A diet rich in certain vitamins may slow the progression of osteoarthritis, the most common joint disorder in older individuals. People taking middling to high doses of vitamin C had a threefold reduction in risk for osteoarthritis (OA) progression. Those taking the highest doses of the vitamin also had a reduced risk of developing knee pain.
A reduction in the risk of progression was also seen for beta carotene -- although this effect was less strong than that for vitamin C -- and for vitamin E, but only in men. A high intake of vitamin D was also found to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis progression, but not help prevent the disease.
The researchers first focused on the intake of antioxidant vitamins C, E, and beta carotene, comparing the effects of those nutrients with others that were not antioxidants. In that study they found no effects on the development of new disease. But for those people who had osteoarthritis at baseline, people who consumed higher amounts of vitamin C (including supplements) were much less likely to experience progression of their knee osteoarthritis.
These supplements should be used in addition the glucosamine sulfate and chondrotin sulfate. The reasearch for this therapy is well documented in the "Arthritis Cure" which was the number one book on the New York Times Best Seller List for many months earlier this year.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (1997;56:397-402)