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Women beware: Exposure to PFCs in carpets and cookware could boost your arthritis risk

by , 18 February 2013

The greater a woman's exposure to PFCs in household items like cookware, take-away containers and carpeting, the greater her risk for developing arthritis,” reports Health24. This finding, based on results by researchers at Yale, made breaking news this weekend. Here's what you need to know about PFCs as well as a little-known way to ease your arthritis risk…

According to a team of scientists behind a breakthrough arthritis study, PFCs found in a vast array of household products – including grease-proof packaging, as well as goods that have been waterproofed and stain protected – could be behind rising arthritis cases in women.
 
In fact, according to the study, “women exposed to the highest levels of either chemical seemed to face up to nearly double the risk for developing osteoarthritis, compared to women exposed to the lowest levels,” reports Health24.
 
The reason? They suspect the harmful chemical has a profound impact on hormonal balances for women.
 
“Our hormone systems are incredibly delicate and can be thrown off by tiny doses of hormone-disrupting chemicals,” lead author Sarah Uhl told the media. “And processes like inflammation and cartilage repair are associated with our hormones, and are also associated with osteoarthritis."”
 
But while not being exposed to PFCs is currently not an option – it’s virtually everywhere – explains Uhl: “one of the best things to [prevent arthritis] is to lead a healthy lifestyle, and get exercise and eat well. Because we’re finding that those steps can reduce susceptibility to factors that are outside our control.”
 
Taking a walk – one of the best ways to fight arthritis
 
So is it possible to exercise your arthritis away? 
 
Not quite. “But exercise can, in many cases, prevent or delay disability, forestall or
prevent surgery, reduce pain, help you to reduce your reliance on prescription medication, and most importantly, help to fortify your overall health and maintain your mobility and quality of life,” writes health expert William L. Fischer in his book How to Fight Arthritis and Win.
 
And one of the best forms of exercise is walking. 
 
There are two key arthritis benefits walking can give you.
 
“Walking is an excellent exercise. Many experts, in fact consider it to be the perfect exercise, since it is appropriate for almost everyone at any age and at any fitness level. Begin walking for just 10 minutes daily: Less if you have difficulties,” says Fischer. 
 
“If you walk outdoors, you have the added bonus of being exposed to sunlight – which stimulates your body’s production of vitamin D. This nutrient is essential for proper calcium absorption, an important consideration for arthritis sufferers.

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