As people age, there are a whole host of health concerns that have an impact on overall quality of life. The likelihood to experience cognitive decline, balance issues, heart disease and other issues only increases with age.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is yet another disease that negatively affects a person’s health and well-being, and the onset of RA is highest among adults in their sixties. Since there are links between RA and oxidative stress, Vitamin E is emerging as a potential way to counteract the development of RA. While studies are ongoing, peripheral research has already begun to lend itself to treatment and therapy models involving Vitamin E.
Read on to learn more about this special vitamin and about its role as an incredible antioxidant, helping safeguard against inflammatory diseases like RA.
How does Rheumatoid Arthritis affect the body?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that attacks the joints—usually several joints at once. Since RA is both an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, the immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. The result is inflammation, or painful swelling, in parts of the body.
Joints with RA eventually develop inflamed lining, in some cases causing permanent damage to tissues, along with chronic pain, loss of balance and even deformity. It’s a persistent, painful, disruptive disease that affects more than a million people in the United States—a number that’s increasing annually.
Antioxidants vs. inflammation and oxidative stress
Many people have heard of antioxidants, but few know exactly how they work to protect cells throughout the body. It has to do with combatting free radicals.
A person is exposed to free radicals due to environmental pollution, diet, smoking, exposure to pesticides and many other factors. Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body, seeking them out and neutralizing them before they can accumulate and cause oxidative stress, doing damage to tissues and leading to the development of inflammation.
Keeping free radicals and antioxidants in balance is key to protecting your health and preventing disease. When it comes to RA, antioxidants have powerful, beneficial effects: they minimize inflammation and can alleviate some of the symptoms that go along with it.
Vitamin E and its links to rheumatoid prevention
Due to its status as a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E is thought to have important links to prevention of RA. While research is ongoing, Vitamin E may be an effective tool for preventing oxidative stress from impacting your body’s immune system, while simultaneously keeping inflammation in check.
Antioxidants like Vitamin E scavenge free radicals before they can lead to oxidative stress, protecting tissues and organs and even individual cells from damage or premature aging.
The role of a Vitamin E diet in the fight against arthritis
Vitamin E plays an important part in fighting inflammation. Since this nutrient is fat-soluble, it’s stored in tissues throughout the body and released when the presence of free radicals is detected. Vitamin E is then released to stop free radicals in their tracks, preventing oxidative stress from causing damage to cells.
Diets featuring Vitamin E-rich foods can be a great defense against inflammatory diseases—potentially even RA. There are many delicious, whole-food dietary sources of Vitamin E. Enjoy the following foods to ensure you’re meeting your daily intake requirements, which is around 15mg per day for healthy adults.
- Whole nuts and seeds, including almonds and sunflower seeds
- Natural oils, including hazelnut, sunflower, safflower and others
- Spinach and other types of natural greens
- Mango, avocado and red bell pepper, alongside other fruits and veggies
- Salmon and other types of pink and white ocean fish
While there’s an abundance of healthy foods rich in Vitamin E, most people don’t eat enough of them to maintain adequate levels of the vitamin in the body. Supplements can be an easy way to make sure you don’t need to obtain enough of this helpful nutrient from food alone. Always get a doctor’s approval before taking them.
Fight back against Rheumatoid Arthritis
Although Vitamin E is a lesser-known nutrient when compared to A-listers like vitamins C or D, it plays an important role in keeping free radicals at bay and promoting the health of cells throughout your entire body.
Ensuring that you maintain adequate Vitamin E levels can be a great defense against the onset of not only Rheumatoid Arthritis, but also other serious diseases like cancer and diabetes. Oxidative stress affects the entire body, and this special vitamin can be your first line of defense against it.
If you’re having trouble getting enough Vitamin E from diet alone, talk to your doctor to determine whether supplementing may be right for you, and choose an all-natural supplement to soak up the most benefits.