Lundin, I., Kraaz, W., et al. (2000). Psoriasis patients with antibodies to gliadin can be improved by a gluten-free diet. Br J Dermatol, 142(1):44-51.

4. Holden, W. (2003). Enteropathic arthritis. Rheum Dis Clin North Am, 29(3):513-30, viii.

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