Healthy aging depends on people maintaining joint flexibility, mobility, muscle strength, and aerobic capacity. The aim of this study was to evaluate dietary treatment of joint pains in older patients, inflammation, and reduced joint range of motion, mostly from osteoarthritis. The drink used was mostly the Amazonian berry, acai (Euterpe oleracea), with other fruit concentrates. The pulp of acai contains flavonoids. The study lasted 12 weeks, and fourteen people participated.
The juice used, MonaVie Active, contains acai pulp, pomegranate, wolfberry, camu camu, passion fruit, aronia, acerola, bilberry, apricot, purple grape, white grape, lychee, banana, kiwi, pear, cranberry, blueberry, and prune juice. It, also. contains glucosamine.
At the start of the study, the patients were tested intensely for limited range of motion (ROM) in multiple joints. After 12 weeks of the study 55% of the joints which started with over 25% limitation were improved. Outcomes of the study were evaluated by interviews, pain questionnaires, activities of daily living (ADL) questionnaires, blood tests, and range of motion (ROM) evaluations.
The dietary juice resulted in “significant” pain reduction, improved ROM, and improved ADL. Primarily, the improvements were in the neck, low back, and lower-body, but not so much in the upper body. Blood antioxidant status improved from the second week to the end of the study. C-reactive protein (a blood test for inflammation) was reduced at the end of the study, but not to a statistically significant level.
Though pain and activities of daily living results were subjective, a number of patients did show improvements in these areas. Serum antioxidant testing showed improvement after 2 weeks on the juice and continued with improvement during the study. A high level of pain correlated with poor antioxidant status.
CONCLUSION: A fruit and berry juice with acai juice, including pulp, was found to be antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in older patients with chronic joint pain and loss of range of motion.
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NOTE: Read about acai for atherosclerosis.