B vitamins: key anti-arthritis nutrients

If you eat a balanced diet, then you'll get almost all of the nutrients your body needs. But if you have arthritis, a balanced diet can give you more than just proper nutrition ― it can give you some nutrients that help with arthritis. B vitamins are among these nutrients. Here's how they're helpful for arthritis sufferers.

B vitamins: key anti-arthritis nutrients

The benefits of B vitamins

As cousin chemicals in the B-vitamin family of nutrients, vitamin B6 and folate are also among the nutrients most likely to be lacking in people with arthritis.

Part of this lack comes from some common, population-wide deficiencies. For example, one study found 90 percent of women don't get enough B6 in their diet.

But there's also evidence that the inflammation process eats up these B vitamins especially fast in people with rheumatoid arthritis. And that's bad news for a variety of bodily functions that require B vitamins, including the manufacturing of protein, the building block for tissues such as cartilage.

Double up

When possible, try to eat foods that contain both vitamin B6 and folate, such as spinach and fortified cereal. Otherwise, look to B vitamin sources for other arthritis-fighting nutrients.

For example, in addition to being a rich source of B6, tuna and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids and fortified cottage cheese contains vitamin D.

Bonus foods for folate include asparagus (vitamin E) and broccoli (vitamin C).

Take a multivitamin

To ensure you get enough of these nutrients, consider taking a multivitamin that provides 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowances for B6 and folate. (Look also for vitamin B12, which works in tandem with folate.)

But be sure to  steer clear of high-dosage, single-nutrient supplements, which may pose risks of nerve damage.

Whether you suffer from arthritis or not, keep these tips in mind to help increase your intake of B vitamins.

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