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Increased Fiber Intake Can Decrease Chances Of OA

Dorathy Gass

A new study has come out that reveals increased fiber intake can help decrease the chances of osteoarthritis (OA).

Over 30 million people across America are affected by OA, with approximately 18% of females and 10% of males who are 60+ suffering with symptomatic OA. The joint condition, that is the type of arthritis that is most common, is seemingly more popular with older members of society and women who are 50 and older are most susceptible to developing OA.

The research team for this project used meta-analysis and reviewed two long-term studies around diets rich in fiber and their benefits, which included the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), with a total of over 4,700 participants; as well as the Framingham Offspring OA Study, with over 1,200 participants. The study partnered up two teams from the UK’s University of Manchester and Boston’s Tufts University.

Past studies have revealed that a fiber-rich diet can be a good thing for one’s health, with the benefits including a decrease in weight and blood pressure, as well as lowered inflammation and a betterment within the levels of one’s blood sugar.

Some examples of food that are rich in fiber include: fruit, nuts, whole grains, non-starchy veggies, and legumes.

The study team figured out the fiber intake of participants at the start of their research by using a questionnaire. They also examined symptomatic OA and incident radiographic OA to determine OA and the conditions symptoms (which includes knee swelling, stiffness, and pain).
Participants were followed annually for 48 months as per the OAI research and reviewed after nine years via the Framingham research. The team also gathered clinic numbers around other elements that could affect results, which included: medication, knee injuries, alcohol intake, exercise, and overall lifestyle.

With the OAI research, individuals were given a fiber intake of 15 grams daily, with the Framingham research being 19 grams of fiber. When it came to the OAI results, 869 participants had symptoms of OA after four years and 152 individuals revealing OA signs via an X-ray. The pain worsened in the knees for 1,964 individuals.

Meanwhile, Medical News Today reported that after nine years within the Framingham research, 143 participants revealed OA signs in their knees, with 175 OA signs popping up in X-rays for participants.

In general, the analysis showed that an increase in fiber consumption was linked to a decreased chance of developing OA. The individuals who participated in the study were divided into four quartiles, with the highest being compared to the lowest when it came to fiber consumption.

Therefore, those individuals who had the highest intake of fiber had a 30% decreased chance of developing OA within the OAI study, while those with the highest intake within the Framingham study had a 61% decreased chance of developing OA symptoms.

Overall, the study also showed that increased fiber intake, including fiber-rich cereals, also decreased the risk of knee pain insensitivity.

Pretty interesting food for thought.

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