My wife has a condition known as giant cell arteritis.
Dear Terry, “My wife has a condition known as giant cell arteritis. While the steroids she has been taking for the last 2-3 years do seem to manage the condition to a certain extent, they also cause side effects. Any advice on other nutrients she should be taking would be greatly appreciated and considered? Thank you.” — Michael R., Boise, ID
Dear Michael, Giant cell arteritis is a condition in which the lining of the arteries — the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body - are inflamed. Most often, it affects the arteries in the head, especially those in the temples. For this reason, giant cell arteritis is sometimes referred to as temporal arteritis or cranial arteritis.
I do have some options that I believe can make a difference for your wife. However, I strongly encourage her to discuss the use of dietary supplementation with her physician, as they may have additional input regarding a supplement regimen.
I would encourage your wife to consider adding boswellia extract to her daily regimen. Boswellia is a specific inhibitor of 5-LOX, an enzyme that activates leukotrienes, which induce inflammation. Because it helps reduce inflammation, along with oxidative stress (free radical damage), boswellia is effective for a variety of health conditions. I recommend taking 500 – 1,000 mg of boswellia extract daily. Be sure to look for a boswellia extract that is standardized for AKBA (short for Acetyl-11-keto-β-Boswellic Acid), one of the most beneficial boswellic acids. It’s also important to find a boswellia extract that has filtered out the majority of beta-boswellic acid. Unlike most boswellic acids, beta-boswellic acid is actually pro-inflammatory. Removing it greatly enhances the potency of the boswellia extract.
In addition to the boswellia, she may also want to consider taking grape seed extract. Grape seed extract is one of the most powerful nutrients I have found for fighting inflammation. I would recommend that she take 150 mg of grape seed extract twice daily.
When looking for a grape seed extract, it is important to choose one that is standardized to contain only OPCs that are small enough to be absorbed, so you’ll get the maximum benefits. Many extracts contain tannins, which are too large to be effectively absorbed and don’t contribute to your health the same way that OPCs do. However, these tannins are counted as OPCs and enhance the label claim, even though they cannot be absorbed! Tannin-free is best.
Terry . . . Naturally