People affected with RA inflammation can have great benefit from dietary changes, but we must not forget the power of exercise, and the importance to remain physically active to contrast inflammation.

We discuss in this episode:

  • How exercise can improve many aspects of RA condition
  • Free radicals and oxidative stress
  • Benefits of exercise for the microbiome

Good day, it’s Clint here from Rheumatoid Arthritis Solutions with another video for you on how to reverse inflammatory arthritis symptoms. Now, as a community, we are pretty good at making dietary changes. We know the scientific evidence is strong, we follow the scientific evidence, and I would say we go pretty good as a community at that. However, the one area that I’m constantly having to make more reminders and encouragement around is that of exercise. Now the science is just as strong, if not stronger, for the need for people with inflammatory arthritis to remain physically active. Now the ultimate checklist that you would put together if you had inflammatory arthritis and you wanted to make improvements would be less inflammation, better microbiome, less oxidative stress, which is the production of free radicals in your body, and better range of motion through your joints. If you had all those four things, all of them, you would be elated, that would be the ultimate drug. Well, that drug exists, that drug is increased physical activity. We’ve got to get out of a state of exercise deficiency.

I recently did an interview, a bunch of Q and A’s on the Chef AJ podcast. This little clip that I’m about to share with you comes from that. I hope you enjoy it. I hope you can see my passion behind this topic and I’ll be putting more information out in the future, obviously about exercise and its crucial role that it plays with inflammatory arthritis reduction. But for now, please hit subscribe hit thumbs up in anticipation of this video being a good one and I’ll hand over to me now answering some questions specifically around the benefits of exercise. Hope you enjoy.

When we have a lot of ongoing or chronic autoimmunity. As a result of this, we develop a lot of free radicals in our body, literally around the joints, because in the action of applying the white blood cells that are sent in to fight the perceived or actual invaders at the joint site, there is a lot of free radical production to eliminate the invaders as a mechanism of breaking down their molecular structure. But the accumulation of long term free radicals in the body depletes our antioxidant resources within our cells, namely glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase and so on. Now the result of this is the perpetuation of the disease itself. So we’ve then got not just dysbiosis of the gut, but then we have something called oxidative stress. With oxidative stress and the inadequate resources of these antioxidant enzymes. We’re in a bit of a kerfuffle because the dysbiosis through intestinal permeability is contributing to joint pain, but now also oxidative stress can itself create foreign looking proteins that then themselves become immunoreactive. And so we then have two sources of autoimmune reactivity triggers that can be stimulating us in our body. The answer to this in one of the big offenses we have against this is exercise.

So exercise itself can improve the microbiome, and exercise is the number one most effective strategy to combat oxidative stress. And this is a bit of a perceived dichotomy because when we do a little bit of exercise, we actually get a little bit of oxidative stress. And so I just said that exercise improves oxidative stress. So how does that work? It works because of the body adapting to the stimulus. And so if we do a little bit of exercise, we create a little bit of free radical load in the body as a result of that. And the body says, uh oh, I need to offset this, and it upregulates those antioxidant enzymes that I mentioned earlier. And as a result, that suppresses the oxidative stress in the cells. And we have a little bit more glutathione, a little bit more superoxide dismutase, a little bit more catalase. So in folks with rheumatoid arthritis, it’s been shown that there is an inverse relationship between these antioxidant enzymes and inflammation. So when they go down, inflammation goes up. So exercise is our number one strategy to improve these key antioxidant enzymes. And one study which was done on the Navy Navy troops in India, they did I think it was a 4 month to six months where they did they introduced yoga to the Indian troops and they did yoga a couple of times a week and it improved their levels of glutathione. I want to say 44% or maybe it was 40 something percent in six months. Now, if there was a drug that could do that, it is literally life changing because low glutathione correlates to like shorter life span, terribly low energy levels, and it’s just completely like it’s the master antioxidant in the body. Like forget blueberries this is where the sort of the win or lose actually happens.

And so if we can become fit, then we will have correspondingly higher levels of energy glutathione, lower inflammation and so on. So that’s just the antioxidant enzymes argument. We could consume literally the rest of this talk and I don’t want to use up all our time on this, but that’s enough to say, okay, I should become fitter. And just bullet point a few more things here. Your VO2 max, which correlates to your fitness levels, that is also inversely proportional to C-reactive protein measured in elderly adults. So the fitter folks are with or without rheumatoid, the less inflammation they have in the body. Fitness capacity is also tied into a reduced risk of all cause of other diseases. Right? So reduce your risk of diabetes, heart attacks, everything across the spectrum. And what’s amazing about that is there’s no upper limit. Like literally the fitter you are, the less likely you are to develop other diseases and die like two no upper limit. And I’ve never seen a study that amazed me quite the way that that one was written. They’re like, Well, there’s no upper limit to this. And it’s you don’t see that much in the scientific literature where they’re very conservative. Normally the researchers. But then also and this is really specific to rheumatoid, we develop tendonitis in all of the joints that are also displaying inflammatory synovitis because the inflammation spills out into the connective tissues. And so those connective tissues respond dramatically well to engagement. So we have to engage the tendons at the joint to reduce their inflammation. And the only way we can do that is to use those joints. That applies to the small joints, it also applies to the big, you know, hips and knees, ankles, you name it, right? So we’ve got to engage the joints to reduce the tendonitis, which can be a very large contributing factor to the C-reactive protein because it really is a you know, it contributes a lot to that.

In summary of this, we have a essentially a gut disorder that creates an oxidative stress side problem, all of which contributes to a joint problem. And so we need to address the joint problem and the oxidative stress with exercise whilst we work on the diet to fix the gut problem.


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