Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful disease that affects a great number of people every year around the world. It occurs when the auto-immune system attacks the joints causing swelling and damage to cartilage and bone.

A pilot study in Denmark and Germany has given light to a possible effective alternative treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the form of rosehip powder. This is a study that took place around a year ago and has given hope to a lot of arthritis sufferers around the world.

A trial has been conducted in which severely affected patients that had already been undergoing treatment using conventional drugs were then given rosehip capsules for a period of six months. The early results showed that these patients experienced significant improvement while taking the rosehip. The supplement is called LitoZin.

Rosehip has also been used to reduce the inflammation caused by osteoarthritis with pain relieving properties believed to be three times more effective than standard paracetamol.

One of the most noteworthy points about the possible benefits derived from LitoZin is that it costs significantly less than conventional drugs that are proving to be less effective.

The active ingredient is known as GOPO which is a key component of the rosehip (Rosa canina). It has been found to reduce joint pain and stiffness, working as an anti-inflammatory agent. It was found in a study that GOPO had the unique ability to switch off certain genes responsible for producing proteins and enzymes that have been implicated in inflammatory joint destruction.

One of the doctors who has been extensively involved with the studies and the research, Dr Kaj Winther from the Frederiksberg Hospital, University of Copenhagen has said, "We have little doubt that certain rose-hip preparations, and GOPO(R) in particular, have an important role to play in reducing the pain and disability associated with some joint conditions. The results of these new studies suggest that the primary mechanism of action of rose-hip is to reduce inflammation and protect the joint tissues from damaging substances produced by an over-active immune system."

Although still very much in the early trial stages and with a lot of further research still to be done, there is a lot to be positive about with the possibilities of rosehip and its effectiveness for treating arthritis pain. So far there have been no reported side effects from those who have used the supplement and, if anything, the good news is that even if it didn't provide any benefits to the arthritis it is meant to be fighting, it is still a valuable source of Vitamin C.