Nutrition Review: Diet, Nutrition, and Osteoarthritis

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Date of Original Version



Despite abundant lay claims regarding diet, nutrients, and osteoarthritis (OA), scientific study on these relationships is in its early stages. The strongest risk factor for OA, particularly of the knee, is overweight and obesity. Initial weight loss studies for the treatment of OA have shown promising results, but longer-term trials are needed. Potential roles of specific nutrients in OA prevention and treatment are under study, but to date, results are somewhat less clear. The ratio of dietary omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids has been proposed to be related to OA because they are precursors of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines, respectively. However, human data are lacking to substantiate this relationship. Low serum levels of some vitamins, such as C and D, have been associated with OA in epidemiological research, but much more work must be conducted to understand the roles of these and other vitamins in OA prevention and treatment. Biological plausibility exists for the protective properties of antioxidants against OA, so continued research to assist in making specific dietary recommendations with respect to these is needed for OA patients. As the study of diet, nutrients, and OA evolves, it is prudent for practitioners to stay abreast of the research so that they can address patients' questions and recommend diets with adequate omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while avoiding megadoses. © 2007, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine