Osteoarthritis and Chicken Bones

March 26, 2012

Osteoarthritis and Chicken Bones 

 Reference:  Multiple:  See hyperlinks. Animals

 You thought that osteoarthritis is just “old age wear and tear”.  Right?  That’s what we have all been taught.  Your finger joints get knobby, your neck gets stiff, your knees ache, your hip gets sore and you see your doctor.  You get told, “You’re getting old!” and you leave in a huff.  “Not much you can do about it,” you hear. Wrong.  Three points where it’s wrong.  First of all, it’s not just wear and tear.  

We now know that osteoarthritis also has elements of being an autoimmune disease, just like rheumatoid arthritis.  There may be some wear and tear that gets it started, but the next step is your immune response to the exposed tiny pieces of cartilage.  You are meant to ignore it. But you don’t.  Your killer T Cells decide that it’s a nasty foreign protein and attack.  That might be the major component of long-term damage. Your killer T cells can be trained to not be so touchy.  You can send them to school and teach them some manners.  

To do that takes a novel kind of cartilage in your diet for your T cells to react within your gut where they get taught how to behave.  You can inoculate them, so to speak.  The cartilage is called UC-II and was first reported Rennard in 2000 in Chest but further explained by Bagchi et al in 2002.   You need a form of cartilage that your body can react to that is similar enough to human cartilage that you learn it to be innocuous, and therefore something to be tolerated. 

If you take 5 types of cartilage and grind it up with no processing, you get a product called UC-II.  Folks at Harvard tried UC-II on patients with rheumatoid arthritis and found that they could get significant reductions in symptoms with 3 months and a complete remission in 14% of patients.  That’s in RA. And in osteoarthritis, a randomized placebo controlled trial with 40 mg a day of UC-II showed a 33% reduction in symptoms within 90 days compared to glucosamine that only reduced symptoms 14%. 

 Did you get the basic idea there?   Three points.  Osteoarthritis is partially an autoimmune disease in which your T cells misbehave and attack you and damage your joints.  Two: you can train them to be tolerant by eating simple un-denatured chicken cartilage.  Three: that reduces inflammation more than anything else we currently have in our armamentarium.  It’s likely three times better than glucosamine. 

 Now, if you would pick up and read Life Extension Magazine’s Feb 2012 article on it, you would also learn all about Boswellia as an additional anti-inflammatory, with glucosamine and boron as extra adjuvants. WWW. What will work for me?   Chicken soup is ok.  I want more cartilage than that.  I can buy the UC-II as a supplement, or I can chew on chicken bones.  I suspect humans have been gnawing on chicken bones for millennia around the campfire.  Next time I bone a roasted chicken, maybe I’ll give it a chew.

www.What will work for Me?   I like the concept of training my immune system.  I think it is notable that we have used chicken noodle soup forever as comfort food.   Chicken cartilage is so present.   Next time you bone a chicken, chew off some of those cartilage ends.  That may be one good reason to make an excuse and to KFC.  Their cartilage is so softened by their pressure cooking.

Pop. Quiz

1.   Old age osteoarthritis is just plain old wear and tear.  T or F                 Answer: False.  It shows elements of autoimmune disease.

2.   You can build tolerance to your own cartilage by exposing your immune system to what?     Answer:  Chicken cartilage.

3.   What is UC II?                     Answer:   5 forms of cartilage, ground up.

4.   What is the chance of getting remission in rheumatoid arthritis with UC-II?      Answer:  14%

This Column was written by John E Whitcomb, MD, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI.