Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in adults and also the most debilitating. It currently affects almost 27 million people in the U.S. by painfully wearing away the cushiony cartilage in between bones–with the knee and hip joints being the most vulnerable.
Research has long suggested that a high-fat diet can increase risks for osteoarthritis, along with age, genetics, physically-demanding activities, obesity, and previous joint injuries.
Now diets high in carbohydrates are also being blamed for an uptick in the condition. A new study conducted by the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation that was recently published in journal Disease Models & Mechanisms evaluated the effects of carbohydrates on laboratory mice, and here’s what they found:
- Carbohydrate composition increased instances of osteoarthritis.
- Carbohydrates alone when fed to the mice – without the addition of high fats – were sufficient enough to render signs of osteoarthritis.
- The specific form of carbs contributing to joint inflammation and eventual osteoarthritis were fiber and sucralose, or ordinary table sugar.
Although researchers pointed out this testing was only performed on mice, it is thought the evidence would apply to us too.
Carbohydrates, much like high-fat foods, can negatively impact body weight–packing on additional pounds beyond what is healthy and triggering obesity. Too much weight carried on the body’s skeletal frame can put unnecessary pressure on the joints, leading to issues such as osteoarthritis, and even broken bones and fractures.
As joint replacement and rheumatology experts, we recommend the following tips to help prevent osteoarthritis:
- Eat a well-balanced diet, and consume carbohydrates, fatty foods, and sugary treats in moderation.
- Lead an active lifestyle engaging in some form of low-impact physical activity daily (at least 20 minutes) such as walking, swimming, or yoga.
- Take regular breaks and rest joints when performing frequent, repeated actions involving twisting, kneeling, lifting or bending–whether for work, sports, or other active hobbies.
If you have concerns about your osteoarthritis risk, or want help managing your current condition, please contact us for an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists.
(Courtesy of Science Daily)