Nancy Dell: Osteoarthritis in knees; Natural anxiety remedy

1. I have osteoarthritis in my knees. Can diet help?
Mike, Internet

More than 52 million Americans and nearly 300 thousand children have osteoarthritis, commonly found in the knees. The symptoms are pain and stiffness in the joint.

You are at risk for developing the disease if you are overweight, have had a knee injury, or if your job requires that you bend your knees often; maybe you climb a ladder or stock shelves.

According to a study in the journal Arthritis Care and Research, calcium may help slow the progression of the disease, but all calcium is not created equal. Women with osteoarthritis who had 12 ounces of milk a day slowed the disease but cheese can worsen the symptoms. The researchers think the high saturated fat content is to blame.

So if you have or are at risk for osteoarthritis, get 450 milligrams of calcium a day from milk, low fat yogurt, or non-dairy milk with added calcium.

2. I have a little bit of anxiety but not everyday and not enough to make me take a prescription medication. Are there herbs that can help?
Lindsay, Internet

First be sure to talk to your doctor about your anxiety and work with him or her to determine your needs.

If you decide an herbal remedy is appropriate, a study in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics shows that passionflower reduced the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder as effectively as some anti-anxiety medication without impairing job performance.

The researchers suggest 400 milligrams of a tincture spread over the day. It is very safe but don’t take it with the prescription anti- depressant or anti-anxiety meds.  The combination can be overload and make you drowsy.

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