Antioxidants May Lower Risk of Knee Osteoarthritis
Antioxidants in dietary foods are recognized as being healthy but they may also have another specific effect - protecting against bone changes associated with knee osteoarthritis. There is potential for diet to lower the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
According to a study published online July 6, 2007 from Arthritis Research & Therapy, Australian researchers determined that middle-aged adults with higher dietary intake of vitamin C were less likely to develop bone abnormalities associated with developing osteoarthritis.
Study of Antioxidants on Healthy Bone and Knee Cartilage
There were 293 middle-aged men and women who were healthy and pain-free at the study onset. The study participants were initially asked to fill out a questionnaire about their diets. After 10 years had passed, the study participants had an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of their knee so that the tissue could be examined.
Results of the Antioxidant Study
Researcher's concluded that:
- higher dietary levels of vitamin C correlated with lower risk of certain bone changes 10 years later.
- higher dietary consumption of fruit correlated with lower risk of certain bone changes 10 years later.
- certain carotenoids (i.e., lutein and zeaxanthin) in green vegetables correlated with a lower risk of cartilage defects.
Conclusions From the Antioxidant Study
In theory, antioxidants protect the body's cells from accumulating oxidative damage. There may however be other explanations for this study's findings. For example, people who have diets high in antioxidants may be otherwise healthy, in ways which could have a protective effect against osteoarthritis. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is the optimal way of getting antioxidants as part of your diet. Eating a healthy diet won't hurt you, and may even protect you.
Effect of antioxidants on knee cartilage and bone in healthy, middle-aged subjects: a cross-sectional study. Arthritis Research & Therapy. July 6, 2007. <http://arthritis-research.com/content/9/4/R66/abstract>.
Antioxidants May Protect Against Knee Arthritis. Scientific American. July 20, 2007. <http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?alias=antioxidants-may-protect>