Thursday, June 15, 2017

Osteoarthritis and Fiber

You are probably tired of hearing about the health benefits of dietary fiber and the many problems begat by American's chronic lack of it. But here is one more that I had not heard of before. Eating more fiber rich foods such as nuts, fruit, whole grains and vegetables may reduce chronic inflammation enough to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis of the knee and lessen the pain of those who already have the condition.

Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine, followed over 5,000 osteoarthritis patients annually for 4 years with a follow-up after 9 years and concluded that "greater fiber intake was associated with a reduced risk for symptomatic osteoarthritis". The study results "support the current recommended daily fiber intake for older Americans,” according to Zhaoli Dai, the study's lead author.

How much fiber and what was the benefit?

Those who consumed an average of 26 grams of fiber daily had a 61% lower risk of knee osteoarthritis than those who consumed only 14 grams.

"Increasing dietary fiber is one of the most economical ways to reduce the pain of knee osteoarthritis," Dr. Dao told the New York Times. "And there are a lot of other benefits as well: reduced weight and cardiovascular risk, and reduced diabetes risk as well."

So maybe you are tired of hearing it. But average fiber consumption by Americans is about 16 grams. And by 2020, 6.5 million Americans between the ages of 35 and 65 are predicted to suffer from this painful knee condition. So maybe you ought to pay attention.

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