According to new findings from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, US, carbohydrates could increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
In a study led by paediatric haematologist-oncologist, Dr Timothy Griffin, in San Antonio, the researchers found that the carbohydrate composition of diets increased the risk of osteoarthritis in laboratory mice even when the animals didn’t differ in weight.
Griffin said, “We know increased body fat elevates risk, but we haven’t appreciated as much how diet itself affects the disease risk. These findings give us new clues that there can be significant dietary effects linked to increased osteoarthritis risk even in the absence of obesity.”
To study how, exactly, obesity contributes to osteoarthritis, Griffin and his colleagues placed groups of mice on different high-fat diets. However, over time, they observed that the carbohydrate makeup of the rodents’ low-fat control diet was alone sufficient to alter their chances of developing osteoarthritis.
According to new-medical.net, Griffin’s team found that changing the amount of sucrose and fibre in the diet altered osteoarthritis pathology in the rodents. The high-sucrose diet increased signs of joint inflammation, while the high-fibre diet caused changes in cartilage genes and cellular stress-response pathways.
While the study involved mice, Griffin said the findings could ultimately have human implications.
He said, “It is important to understand how our diet affects the health of our joints. We were surprised to see so many osteoarthritis-related differences between the two high-carb diets even though body weight and body fat was the same.”