Researchers at Washington State University have discovered a new approach for alleviating the joint pain, inflammation, and tissue damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Their finding is published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious autoimmune disease that can be very debilitating. It mainly affects the small joints of the hands and feet, but can affect any joints of the body. The disease causes painful swelling that later progresses into cartilage damage, bone erosion, and joint deformity. The problem with medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis is it is expensive, suppresses the immune system, and sometimes must be discontinued because the patient is experiencing too many side effects.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a well-known antioxidant in green tea with anti-inflammatory properties. This particular study showed that EGCG has strong potential as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. This is because the molecule blocks the effects of the disease without blocking other cellular functions.

This preliminary research was carried out on animals and showed that 10 days of EGCG treatment resulted in a significant reduction in ankle swelling. The researchers hope to soon carry out human studies.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an extremely common condition I see at my clinics, and it can affect people of all ages. I always ask my patients to remove inflammatory foods from their diet, which include sugar, dairy products and gluten. You can read my other recommendations here and in my book Healing Autoimmune Disease.


Reference: Anil K. Singh, Sadiq Umar, Sharayah Riegsecker, Mukesh Chourasia, Salahuddin Ahmed. Regulation of Transforming Growth Factor β-Activated Kinase Activation by Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate in Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Fibroblasts: Suppression of K63-Linked Autoubiquitination of Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-Associated Factor 6. Arthritis & Rheumatology, 2016; 68 (2): 347