Protecting Your Knees from Arthritis May Be as Simple as Eating More Fiber
Did you know that nearly half of people with symptoms of arthritic knees are under the age of 65? Shocking, right?
This alarming statistic means that many individuals will live for decades with aching knee joints and potential disabilities. However, a new analysis has found that there may be a way to curtail the risk of painful knee osteoarthritis.
The authors of the new study explored data from two well-respected U.S. studies. The first is the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI). This study began in 2004 and tracks the health of nearly 5,000 men and women.
The second is the renowned Framingham Offspring cohort study, which tracks the health of more than 1,200 adult children of the original Framingham Heart Study participants.
Once the researchers had collected all of this data, they compared the participants’ daily fiber intake against the risk of painful knee osteoarthritis.
Can Fiber Protect Against Arthritic Knees?
In both studies, daily fiber intake was measured using Food Frequency Questionnaire responses. The intake averaged out at around 15 grams of fiber each day in the OAI, and 19 grams in the Framingham Offspring, study.
And the results boast exciting news for those who want to live out their lives without aching and arthritic knees.
In the OAI study, people with the highest intake of fiber (the top 25 percent) had a 30 percent lower risk of painful knee osteoarthritis when compared to those with the lowest intake (the bottom 25 percent). And in those with existing knee pain, it significantly lowered the risk of the pain getting worse.
The Framingham results were even more remarkable. Those with the highest fiber intake slashed their risk of painful arthritic knees by an amazing 61 percent.
Fiber: Good for More Than Just Your Knees
Study after study has shown that higher intake of fiber can boost cardiovascular health, while helping to protect against diabetes and maintain a healthy weight.
Fiber also keeps you “regular” and promotes a healthy gut. Plus, fiber helps reduce inflammation in your body — which is very important when it comes to protecting against aches, pains and most age-related disease.
For the greatest health benefits, it’s best to get your fiber from multiple sources each day. This includes not only eating cereals and whole grain products, but also enjoying plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
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Dai Z, et al. Dietary intake of fibre and risk of knee osteoarthritis in two US prospective cohorts. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 May 23. [Epub ahead of print]
Fibre-rich diet linked to lowered risk of painful knee osteoarthritis. Press Release. BMJ. May 2017.
Slavin J. Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits. Nutrients. 2013 Apr; 5(4): 1417–1435.
Dana Nicholas is a freelance writer and researcher in the field of natural and alternative healing. She has over 20 years of experience working with many noted health authors and anti-aging professionals, including James Balch, M.D., Dr. Linda Page, “Amazon” John Easterling and Al Sears M.D. Dana’s goal is to keep you up-to-date on information, news and breakthroughs that can have a direct impact on your health, your quality of life… and your lifespan. “I’m absolutely convinced that America’s misguided trust in mainstream medicine – including reliance on the government to regulate our food and medicine supply – is killing us, slowly but surely,” she cautions. “By sharing what I’ve learned throughout the years I hope I can empower others to take control over their own health.”