Understanding the Role of Inflammation to Combat Arthritis with Dr Elizabeth Yurth

Arthritis is a severe disease that's uncomfortable at best and debilitating at worst. It is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Most people think that arthritis only happens to the elderly, but it can affect anyone. It is a disease that begins in your 20s or results from injuries sustained as a child. Unfortunately, most of what the general public is misinformed about arthritis: what it is, how it starts, and how to treat it!

In this episode, Dr Elizabeth Yurth addresses common misconceptions about arthritis. She defines the disease and offers realistic alternatives to established treatment options. If you want to learn more about longevity-based proactive measures to address arthritis, this episode is for you!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Recognise arthritis as an inflammatory process rather than a wear-and-tear disease.
  2. Understand the importance of addressing arthritis early on — as early as your 20s!
  3. Learn how longevity studies-based supplements and treatments improve the immune system and combat arthritis.

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Episode Highlights

[03:30] Breaking the Misconceptions about Arthritis

Arthritis is more than a wear-and-tear condition; it’s an inflammatory disease process. It is not limited to the elderly. The disease process can begin with minor injuries, even those sustained as a child.

Arthritis is a combination of genetics and environmental factors triggered by trauma. 

[08:25] Arthritis as an Inflammatory Disease Process  

Arthritis is a disease process like neurodegenerative and cardiac illnesses. Our bodies follow a balanced way to deal with injuries. It releases the level of cytokines that set off the body’s response to healing and recovery. Afterwards, cytokine levels fall, and anti-inflammatory proteins take over.

The disease process begins during Imbalance in any part of the process. It can be started as too many cytokines lead to zombie cells and lack of autophagy.

[12:20] General Approaches to Addressing Arthritis 

Turn off inflammatory cytokines through simple supplements like curcumin or epigallocatechin. Turning down the inflammatory response allows the injury to heal better. Inducing autophagy or knocking off the bad cells helps reduce injury as well. 

[13:36]  Arthritis is a Preventable Disease 

Arthritis is a disease that should be given more attention, as it has a significant impact on people’s quality of life. It is the primary cause of disability among people of working age. Arthritis is preventable to a large degree, despite genetics and other factors. 

[18:32] Current Orthopedic Treatments for Arthritis 

The focus in addressing arthritis is to treat the disease process. Steroid injections temporarily reduce inflammatory cytokines, but they also inhibit those that aid in healing.

Arthroscopic surgery can provide immediate comfort. However, it can also inflict tears that can cause the rapid progression of arthritis.

Back fusion can help cases of spinal instability. However, for degenerative discs, the long-term success rate of surgery is around 10% of those who undergo it.

[24:09]  Degenerative Disc Disease as an Inflammatory Disease 

Degenerative disc disease is an inflammatory disease caused by high levels of cytokines. This includes the nuclear factor kappa beta. The goal is to focus on the issues that cause disc destruction, such as elevated cytokine levels, rather than the disc itself.

Ageing processes, like degeneration, should serve as a wake-up call to reconsider one's diet. This also includes reconsidering supplements, and exercise, as well as one's cardiovascular health.

[27:18]  Changing the Perspective about Arthritis

People should be aware that arthritis begins in their 20s, similar to brain disorders, heart ailments, and cancers. All these immune and inflammatory diseases come down to curing ageing. We need to take proactive steps and opt for longevity instead of a mechanical standard of care. 

Opting for the ‘expensive’ care earlier will save you time, stress, and money. People often exhaust traditional options first before pursuing longevity treatments. 

[38:49] Pentosan Polysulfate: ‘A Cure for Arthritis’

Pentosan polysulfate is a repurposed drug that reduces cytokines causing degenerative disc pain. 

According to studies, even after just six weeks of using Pentosan Polysulfate, you can continue to reap the advantages for up to a year.

[45:07] Vitamins and Supplements to Combat Arthritis 

Another strategy to fight arthritis is to make sure your nutrients are optimised. Vitamins D and C, and zinc are critical but straightforward micronutrients.

Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, has many benefits that aid in addressing arthritis. Its benefits include muscle-building, fat loss, and myostatin blocking.

[47:07] Benefits of Gaining Muscle

Muscle, as an organ, produces endocrine glands, and myokines have very beneficial effects on joints. Those with sarcopenia or muscle loss are more likely to develop joint arthritis. Electrical stimulation of muscles can be done for individuals who are further along in a disease process.

Static contraction or contracting the muscles for three seconds every hour also helps muscle-building. 

[51:03]  Inducing Autophagy Process Using Spermidine 

Spermidine is a polyamine compound that comes from bacteria in certain foods. Polyamine is produced by the human body as well. However, as we become older, we make less of it.

It is an autophagy-Inducing agent that aids in getting rid of damaged cells. Spermidine works better than steroids at reducing inflammation. It preserves the joints without making them worse.

[54:06] Trehalose: The ‘Sugar Substitute’

Trehalose is glucose that impacts oxidative stress and helps clean up the cells. It has zero glycemic impact, which helps blood glucose under control. Trehalose is looked at for neurodegenerative diseases but can benefit joint pain. 

[56:57] Peptide Therapies as Simple, Inexpensive Aid 

If you are looking for simple, inexpensive aid, collagen peptides can also be beneficial. They typically are part of a mixture including Vitamin C, which helps cartilage cells. 

A more expensive option is aggressive peptides, like BPC 157 or Body Protection Compound 157. These peptides can aid joint regeneration. It’s vital to understand the role of inflammation in arthritis rather than jumping at treatments, like stem cell therapy.

[59:54] The Role of Stressed Immune System 

Almost every disease is related to over-aggressive, pro-inflammatory cytokines, disruption in mitochondrial function, and autophagy. 

Ageing causes a significant number of diseases. The immune system goes awry for many reasons, including viral exposures.

[59:54] Antiviral Drugs, Hormones, and Fasting

Antiviral drugs, hormones, and fasting can help the immune system fight diseases as healthy as possible. EGCG and curcumin are natural compounds that have some antiviral properties. Acyclovir is also a safe choice for combatting the herpes virus and Epstein-Barr, among others.  

Our immune system produces fewer hormones as we become older. Our bodies need hormones to function, so we need to replace them somehow. Hormones have huge immune-modulating properties that help stop oxidative stress. 

The immune system benefits from the recovery period following a fast. It can be very beneficial to clear out dead cells.

[1:08:55] Rapamycin and Metformin: The ‘Future’ of Arthritis

Rapamycin is a chemotherapeutic medication with a solid immune-modulating effect. It is well-known for activating autophagy, which can lengthen lifespan in all mammalian species scientists have studied.

Metformin is an inexpensive medication that keeps glucose control. It has some interesting studies on arthritis. One study shows the overlapping benefits in cardiovascular, renal, cancer, and obesity protection. 

About Brian

Brian Graham is the Program Director at Boulder Longevity Institute. He’s a certified peptide specialist through the International Peptide Society and American Academy for Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. 

Brian is an industrious health and wellness professional with a thorough understanding of clinical peptide modalities. Through his work, he provides high-level concierge health services to patients and is well-versed in peptide sales. 

If you want to know more about Brian, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Powerful Quotes

“... essentially, what it does is it helps to regulate a given process. And that’s what peptides do, they are essentially a key to a door or an opportunity to either lock a door of a given process or open it up…”

“[Peptides] could be analogous to a dimmer switch on the wall: you’re turning up the light or turning down the light, but that’s going to correspond with the given physiologic mechanism.”

“Just because this stuff looks good on paper doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be good for everyone. It’s really important to distil down what is going to be effective for you so you’re not wasting your time and your money doing a treatment that you don’t necessarily need.”

“If you’re in a chronic deteriorative state where your body’s sort of ill-equipped to address that need, then you’re going to chronically upregulate inflammation and essentially chronically deteriorate, unfortunately.”

“More is not always better.”

“Everything happens in a rhythm. Everything has its own clock.”

“It’s important [...] to have guidance, whether that’s with me or someone else that is skilled and understands this constantly evolving field to really do things effectively.”

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Lisa

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