Arthritis is chronic, degenerative disease due to inflammatory reactions that affect the joints and other related structures. This pathologic condition increases in incidence and severity with age, although there are cases associate with juvenile types. Those who manifest juvenile arthritis will manifest signs and symptoms at an early age. There are many types of arthritis, categorized according to their underlying factor. Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Gouty Arthritis are just some of the types that commonly afflict the population. RA is idiopathic or has unknown cause, though it was proposed to have genetic or autoimmune origin, OA is due to the erosion of joints while gouty arthritis is due to errors in purine metabolism. Each of the types manifests their characteristic sign and symptoms, but joint pain is common among the three types.
According to studies conducted, the pain in arthritis is brought about by inflammatory conditions mediated by cytokines. Chronic inflammation is the culprit for remodeling and destruction of the connective tissue. By studying the pathophysiology of this disease, the scientists were also able to devise treatment plans that can either address the signs and symptoms of the disease or maybe correct the underlying factors that lead to the development of this disease. Currently, there are medical, surgical and collaborative strategies in order to address problems associated with arthritis. Since this pathologic condition is chronic in nature, the person affected should have a sustaining pharmacotherapy intervention. The drug therapy usually includes Acetylsalicylic Acid (ASA), or Aspirin that addresses both pain and inflammation and Non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAID). Each specific types of arthritis have their own mainstay drugs. The long term drug therapy usually results to drug tolerance, which is why it is becoming less effective and in turn, the clients are becoming less responsive. Long term uses of these drugs are also associated with toxicity levels and manifestation of side effects. Arthritic patients reported lower quality of life, since this disease burdened them with severe morbidity coupled with structural damage in joints. This condition greatly impacts the personal, family along with financial aspects of their life.
Collaborative, non-invasive therapies are also encouraged. The regimen includes bed rest whenever acute pain attacks, ROM exercises, maintenance of posture and good body mechanics and warm and heat application. These remedies are just adjuncts since the medication must be taken to address the severity of the condition.
Due to the occurrence of unwanted side effects in long-term drug therapy, the scientists look for ways in order to discover a new remedy that will not pose any dangers of side effects, with proven safety and efficacy.
The three countries, Japan, India and China have the greatest consumption of green tea among the all countries around the world. The inhabitants of these countries strongly believe in the promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative properties of green tea and tea drinking has been a part of their rich culture and tradition. Coincidentally, they were also recorded as countries with lowest incidence of rheumatoid arthritis. The statistics is intriguing, but a lot of studies were conducted recently and linked green tea consumption to the incidence of RA.
Epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG), a major catechin in green tea, which is about 63% of the entire catechins, has gained so much attention from the scholarly community due to the multitude of benefits it can provide to humans. It was well studied and proven that green tea has anti-inflammatory properties. This characteristic of green tea was extensively studied and linked to many inflammatory conditions associated with heart disease, cancer, periodontal problems, autoimmune diseases and a lot more. The results of studies regarding the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea were dramatic, since it significantly halts the inflammatory processes, thereby improving the health conditions.
According to the result of a study presented at National Academy of Sciences, green tea, particularly the polyphenol antioxidants, effectively reduce the incidence and level of severity in rheumatoid arthritis. Green tea, one of the most devoured drink in the world was proven to be rich in a polyphenol, catechin. According to some data provided, 30-36 percent of green tea is polyphenol. EGCG in green tea showed a better antioxidant property than vitamin E and C. In fact, it was measured to be 20-100 time more effective. A cup of green tea alone can already provide 65-125 mg of catechins. That’s how generous nature is with antioxidants.
Findings of in vitro studies revealed that EGCG in green tea has chondroprotective function. It preserves the cartilage by inhibiting various enzymes responsible for initiating inflammatory processes. It also showed resistance against certain types of bacterial collagenase and it also significantly affected the cell cycle that influences chondrocyte viability and amount of proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix. It also manifested bone preserving activity through its anti- osteoclastogenic property. EGCG also inhibited expression of proteins that leads to inflammation, formation of new vascular tissues and degradation of cartilage. All these protective and preventive properties of green tea will surely halt the progression of arthritic condition.