High-fiber Diets Best for Avoiding Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, a form of arthritis, is one of the leading causes of disability among adults in the United States. It is the most common joint disorder in the United States, with about 31 million adults estimated to be suffering from Osteoarthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Osteoarthritis is a progressive degenerative disease cause by the inflammation and breakdown of structures in the joints, including the cartilage, joint capsule, ligaments, and the underlying bone.

The breakdown of joint tissues results in pain, stiffness, aching, and swelling in and around the joint. Heavily-used joints, such the knee and hip joints, are more prone to osteoarthritis. Nearly 1 in 2 persons is expected to develop knee osteoarthritis by the age of 85, and hip osteoarthritis is estimated to occur in 1 in 4 persons during their lifetime.

Many factors have been attributed to play a role in the etiology and prevention of osteoarthritis, including diets. Foods high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains may help reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knee joint, according to a new study.

Evidence Supports Osteoarthritis Protective Effect of Fiber-rich Foods

The findings of a 2017 study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases reveal that high-fiber diets may decrease the odds of developing knee osteoarthritis.In this study, a team of researchers from the Department of Medicine, Boston University, Massachusetts, USA, reviewed the arthritis symptom reports and looked at the dietary fiber intake of 6,064 subjects recruited from the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OI) and the Framingham Offspring Osteoarthritis Study. They found out that regular consumers of high-fiber diets had slim chances of developing symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. The researchers concluded that generous intake of foods with high fiber content may protect individuals against knee osteoarthritis.

How Do Fiber-rich Foods Exert Their Protective Effect on Osteoarthritis?

Obesity and inflammation have been identified to be among the causal factors of osteoarthritis. Heavier body weights put a strain on the joints and promote the wear and tear of the cartilage. Eating foods loaded with fiber may help reduce body weight and lower markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). In addition, fiber-laden foods also supply nutrients to the beneficial microbes residing in the gut and prevent the entry of bacteria-produced toxins that induce inflammation and pain into the blood. Fiber-rich foods exert their protective effect on osteoarthritis by decreasing the levels of inflammatory biomarkers in the blood and helping to maintain a healthy body weight.

Fill Up Your Plates with Fiber-Rich Foods

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that men and women older than 51 should consume 22 and 28 grams of fiber per day respectively in order to enjoy the maximal health benefits associated with dietary fiber. These suggested numbers are actually low. Unfortunately, most Americans do not consume enough fiber, therefore putting themselves at greater risk of developing several chronic diseases, including osteoarthritis. If you want to cut down risk of developing this painful degenerative joint disease, then create more space for fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, and legumes in your plate henceforth.

And remember. Fiber is ONLY found in plants! 

Additional Information:

(1) Epidemiology of Osteoarthritis

(2) Arthritis Foundation - Arthritis Facts

(3) Arthritis Foundation - What is Osteoarthritis?

(4) Dietary intake of fiber and risk of knee osteoarthritis in two US prospective cohorts.

(5) High-Fiber Diet Tied to Less Knee Arthritis

(6) Fiber-rich diet linked to lowered risk of painful knee osteoarthritis

(7) Want to Avoid Knee Arthritis? Eat More Fiber

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