Researchers have revealed the association between consumption of fibre rich diet and risk of developing knee arthritis. The new analysis in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases discovered People who ate fiber-rich diet are less likely to experience knee arthritis.
Knee arthritis is inflammation of knee joints which is more common among adults aged 65 years or older, but people of all ages can be affected. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the primary symptoms of arthritis. Knee arthritis can make it very hard to carry out daily activities, such as, walking or climbing stairs.
Dietary fibres are carbohydrates, primarily from plant-based foods such as cereal grains, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and legumes.
Researchers analyzed data from two separate long term studies: The first, the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OI), included 4,796 participants; the other, the Framingham Offspring cohort, comprised 1,268 participants. They discovered that the more fiber people ate, the less knee pain they reported, and the less likely they were to be diagnosed with knee arthritis.
In Osteoarthritis Initiative study, those who ate the most fiber per day an average of just over 20 grams were 30 percent less likely to have symptoms of knee arthritis and 19 percent less likely to report worsening pain in their knees over the course of four years than those who ate the least fiber, or just under 9 g per day.
In the Framingham study, those who ate the most fiber per day nearly 26 g were 61 percent less likely to experience symptomatic knee arthritis than those who ate the least, or just under 14 g.
The associations persisted even after controlling for age, sex, race, education, smoking, total calorie intake, physical activity, the intake of polyunsaturated fat and other dietary factors.
For both studies, dietary fibre intake was measured using Food Frequency Questionnaire responses. Similarly, in both studies, eating more cereal fiber was linked to lower levels of knee pain, too.
No firm conclusion could be drawn about cause and effect as the studies were observational.
Lead author, Zhaoli Dai, a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University said, “increasing dietary fiber is one of the most economical ways to reduce the pain of knee osteoarthritis. In addition, there are a lot of other advantages, such as, weight loss, reduced cardiovascular risk and reduced diabetes risk”.