Today’s common knowledge about diets and what is good for one’s health or a specific condition is pretty large. The sources with respective recommendations come from scientific researches and nutritionists’ expertise and experience. We also look at the various nations’ eating and drinking habits where some typical health problem is detected, or the absence of it. New research investigates the link between a fibre-rich diet and the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Fibres are generally known as good food for a healthy life and they may also have an impact on an existing condition. To name just a few, eating more fibres may improve heart conditions or even reduce breast cancer risks. By eating fibre we balance our digestion, thus influencing the cholesterol and sugar level, keeping the body weight under control. We can find high fibre content in fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and non-starchy vegetables.
One recent research showed that the risk of developing painful knee osteoarthritis can be lowered by a diet rich in fibre. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. Worldwide, it is estimated that almost 10 percent of men and 18 percent of women aged 60 and over live with symptomatic OA. Also known as “wear and tear” arthritis, the joint disorder affects elders in particular, with women over the age of 50 being the most likely to develop the condition.
New research – published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases – investigates the link between a diet rich in fibre and the risk of developing knee OA.
Studying the link between Osteoarthritis and fibre intake
The researchers determined the participants’ fibre intake at the beginning of the study using a food frequency questionnaire. They also assessed incident radiographic OA and symptomatic OA – that is, they used X-rays to determine OA and recorded OA symptoms, the most common of which include knee pain, stiffness, and swelling.
The participants were clinically followed every year for 48 months and in some cases they were evaluated after 9 years. Researchers also collected clinical data on other factors that may have influenced the results, including knee injury, medication, lifestyle, alcohol consumption, and physical exercise. Patients consumed an average of 15-19 grams of fibre every day.
Overall, the statistical analysis indicated that a higher intake of fibre correlated with a lower risk of painful OA. The participants who consumed the most fibre had a 30-61 per cent lower risk of OA compared with those who consumed the least fibre. Furthermore, the study revealed that consuming more fibre in general, as well as more cereal fibre in particular, significantly reduced the risk of knee pain getting worse.
As in everything, a good balance and gradual approach is good advice. If you want or need to increase your fiber intake, it’s important that you do so gradually. A sudden increase may make you produce more wind leave you feeling bloated, and cause stomach cramps. Persons with gluten intolerance should exercise care when increasing fiber intake.