Scoliosis Progression and the Immune Response; Can Supplements Help?
Scoliosis has long been treated as an orthopedic condition, with limited success. Researchers continually provide validation that scoliosis is much more than a curvature of the spine, most recently, the British Medical Journal published a study entitled, “Understanding the role of the Immune System in Adolescent Scoliosis: Immunometabolic Connections to Scoliosis..” The study’s aim was to identify the mechanisms of how inflammation caused fibrosis (scaring) and remodeling (fatty infiltration of the concavity musculature), and how the cascade of the immune response is associated with progression of the scoliosis. The authors discuss the cross talk communication between the circulating immune cells (macrophages) and the muscle. This same cross talk communication happens between the bone cells (osteocytes) and macrophages.
The study highlights the importance of having an appropriate immune response and how inflammation can be tipped towards overreaction through intermediary proteins called cytokines. Successful Scoliosis treatment without surgery necessitates that the immune response be curtailed or influenced through diet and lifestyle modifications. Supplementation directed toward cytokine management may provide a missing piece of the puzzle to successful outcomes.
Functional Medicine offers a clinical solution to control cytokine production, in particular, the down regulation of pro inflammatory cytokines may provide the clinician with help to tip the scales in the patients favor.
Here are a few basic concepts that everyone can benefit from.
- Vitamin D is a hormone that is produced and used by the Osteocytes (bone Stem Cells). Low Vitamin D drives the Osteocytes to become Osteoclasts, which break down the bone matrix. This is significant if your lab results reveal low Vit D, and especially if you have low bone density for Age. Supplementing with Vit D and its co-factors like Vitamin K2 is important especially if your lab levels indicate.
- Curcumin (Tumeric) and Resveratrol are well known supplements with many potential benefits. Studies have shown these compounds effectively modulate the immune response to reduce overproduction of pro inflammatory cytokines.
- Trizomal Glutathinone is a master antioxidant and can become depleted when cytokine production is high. Replacing Glutathione through supplementation can aid in reducing the ongoing inflammatory process associated with progressive Scoliosis.
- Strontium Citrate is a compound with very similar properties to Calcium. Strontium supplementation has been shown to improve bone density and may be safer than Calcium supplementation (for men). Strontium should be recommended by a professional as it competes with calcium for absorption and timing of dosing will have a significant effect on its absorbability.
This post is not meant to be a prescription for supplements. Bring this to your provider and discuss if this type of medicine is right for you. Comprehensive Blood work may uncover more ways to better help you and we always encourage you work with a trained profession. To learn more contact us for a phone consultation.