Nav: Home

Dietary carbohydrates could lead to osteoarthritis, new study finds

August 09, 2018

Do your knees ache? According to new findings from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, your diet could be a culprit.

In a study led by OMRF scientist Tim Griffin, Ph.D., 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.

"We know increased body fat elevates risk, but we haven't appreciated as much how diet itself affects the disease risk," said Griffin. "These findings give us new clues that there can be significant dietary effects linked to increased OA risk even in the absence of obesity."

Osteoarthritis, or OA, is the most common form of arthritis and the most widespread form of disability in the country, affecting nearly 27 million people in the U.S. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions bones in the joints breaks down and wears away, causing the bones to rub against one another.

Several factors can increase risk, including high-impact physical jobs, previous joint injuries, age and genetics, but carrying extra body weight is among the most proven contributors.

"Obesity is the one of the most significant factors for developing disease in the knee joint," said Griffin. "However, therapeutic strategies to prevent or treat obesity-associated OA are limited because of the uncertainly about the root cause of the disease."

To study how, exactly, obesity contributes to osteoarthritis, Griffin and his lab 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 OA.

The primary culprits: fiber and sugar.

In particular, Griffin's team found that changing the amount of sucrose--table sugar--and fiber in the diet altered OA pathology in the rodents. The high-sucrose diet increased signs of joint inflammation, while the high-fiber 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.

"It's important to understand how our diet affects the health of our joints," he said. "We were surprised to see so many OA-related differences between the two high-carb diets even though body weight and body fat were the same."

Griffin next plans to investigate how different types of dietary fiber and other components of our diets can contribute to OA, and also look at the role the body's microbiome and gut bacteria play in the disease.
-end-
The new findings were published in the journal Disease Models & Mechanisms. OMRF researchers Erika Barboza Prado Lopes, Ph.D., Albert Batushansky, Ph.D., Mike Kinter, Ph.D., and former OMRF scientist Elise Donovan, Ph.D., contributed to the research.

The work was supported by National Institutes of Health grants P20RR018758, P20GM103441, P30GM114731, P30AG050911 and R01AG049058. Griffin also received additional funding support through the Arthritis Foundation.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Related Osteoarthritis Articles:

Cross-species links identified for osteoarthritis
New research from the University of Liverpool, published today in the journal NPJ Systems Biology and Applications, has identified 'cell messages' that could help identify the early stages of osteoarthritis.
Findings do not support steroid injections for knee osteoarthritis
Among patients with knee osteoarthritis, an injection of a corticosteroid every three months over two years resulted in significantly greater cartilage volume loss and no significant difference in knee pain compared to patients who received a placebo injection, according to a study published by JAMA.
Osteoarthritis could be prevented with good diet and exercise
Osteoarthritis can potentially be prevented with a good diet and regular exercise, a new expert review published in the Nature Reviews Rheumatology reports.
Hand osteoarthritis is a common condition
A new study estimates that the lifetime risk of symptomatic hand osteoarthritis is 40 percent, and nearly one in two women and one in four men will develop the condition, which affects hand strength and function and causes disability in activities of daily living.
Noisy knees may be an early sign of knee osteoarthritis
A new study using data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative, a multi-center observational study of nearly 3500 participants, indicates that people who hear grating, cracking, or popping sounds in or around their knee joint may be at increased risk of developing knee osteoarthritis.
Improvements in ACL surgery may help prevent knee osteoarthritis
Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee frequently leads to early-onset osteoarthritis, a painful condition that can occur even if the patient has undergone ACL reconstruction to prevent its onset.
Clinical trial for new innovative osteoarthritis drug
The University of Liverpool, in partnership with AKL Research and Development Ltd, is to lead on a clinical trial to test a potential new drug treatment for osteoarthritis.
Blood test for early osteoarthritis diagnosis unveiled
Patients could soon be diagnosed with early-stage arthritis several years before the onset of physical and irreversible symptoms, thanks to a new test developed by researchers at the University of Warwick.
Osteoarthritis just as severe as rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatologists more likely to underestimate clinical status of their OA patients than their RA patients
Tissue fluid flow can reveal onset of osteoarthritis
Reflecting the overall structural alterations in the tissue, changes in the flow of interstitial fluid in articular cartilage could be an indicator revealing the onset of osteoarthritis, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

Related Osteoarthritis Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Bias And Perception
How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us. Guests include writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd, journalist Andreas Ekström, and experimental psychologist Tony Salvador.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#513 Dinosaur Tails
This week: dinosaurs! We're discussing dinosaur tails, bipedalism, paleontology public outreach, dinosaur MOOCs, and other neat dinosaur related things with Dr. Scott Persons from the University of Alberta, who is also the author of the book "Dinosaurs of the Alberta Badlands".