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September 8, 2008 | Chris Woolston, Special to The Times
The products: Humans have long believed in an almost magical connection between strong flavors and good health. The burn from the hot pepper? It must be energizing the body. The pungent tang of a raw oyster? It must be energizing a very particular part of the body. And the zingy sweetness of an Indian curry? For centuries, people in India have believed that the spice turmeric can ease digestive distress and arthritis. In recent years, scientists have taken an intense interest in curcumin, a bright-yellow compound in turmeric that seems to fight inflammation -- in test tubes and lab rodents, at least.
September 5, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The Food and Drug Administration ordered stronger warnings Thursday on four medications widely used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other serious illnesses, saying they can raise the risk of possibly fatal fungal infections. The drugs -- Enbrel, Remicade, Humira and Cimzia -- work by suppressing the immune system to keep it from attacking the body. For patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the treatment provides relief from swollen and painful joints, but it's "a double-edged sword," said the FDA's Dr. Jeffrey Siegel.
August 14, 2008 | Diane Pucin, Times Staff Writer
BEIJING -- This is why you should like Kristin Armstrong. She is a world-class cyclist -- and as of Wednesday an Olympic gold-medal winner -- but chuckles when she Googles her name and finds more references to Lance Armstrong's ex-wife than to herself. Well-meaning cycling fans often approach her and ask if she is Kristin Armstrong, and when she says yes, they ask whether Lance lets her see any of his seven Tour de France trophies. "I used to try and explain who I am," Armstrong said.
May 12, 2008 | Emily Dwass, Special to The Times
For people living with chronic pain, exercise is often the last thing they want to do. But physical activity could be a key component of some treatment plans, new studies suggest, especially with conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. "The pain doesn't go away completely. It's not a cure. But it's a way to improve how you feel and your ability to function in daily life," says Daniel S.
January 9, 2008 | Martin Henderson, Times Staff Writer
She still has bad days. On Fridays, Lauren Lingle takes the medicine that is supposed to protect her from own body. On Saturdays, she may throw up a half-dozen times before she slips into the pool to play water polo. It is her sport of choice, but is as much her therapy. Lingle, 17, suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. She once was laid up for six weeks in a hospital bed because of stiffness, once could get around only in a wheelchair.
November 8, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Early results from an ongoing study showed that people with newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis were more likely to reach clinical remission with Thousand Oaks-based Amgen Inc.'s Enbrel plus methotrexate than with methotrexate alone. Results from the first year of a two-year study of 542 patients showed that 50% of the patients who received Enbrel plus methotrexate were in remission. That compared with 28% of patients receiving methotrexate alone.
October 15, 2007 | Janet Cromley, Times Staff Writer
Americans with osteoarthritis of the knee may need to wait a little longer for proof that three common approaches actually work. In a review of 42 randomized controlled trials on hyaluronic acid injections, 21 studies on the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin and 23 articles on arthroscopy, researchers at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assn.
April 17, 2007 | Jia-Rui Chong, Times Staff Writer
Chondroitin, a dietary supplement widely used for treating arthritic joints, is no better than a placebo for reducing pain, researchers reported Monday. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, looked at data from 20 clinical trials encompassing 3,846 patients. "People had the idea that this could be the magic bullet for osteoarthritis, but it cannot be," said Dr. Peter Juni, a medical epidemiologist at the University of Bern in Switzerland and one of the authors of the study.
February 11, 2007 | Michael Goldstein, Michael Goldstein has written for the New York Daily News, Sunset and other publications. His 2004 Los Angeles Times Magazine story, "Sheer Lunacy," won a feature writing award from the Los Angeles Press Club.
Do you medicate? I do. I'm not talking about Xanax or Prozac or Vicodin or their siblings. I have a "recommendation" (not a prescription, a recommendation) for pot. This puts me in a legally and socially problematic condition. The state of California says I can ingest marijuana for medicinal purposes, but the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration thinks I'm a criminal if I do.
February 5, 2007 | Janet Cromley, Times Staff Writer
HERE'S something to kick around. People who do about 6 to 9 miles a week of recreational walking don't appear to be at greater risk for osteoarthritis of the knee than their more sedentary peers, according to a study appearing in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research. On the flip side, recreational walking doesn't appear to confer meaningful protection from osteoarthritis either, as some smaller studies have suggested.
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