This article looks at treating arthritis in dogs using plant medicinals. Found that it works.
The first formula, composed of curcumin, devil’s claw, black current, Indian frankincense (Salai), willow bark, pineapple bromelaine and camomile, was developed to treat arthritis-induced inflammation. The second included the same ingredients, plus dietary supplements such as omega 3, chondroitin sulfate and glutamine, and was formulated in the hope that it would promote the regeneration of articulations.
Curcumin comes from turmeric (i.e. eat more mustard) but bioavailability was low. In some other story some time ago (which link I don’t have to hand) the absorption and bioavailability was increased with consumption of pepper in the same meal. So you need a bit of pepper with your mustard… Hot Polish with German mustard anyone?
The spouse reports such mixes are sold at health food places, so a trip to assess what is already on the shelf might be in order.
Half the dogs received the first formula for four weeks and then the second formula for another four weeks. The other half, acting as the control, received a placebo. The outcomes were tested using three methods. Firstly, the dogs were filmed as they walked at a consistent speed over a special platform that captures the strength of each paw. Secondly, a special electronic collar recorded the dogs’ daily activities. And finally, the owners were asked to provide their own evaluations of their dog’s behaviour.
The researchers were able to identify an improvement by the fourth week of the trial.
“After the eight week course, on average, the strength of the dogs receiving treatment had improved to the equivalent of a kilo of extra strength per paw
That 4 week improvement implies that the first formula alone is sufficient.
They go on to say this implies that research into human efficacy might be a good idea…
The findings raise the possibility of offering a new form of treatment to human beings. “The model of evaluation that we have used is the best for predicting the efficacy of anti-arthritis treatments. We can therefore consider that clinical trials on humans would have a good chance of having positive outcomes,” Troncy said.
University of Montreal
Don’t know what Devil’s Claw or Black Current are, exactly; but many of the things on that list are familiar. No idea on amount or ratio though. But it looks like control of inflammation really does matter. This also implies that pushing Omega-3 levels high and Omega-6 low is important too.
I presently use mostly Olive Oil for general cooking and salads, with a 1/2 butter 1/2 Olive mix for things like cooking vegetables in a saute where I want a buttery flavor. I use Palm Oil (solid shortening) for baking. I’m avoiding any high Omega-6 oil ( seed oils like corn, soybean ) the only exception being a bit of Canola (the high monounsaturated type) if I need a truly neutral flavor oil and the others just don’t cut it. (Palm is great for frying and pastries…). Oh, and some coconut oil when the bit of coconut flavor is helpful (but don’t use it for deep frying as it foams greatly. Cooks well and flavor is very interesting on fried chicken, but you end up fighting the tendency to foam over the edge of the pan…).
The Omega-6 / Omega-3 ratio directly drives inflammation as there is ONE enzyme that converts both to an active inflammation controlling compound. The Omega-6 derivative makes inflammation, the Omega-3 one prevents it. So the ratio of the two, in competition for that one enzyme, directly drives tendency to inflammation. Lots of links on the web for that bit, so I’m not putting any here. Monounsaturates are neutral in that context, so just getting rid of polyunsaturated (especially Omega-6) is helpful. Olive Oil is mostly monounsaturated… Coconut and Palm Oil Shortening are saturated (but very short chain, so not a health issue as they are metabolized in the liver, not stored as body fat) so also don’t effect the 6/3 ratio. Just swapping monounsaturated and saturated plant oils for the polyunsaturated Omega-6 rich seed oils changes the 6/3 ratio significantly, and is very easy to do.
It looks like, per this study, adding some plant / spice supplements might help, and adding Omega-3 sources too. It is also well covered in many other studies that getting the Omega-6 level down (so shifting Omega-3 / Omega-6 ratio) is good to do.
Also, in other older studies, saturated fats have been shown to not have any effect on cholesterol (neither lowering nor raising when tri-stearate was fed) so were vilified without cause, while Transfats were shown to be the really evil stuff. (Avoid “hydrogenated” on the label and any “mono-glyceride” or “di-glyceride” as these are used to hide the use of transfats since they are not counted in the fats on the label…)
That is the reason I use Olive Oil, Palm Oil vegetable shortening, and high monounsaturated Canola oil for most things. Butter and coconut oil as flavor profile needs dictate.
YMMV and this is only what I do, not recommendations for anyone else. (Obligatory disclaimer…)
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