Medically reviewed by Eric Venn-Watson, M.D.
Dealing with arthritis pain is difficult. The pain is persistent, can range from moderate to severe, and in some cases, can feel completely debilitating.
Although it is often thought of as a struggle of older generations, arthritis can happen to anyone, at any age. There are different types of arthritis, and two of the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
We’ll discuss the differences between these two types of arthritis, talk about the causes, and discuss popular treatment options. We’ll also talk about how your cellular health plays a role in the development, prevention, and treatment of arthritis.
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis is often age-related. This form of arthritis happens when the cartilage between your joints begins to deteriorate with age or injury.
Osteoarthritis generally occurs in the hands, hips, spine, and knees. Depending on a person’s level of activity, osteoarthritis (also referred to as degenerative arthritis) can occur more quickly.
You may develop osteoarthritis in only one joint, or in multiple joints, and the pain may differ depending on the area. In other words, some affected joints may have greater pain than others.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis. Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary from person to person, but may include:
Causes of Osteoarthritis. Normally, osteoarthritis occurs because of age-related use on a joint. As we age, the cells that make up our tissues begin to break down, becoming weak and leaving the tissues and structures themselves in fragile condition.
Osteoarthritis can also occur as a result of injury, being overweight, and already having rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatments for Osteoarthritis. There’s no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are treatment options available that range from non-invasive, over-the-counter pain medications to complete surgical joint replacements.
You can improve your joint health and decrease your likelihood of developing osteoarthritis by maintaining a healthy weight, protecting yourself against injury when you engage in physical activity, and by taking steps to improve your cellular health (more on that last one in a bit!).
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is not a degenerative disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body develops an immune response to its own healthy tissue and begins to attack it.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the body begins to attack the membrane that lines the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can wear away bone, cause deformity in the joints, cause fingers to bend and gnarl permanently.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis causes intense pain that can come in spurts. Sometimes, a flare of rheumatoid arthritis can last for weeks at a time. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Although experts don’t know what causes a person’s immune system to begin attacking healthy tissues and causing the start of rheumatoid arthritis, they’ve determined that some risk factors can make a person more susceptible to developing this condition.
Heredity, sex, age, and weight are all factors that can make you more susceptible to developing rheumatoid arthritis. Women develop rheumatoid arthritis more often than men, and being middle-aged and overweight can make you more likely to develop it.
Treatment of Rheumatoid ArthritisThere’s no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but there are treatments that can help put it in remission and help you experience fewer flares. Rheumatoid arthritis also places you at a greater risk of developing other types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis.
Treatments vary, and include prescription medications, injections, lifestyle changes like learning to exercise and ambulate differently, and surgical intervention.
Because rheumatoid arthritis is an immune response, it can also be beneficial to start a cellular health program to help better control your immunity and strengthen compromised cells.
Cellular Health and Arthritis
It might seem strange to talk about cells when talking about arthritis, but the two are closely connected.
As we age, our cells become weak. The cell wall becomes flimsy, leaving our cells compromised and open to damage. When our cells are damaged, they don’t carry out cellular functions properly.
Cells that don’t function properly result in everything from visible signs of aging to serious metabolic diseases, and yes, even arthritic pain. When our cells aren’t damaged, they’re able to last longer and stay strong, which keeps our tissues and organs working as they should, for as long as they should.
C15:0 for Cellular Health
Obviously, we can’t give our cells their very own little multivitamins… or can we? A growing body of research suggests we can. Pentadecanoic acid, also known as C15:0, is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid that science supports as the first essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years.
An essential fatty acid means our bodies need it to function properly but don’t make enough of it to supply our needs. We need to get the needed C15:0 balance from our diets, or from supplements.
C15:0 can help support your joint health, starting in your cells:
C15:0 is a relatively unknown little fatty acid with big potential to help you maintain a healthier and happier lifestyle, for longer.
Unfortunately, you probably aren’t getting much in your diet. C15:0 is present in whole-fat dairy products, like whole milk and butter. For decades, we’ve followed dietary guidelines that have told us that all fat is bad, which has most of us drinking skim milk and using margarine with little to no C15:0. Further, whole fat dairy has much higher levels of even-chain saturated fats (like C16:0) that continue to be associated with poorer health and increased risk of inflammatory conditions.
Thankfully, we’ve got options. C15:0 is now available in a once a day, easy to take capsule that supplies you with a day’s worth of pure FA15™, a pure powder form of C15:0. Just one capsule a day is all you need to protect your cells, balance your immunity, and support your joint health.†*
You may not be able to prevent arthritis or cure it, but you can give your cells and your joints a fighting chance by increasing your daily intake of C15:0.
Medically reviewed by Eric Venn-Watson, M.D.
If you’ve been diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, often referred to as NAFLD, you’re likely working with your doctor to find ways to improve your overall liver health. One of your considerations? A low-carb diet.
It may seem counterproductive to increase your fat intake and lower your carbohydrate intake as a means of decreasing liver fat, but what does the science say?
We’ll take a look at what a fatty liver is, what causes it, and how a low carb diet may help you increase your liver health.
What is Fatty Liver?
If you have a fatty liver, it means that your liver cells are storing too much fat. There are two main reasons this happens:
1. Excessive alcohol use. Drinking too much alcohol can cause your liver to store excess fat. The liver processes alcohol, and drinking too much alcohol can cause fat to build up in your liver’s cells.
2. Non-alcohol related fatty liver. Experts aren’t sure what causes some people who aren’t heavy drinkers to develop fat in their liver, but it has been linked to the following conditions:
When a person who does not abuse alcohol develops a fatty liver, it is referred to as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD.
A fatty liver usually produces no symptoms. In fact, you may never know you have a fatty liver unless you have a blood test. If you do have symptoms, they can include pain in the upper right abdomen and fatigue.
What Causes Fatty Liver Disease?
Unless you are a heavy drinker, there may be no clear reason why you are developing fat on your liver.
Sometimes, the reason will be because of the cluster of symptoms listed above (insulin resistance, excess weight around the midsection, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure). This cluster of conditions is referred to as metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome places a person at a much higher risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and fatty liver disease.
If you have any of these conditions, or if you have a fatty liver, changing your current diet to a low-carb plan may be beneficial.
Is Low Carb Good for a Fatty Liver?Eat more fat to cure… fat? Yes, but not just any fat. Let’s take a look at why a diet low in carbohydrates may be beneficial for your fatty liver and for your liver health as a whole.
What is a Low Carb Diet?
A low carbohydrate diet is a diet that is rich in fats and protein, but lower in carbohydrates. The average intake of a person on a low carbohydrate diet is between 27-57 grams of carbohydrates per day.
A person on a low carbohydrate diet will decrease their intake of carbohydrates and simultaneously replace those with healthy fats and proteins. Why limit carbohydrates in the first place?
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose by the body to be used as energy. Glucose requires your body to produce insulin to break it down so that it is usable. When you eat a carbohydrate, your pancreas releases insulin to help break down the glucose and deliver it to your cells for energy. The glucose that isn’t needed gets stored in the liver as fat.
Refined carbohydrates like sugar, flour, processed oats, white rice, and potato chips release glucose into your bloodstream quickly, generally faster than your cells need them for energy. As such, the glucose released by these carbs is often stored as fat in the liver.
Unrefined carbohydrates like beans, whole wheat, and brown rice take longer to digest. That means the glucose they release is released slowly into the bloodstream, giving your body longer to process and avoiding as much fat storage.
A person on a low carbohydrate diet has less glucose entering their bloodstream to be broken down and stored.
Low Carb and Fatty Liver: The Benefits
While it has traditionally been thought that a patient with NAFLD should avoid fat to help the liver, new studies say otherwise.
A low-carb diet will naturally benefit a person with fatty liver disease, because the person won’t be consuming as many high glycemic foods, that is, foods like refined carbs that cause your blood sugar to spike when you eat them.
When you aren’t eating as many calories in highly glycemic foods, your liver won’t have to store excess glucose as fat.
The new study (linked above) revealed that placing patients with NAFLD on a low carbohydrate diet dramatically decreased liver fat in just fourteen days. The low carb diet was also associated with a higher circulating level of folate, which has been shown to help the liver metabolize fat more effectively.
Saturated Fat and Fatty Liver
We’ve been programmed to believe that saturated fat is bad for us, and some of it may very well be… but not all of it. It’s taken science a little time to catch up, but we now know that some types of trace saturated fats are actually good for us.
Pentadecanoic acid is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid that a growing body of research shows may be the first essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years. What does this have to do with fatty liver?
Pentadecanoic acid, also known as C15:0 (pronounced see-fifteen), is a sturdy fatty acid that goes into your cells and helps strengthen and support them, giving them a fighting chance against the natural decline they experience as we age. In fact, studies have shown associations between higher C15:0 and lower risks of fatty liver disease. Further, use of daily C15:0 supplementation resulted in less severe disease, including lower liver fibrosis, lower cholesterol, lower inflammation, and improved liver function, across multiple models of NAFLD.
When our cells age and weaken, their function is compromised. Here’s how C15:0 helps our cells and liver:
When our cells are healthy, our overall health improves. Studies show that people with higher circulating C15:0 levels have an overall lower risk of developing NAFLD and severe alcoholic steatohepatitis.
How To Get More C15:0
C15:0 is found in trace levels in full-fat dairy products like whole milk and butter. As such, you may not be getting very much of it in your diet. We’ve been following health guidelines (from 1974) that have told us fat is bad, and those guidelines haven’t changed much since then. In addition, foods that contain trace levels of the good fat (aka C15:0) also contain much higher levels of even-chain saturated fats (like C16:0) that have been repeatedly associated with a higher risk of cardiometabolic diseases.
Because your body doesn’t make enough C15:0 and you may not be getting adequate levels from your diet, you need a viable option. You can get C15:0 in a once a day, easy to take supplement.
C15:0 can be great way to help take better care of your liver, improve your overall health, and give your cells a fighting chance as you age.
Medically reviewed by Eric Venn-Watson, M.D.
Inflammation isn’t something you like to experience in any part of your body. If your skin is inflamed from a sunburn or a bug bite, it may swell, fester, and burn. If you sprain your ankle, you’ll experience inflammation in the form of swelling and bruising, making it difficult for you to walk or bend.
While inflammation may be a nuisance, it’s your body’s natural, protective response. A normal inflammatory response happens when your body is exposed to:
There are two different types of inflammation, acute and chronic. We’ll explain the differences between both and explain how a little-known dietary fat could change how we deal with the underlying causes of chronic inflammation.
What is Acute Inflammation?
Acute inflammation is what you’ve likely experienced on and off your entire life. Acute inflammation happens as a response to injuries and illnesses.
Acute inflammation is easy to see and feel. You pull a muscle, you feel sore and tender. You get the flu, you feel congested. It’s usually very easy to pinpoint the cause of acute inflammation, which makes it very treatable.
You may take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (or NSAID) pain relievers to reduce pain and fever, or apply ice to an injury to manage swelling.
Acute inflammation usually only lasts a short period of time. You may only experience this type of inflammation for a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the underlying cause of the inflammation.
What is Chronic Inflammation?
At the other end of the inflammation spectrum is chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is your body’s response to continual exposure to a particular irritant. Chronic inflammation may last for months, years, or even decades.
Chronic inflammation isn’t always easily identified, so you may not know if you have it. This type of inflammation may not cause you pain or discomfort, and may not even be noticeable without a blood test.
Chronic inflammation happens because your body perceives a low-level irritant as a threat and attempts to fight it off. When the irritant remains, your body continues to have an immune response. This places your body in a constant state of inflammation.
Why does it matter? Good question.
When your immune system responds to an irritant, it pumps out white blood cells to tackle the irritant and eliminate it, restoring your body to health. When the irritant doesn’t go away, and your immune system keeps fighting, those white blood cells can begin to attack healthy tissue.
When healthy tissues are damaged as a result of your body’s immune response, you develop chronic inflammatory diseases. Research shows chronic inflammation leads to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, arthritis, and digestive diseases.
Many of these diseases make up what’s known as metabolic syndrome. A condition which places a person at very high risk of developing diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. Certain inflammatory conditions place you at risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
How Inflammation is Linked to Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome includes higher than normal cholesterol levels, insulin resistance, and higher than normal blood pressure. Many of these conditions can be directly related to inflammation in the body. Here are some examples.
Excess Weight. If a person is overweight (especially in the midsection), they likely have a high level of visceral fat. The body can see this excess fat as a threat, and begin to attack it to try to get rid of it. Unless the person loses the weight, the body will continue to attack the fat, placing the body in a state of constant, chronic inflammation.
Over time, that inflammation can spread and begin to attack healthy organs.
Insulin Resistance. While we most frequently associate type 2 diabetes with excess sugar intake, the problem may be deeper. Type 2 diabetes may be the result of chronic inflammation associated with obesity. This inflammation is essentially the same referenced above, where inflammation occurs in fatty tissue. This inflammation is thought to inhibit proper insulin response in the body, causing the person to experience a state of insulin resistance.
High Blood Pressure. High levels of inflammation have also been linked to increased blood pressure, increasing the likelihood a person will suffer a stroke. Researchers have found that as levels of blood pressure rose, levels of C-reactive protein (a measure of inflammation in the body) also rose. There is still debate as to whether high blood pressure causes inflammation, or if inflammation causes high blood pressure.
High Cholesterol. Inflammation plays a hand in the development of high cholesterol as well. When someone suffers chronic inflammation, it alters their lipid metabolism, causing a decrease in their HDL (good cholesterol) levels and increases LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, placing the person at risk for developing cholesterol-related problems.
What You Can Do
A simple blood test can determine if your body is in a constant state of immune response or experiencing chronic inflammation. If your C-reactive protein levels are consistently high, there are changes you can make to help improve your health and potentially avoid metabolic syndrome and related illnesses.
One of the biggest factors for developing chronic inflammation is carrying excess weight, especially around the midsection. Losing weight means your body will carry less adipose (fat) tissue, which means your immune system can stop deploying white blood cells to attack it.
There are fad diets that claim to eliminate inflammation, but ensuring your diet is full of plant-based vitamins and nutrients is one of the biggest keys to improving your overall health. There’s no magic diet that will completely eliminate the inflammation in your body, but eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables can help you lose weight, and can give you what you need to maintain better health.
Take Pentadecanoic Acid
Pentadecanoic acid, also known as C15:0 (pronounced see-fifteen), is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid that a growing body of research suggests may be the first essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years.
This fatty acid has been shown to support the body’s healthy immunity. While even-chain saturated fatty acids are linked to negative health markers like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, odd-chain saturated fatty acids, like C15:0, are linked to lower risks of diseases and conditions, like:
The same organs and systems that suffer as a result of chronic inflammation are supported and strengthened by C15:0, making it a pretty important little fatty acid for inclusion in your diet. C15:0 dives deep into your cells, strengthening cell membranes and activating critical PPAR receptors that lower chronic inflammation so your cells are protected from external stressors.
If you’re wondering if you’re getting enough C15:0 in your diet, the answer is probably not.
C15:0 is found in trace levels in full-fat dairy products like whole milk and butter, which we’ve been avoiding for decades due to outdated dietary guidelines that have told us that all fat is bad for us. As a result, we’re a society dealing with massive amounts of inflammation and inflammation-related health problems while avoiding foods containing C15:0. The problem is, the same foods that contain small amounts of C15:0 also have much higher levels of even-chain saturated fatty acids (like, C16:0) that are associated with an increased risk of inflammation.
The solution? Improving your health at the cellular level by routinely taking C15:0. If you’re ready to give your cells a fighting chance, learn more here.
STEPHANIE VENN-WATSON, dvm, mph
Dr. Stephanie Venn-Watson is a veterinary epidemiologist dedicated to improving both human and animal health. Before co-founding Seraphina Therapeutics and Epitracker, Inc,. she worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and the Department of Defense. Dr. Venn-Watson has over 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications and is an inventor on 40+ patents. Her dedication to discovering natural compounds to improve global health has been featured in/on Forbes, NPR Science Friday, PBS, National Geographic, BBC, and more.
ERIC VENN-WATSON, MD
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson is a physician, US Navy veteran and serial entrepreneur. Prior to Seraphina Therapeutics, Eric founded multiple companies in therapeutics discovery, healthcare analytics, and medical device industries as well as working in leadership roles in several life science companies.