Think you know everything about arthritis?

It’s arthritis month and millions of North Americans are suffering from osteoarthritis, the wear and tear type, associated with aging. Why does this happen? And why does one remedy never hit the headlines?

A French professor started his class by saying, “This has been said before, but must be said again, because no one listened.” So it must be said again about osteoarthritis because not enough people listened!

An aphorism states, “If you keep going to hell, you’ll eventually get there.” Millions of people eventually get to an arthritic hell because they’re obese. How can anyone not expect to develop painful hips and knees when they are subjected day after day to 50 or more extra pounds of stress? Remember what happens when you keep adding weight to the camel’s back.

Again, if you don’t use it, you lose it. How many times must doctors stress the value of exercise? But you don’t need an expensive health club to keep joints healthy. After all, lions don’t need Nike running shoes to stay in shape. Neither do you.

President Abraham Lincoln gave sound advice when he said, “You have the best two doctors in your own body, your left leg and your right leg.” Walking pumps nutrients into cartilage and is the safest way to exercise and burn calories.

Eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants. They help to keep joints healthy. Take calcium if you’re not getting sufficient dairy products. And add vitamin D to push calcium into bones. All this has been said before.

So what haven’t you heard before? It’s the vital role of “big doses” of vitamin C. “C” protects cartilage, the shock absorber between bones. You may think this is a wild idea. But let’s look at the best way to evaluate problems by using some irrefutable scientific facts.

Linus Pauling, the only two-time Nobel Prize winner, told me years ago what I never learned at The Harvard Medical School. Animals make their own vitamin C while humans lost this ability in the process of evolution. For instance, guinea pigs produce 13,000 mg (milligrams) of C daily and increase it to 100,000 if they develop an infection. The recommended daily amount for humans is 60 to 95 mg.

The next indisputable fact is that vitamin C is needed to manufacture collagen, the main ingredient of cartilage that prevents bones from grinding together. I practice what I preach and take at least 10,000 mgs of C daily.

Vitamin C is also a great antioxidant. It helps to rid the joints of free radicals, the end products of metabolism, believed to be associated with aging.

Will this remedy stop everyone from suffering the pain of arthritis? The quick answer is “no”. After all, regardless of how well we care for our car, it gets older and eventually wears out. None of us goes to the great beyond alive. But by taking large doses of vitamin C, chances are better that arthritis will occur in the 80s rather than at 50 years of age.

You may argue that all this doesn’t apply to you because you drink orange juice. Sorry, its not so. Pauling believed this small amount does prevent developing scurvy that used to kill sailors on long sea voyages. Sailors didn’t get orange juice and neither did the ship’s cat. But the cat had the last laugh. It never died as it produced its own vitamin C.

Can I or anyone else prove that vitamin C is a cheap way to decrease the risk of osteoarthritis? Unfortunately it’s not possible. A large scientific study is unlikely because no money can be made from doing it. Vitamin C cannot be patented.

Remember, however, I’m not your doctor. But I believe a huge amount of arthritis (and coronary attack) could be eliminated by large doses of C along with a sound lifestyle.

Remember as well, previous columns have told you all this before!!!!

See the web site www.docgiff.com to see how Big C could prevent coronary attack. For comments email info@docgiff.com and for more information about osteoarthritis see www.arthritis.ca.

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