WICHITA, Kan., Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a major inflammatory joint disease that causes cartilage destruction, bone erosions, and joint destruction. In severe cases, it can also lead to rheumatoid nodules, vasculitis, heart disease, lung disease, anemia, and peripheral neuropathy. Oxidative stress is elevated in RA patients implying reactive oxygen species (ROS) are possible mediators of tissue damage. ROS trigger a cascade of events through nuclear factors' activation, which up-regulates gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines that mediate the immune responses causing inflammation. Decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress may provide protection for regenerating cartilage within the joint. Control of inflammation in patients with RA is also the important goal when it comes to the reduction of cardiovascular risk in these patients.
The Riordan Clinic has long been interested in the use of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) at millimolar concentrations (attainable via intravenous infusions) to treat illnesses associated with inflammation, including cancer, atherosclerosis, and viral infections. At high doses, vitamin C has been shown to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Ascorbic acid has other properties that suggest it may be useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis: it is an antioxidant that scavenges ROS and it supports collagen formation and enhances extracellular matrix protein synthesis. Interestingly, RA patients tend to be vitamin C deficient and require high supplementation doses required to maintain plasma ascorbic acid at acceptable levels. In addition, studies show below-normal ascorbic acid concentrations in synovial fluid of RA patients.
Based on the properties of ascorbic acid to reduce oxidative stress, decrease production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and suppress the activation of pro-inflammatory nuclear factors, we analyzed the effect of intravenous millimolar concentration of ascorbic acid in RA treatment. The rheumatoid arthritis patients in this study were characterized by moderate to high levels of the inflammation marker CRP accompanying moderate to severe discomfort levels. The effect of intravenous vitamin C (IVC) treatment on subjects with RA demonstrated that IVC therapy with dosages of 7.5 g-50g can reduce inflammation and the pain levels. The inflammation as measured by C-reactive protein levels was decreased on average by 44 %. The average CRP level before treatment was 9.4 +/- 4.6 mg/L, while the average after IVC therapy was 6.4 +/- 4.6 mg/L. Examining those subjects who showed a net CRP decrease, we found that the effect of treatment is IVC frequency dependent.
Based on this pilot study, it is hypothesized that IVC therapy is a useful strategy in treating RA, and that more research into this possibility is warranted.
This research, conducted by Riordan Clinic scientists Dr. Nina Mikirova, Dr. Joseph Casciari, Andrea Rogers and Paul Taylor, has recently been published in the Journal of Modern Research in Inflammation in an article entitled, "Effect of high-dose intravenous ascorbic acid on the level of inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis." To read this and other articles written by Riordan Clinic researchers, go to http://www.riordanclinic.org/research/journal-articles.shtml.
Riordan Clinic (http://riordanclinic.org) is a progressive nutrition-based medical clinic and a 501c3 nonprofit organization established in 1975 in Wichita Kansas. It is comprised of a CLIA Certified laboratory, Bio-Center Laboratory; an orthomolecular clinic specializing in the treatment of chronic disease; a library registered with the National Libraries of Medicine; and a research division specializing in the study of nutritional remedies, degenerative and chronic disease, and analytical method development. For more information call Dr. Nina Mikirova 316-682-3100 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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