When I was first diagnosed with PMR, I searched the literature for evidence that a diet based anti-inflammatory regimen would help offset the pro-inflammatory cytokines responsible for my disease. What I initially found was dozens of papers, (by seemingly credible sources) that promised a significant anti-inflammatory benefit by simply consuming antioxidant rich foods and taking antioxidant supplements.
While I was encouraged by what I found, further research provided little more than anecdotal evidence to support all of the hype and promise. Furthermore, the highly promoted (and often expensive) antioxidant supplements were generating 2.25 billion dollars per year to unregulated manufacturers who are not required to verify the content or efficacy of their products.
When I changed my search criteria to include antioxidants, I found the credible scientific studies I was looking for, but rather than supporting the value of alternative anti-inflammatory therapies, they questioned them. The most informative study I found was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and titled “The oxidative stress theory of disease: levels of evidence and epistemological aspects” by Pietro Ghezzi, August 4, 2016.
Unfortunately, I had to go to my local hospital medical library to read this study, as there are no free online copies, but a synopsis of Dr. Ghezzi’s paper is included in the following link:
Lastly please understand that while integrative medicine can have significant clinical value, there are also many unproven cures that are presented as science based fact. Regrettably, the promise of these remedies presents a powerful lure to sick and desperate patients and often includes costly herbs and/or supplements.
My recommendation to all PMR/GCA sufferers is to consume a healthy balanced diet that addresses the vitamin and mineral deficiencies that are inherent to long-term steroids use. And most of all, take the time to do your own research and “BEWARE THE SHAMAN HEALER”.