Study finds carbohydrates linked to osteoarthritis

The carbohydrate composition of diets increased the risk of osteoarthritis (OA) in laboratory mice, a new study from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation found.

Tim Griffin, Ph.D., and his lab placed groups of mice on different high-fat diets to test the effect of obesity on OA. Researchers noticed that fiber and sugar in the diets were enough to alter the mice’s chances of developing OA. The high-sucrose diet caused joint inflammation, and the high-fiber diet changed cartilage genes as well as cellular stress-response pathways.

Though the experiment was performed on mice, Griffin pointed out that the study could be translated to humans.

“It’s important to understand how our diet affects the health of our joints,” Griffin said to Science Daily . “We were surprised to see so many OA-related differences between the two high-carb diets even though body weight and body fat were the same.”

OA occurs when the cartilage that cushions bones in the joints breaks down and wears away, causing the bones to rub against one another. It affects nearly 27 million people in the U.S., and is the most frequently diagnosed arthritis. It’s also the most widespread form of disability in the country.

Though there are several factors that could contribute to an increased risk of OA (i.e. previous joint injuries, genetics and age), carrying extra weight is the most common.

Even if the root cause of this disease isn’t certain, shedding weight — particularly in the form of cutting carbs — is the best way to avoid this affliction at all. Contact your primary care physician to see if your weight puts you at risk for OA. You can also simply give us a call to schedule a consultation at 410-565-6552!


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