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How Does Mangosteen Help with Arthritis?
Is it a Better Alternative than Conventional Drugs?


Index
Understanding The Benfits Of Mangosteen And Arthritis Drugs
What Are The Side Effects From Standard NSAIDs
What Is A COX-2 Inhibitor And What Are The Risks Of It?
Mangosteen As Treatment For Arthritis

Arthritis is a disorder characterized by painful and swollen joints. There are
over 100 different forms of arthtritis and each is differentiated from the rest by observation of clinical signs and symptoms. The three most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gouty arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is considered as a degenerative joint disease. It is
the result of trauma or infection of the joint, whereas rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that primarily attacks the joints resulting into synovitis that often leads to the destruction of the articular cartilage. Gouty Arthritis, on the other hand, is characterized by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint, causing inflammation.

In case you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, you must sit down with your doctor to discuss the best treatment regimen for you. There are plenty of drugs available to treat the disorder but there are drugs that work best for a specific type of arthritis. Patient response to these drugs also vary so it can take time to determine the kind of treatment that would work best for you.
 
The most commonly prescribed medication for arthritis is a group of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They are also among the most common pain relief medications used today.

NSAIDs are highly effective in relieving arthritic pain but they can also have certain side effects. In order for you to better understand the mechanism of action of these drugs, you must have an idea about pain itself.

Pain is basically your body’s alarm which tells you that something is wrong.
Simply put, pain is the result of impulses sent from pain receptors called free nerve endings to your brain. For instance, if you have a wound, the damaged cells release compounds called prostaglandins. These chemicals are known to cause not only tissue swelling and pain but they also amplify the nerve impulses coming from the pain receptors. In short, you feel more intense pain.

Pain has two major
types: neuropathic and nociceptive. Neuropathic pain is normally the result of injuries to the nervous system, such as the pain associated with shingles or diabetes. On the other hand, nociceptive pain is caused by injury to tissues outside the nervous system, such as the chronic pain of arthritis.

NSAIDs function on the cellular level. They block the effects of enzymes particularly cyclo-oxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzymes which catalyze the conversion of arachidonic acid to inflammatory agents such as prostaglandins and prostacyclins. By simply blocking the cyclo-oxygenase enzymes, NSAIDs essentially prevent your body from producing prostaglandins. As a result,
you feel less pain and decreased swelling.

Mangosteen Benefits: Xanthones found in mangosteen function like a COX-2 inhibitor without eliciting the development of stomach ulcers.

Gastrointestinal Problems: There are five types of prostaglandins in your body. One type of prostaglandin produced by COX-1 enzyme and an analog called Misoprostol helps protect the stomach lining. Regular intake of NSAIDs blocks COX-1 enzymes and thereby negating the protective function of the prostaglandin. Consequently, NSAIDs cause a significant increase in the prevalence of gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and indigestion.

Hypertension and Renal Damage: The mechanism of renal damage spurred by NSAIDs is due to changes in renal hemodynamics. NSAIDs have been shown to reduce the blood flow to the kidneys and affect the function of the nephrons. As a result, salt and fluids are retained in your body. The higher the volume of salt and fluids in your bloodstream, the higher your blood pressure. If the problem goes unchecked, it can cause irreversible damage to your kidneys leading to eventual kidney failure, which may later require dialysis.

Mangosteen Benefits: Recent studies have shown that Xanthones have no harmful influence on blood coagulation and increases blood perfusion rate in the kidneys, thereby enhancing renal function while helping in the regulation of salt and fluid balance in the body.

Allergic Reactions
: Some people are allergic to NSAIDs and may develop dyspnea when an NSAID is taken. People with asthma are at a higher risk for having severe allergic reaction to NSAIDs. Health experts generally recommend that people with asthma refrain from taking NSAIDs.

Aside from asthma, there are other allergic reactions that have been associated with NSAIDs, they range from mild to life threatening. The common reactions include skin affectations such as swelling and hives. There are also respiratory problems like rhinitis.

Mangosteen Benefits: Over the last three decades, a lot of studies on xanthones have proven its efficacy in treating various types of allergies. This is due to the fact that xanthones block the formation of histamines – substances that trigger the body’s allergic response.

What Is A COX-2 Inhibitor And What Are The Risks Of It?

COX-2 inhibitors are a form of NSAID that directly target COX-2. Selectivity for COX-2 reduces the risk of gastrointestinal problems such as peptic ulceration. COX-2 inhibitors only block the COX-2 enzyme that’s why these drugs don’t affect the prostaglandins that protect the lining of your stomach.

However, just like other drugs there is a drawback. COX-1 and COX-2 work in tandem to accomplish certain biological tasks. COX-1 also helps in the production of a chemical that stimulates blood clotting and vasoconstriction. These effects are being regulated by another chemical called prostacyclin. It exerts an opposite effect to that of COX-1 because it prevents the formation of the platelet plug and is likewise a potent vasodilator. However, prostacyclin is manufactured, in part, with the aid of COX-2 enzymes. Therefore, blocking only COX-2 means that the effects of blood clotting go unchecked. Consequently, it increases the risk of myocardial infarction and strokes. This is precisely the reason why COX-2 inhibitors have been recalled from the market.

Mangosteen contains antioxidants and remains to be the only thing in nature to embody a broad spectrum of a new type of phytonutrients called xanthones. The two most valuable xanthones found in the mangosteen have been called alpha and gamma mangosteen.

To date, more than 40 different classes of xanthones have been identified in mangosteen. Xanthones are powerful, life-enhancing compounds. In fact, xanthones are by far the most potent antioxidant known to man. It has been claimed to be more powerful than both Vitamins C and E. Additionally, the most dynamic and biologically active type of xanthone is found in mangosteen.

Xanthones are naturally occurring compounds that have recently caught the attention of health and fitness experts and have earned high regard from researchers and scientists alike. Xanthones have been thoroughly studied for their medicinal and pharmaceutical properties.


Based on the results of research studies, the xanthones found in mangosteen can suppress both acute and chronic inflammation, and function like a COX-2 inhibitor without triggering any harmful side effects. Another research conducted to determine mangosteen’s effect on the inflammatory process found out that xanthones have no deleterious influence on blood coagulation and they don’t stimulate the development of stomach ulcers.


Furthermore, testimonies from a number of patients suffering from chronic arthritis claimed that the patients were able to stop or reduce their prescription drugs. The benefits they reaped from mangosteen became evident in as little as a couple of days to beyond three months.

Mangosteen and Arthritis Precaution: So far, mangosteen may not provide the elusive cure to arthritis but it offers that extra ounce of energy required to counter the effects of the disease, effectively alleviates arthritic pain and helps you manage the side effects caused by medications. However, it is worth noting that you may need some time to determine if mangosteen works for you. Likewise, if you are taking any medications, it is recommended to consult your physician regarding any possible drug interaction.

Finally, taking regular mangosteen supplements offer three major health benefits:

Anti-Inflammatory Properties
: The benefits derived from mangosteen largely come from its potent anti-inflammatory effects since it effectively blocks the cyclo-oxygenase enzymes without causing any gastrointestinal side effects. Mangosteen also helps to reduce the pain and swelling of the affected joints.


The anti-inflammatory properties of mangosteen have been compared to those of Dexamethasone, one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory prescription drugs.
However, Dexamethasone is known to have a long list of adverse side effects. Mangosteen has none of the reported side effects caused by Dexamethasone as well as other anti-inflammatory medications.


Antioxidant
: Mangosteen contains a truckload of antioxidants. The mechanism behind the development of arthritis is the gradual degeneration of joint structures. It has been theorized that as people age, the body’s ability to recuperate and repair the damage at the cellular level declines. Antioxidants work on the cellular level by effectively eliminating harmful free radicals, thereby enhancing the body’s innate healing process.


Increase in Energy Helps to Fight Arthritis
: If you’re suffering from arthritis, your physician most likely referred you to a physical therapist for treatment sessions. One of the best approaches in physical therapy when it comes to the management of arthritis is the inclusion of an exercise program to improve joint dynamics. A significant increase in energy can help you go through your routine exercise program. In most cases, the mere anticipation of pain while beginning an exercise program can be quite daunting. Mangosteen supplements help provide the energy needed and also aids in the management of pain and anxiety.

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