Diet and Arthritis

milkDiet and arthritis seem to have a connection. There have been many claims for many years now that certain dietary habits may influence the development and the onset of arthritis. There are claims that are merely hearsay and with some of them supported by medical evidence. Here are some of the claims and the actual facts behind the connection between diet and arthritis.

Weight Management and Maintenance

The objective of proper diet is to maintain a healthy weight. There are various scientific evidence to support the claim that watching one’s weight may help prevent the incidence of arthritis. Obesity has been known to be a major risk factor for osteoarthritis. Losing a few pounds may help decrease the discomfort of arthritis. Considerable weight loss can help reduce the stress or load in the different joints, most especially the knees which can help considerably reduce the wear and tear that they go through. In fact, losing just one pound of body weight can reduce the load on the knees by as much as four pounds.

Saturated and Trans Fats

Some preliminary studies have shown a possible link between chronic inflammation of the joints to the intake of saturated fats found in red meats, dairy products as well as poultry. The same goes to trans fats which are found in hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils used in cooking. On the other hand, intake of monounsaturated (healthy) fats such as those found in olive oil do not seem to aid or increase in joint inflammation.

Vitamin D Intake

Scientific studies have shown that there seems to be a link between an increased risk of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in people with low levels of vitamin d in the blood. In fact, additional research have shown that osteoarthritis may become worse three times faster in people with inadequate amounts of vitamin D as compared to people with diets having sufficient amounts of vitamin D. The standard recommendation is that people should have at least 400 IU of vitamin D daily.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

With studies showing dietary fats having a link with arthritis, people may be wondering if it includes the Omega 3 fatty acids that is found aplenty in fish oils. Early studies have shown that a high dose of fish oil capsules taken daily may help provide modest benefits for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This is the type of arthritis where the body’s immune system mistakenly mounts an attack on the joints. The Omega 3 fatty acids seem to have some anti-inflammatory action on the joints.