- Poor diet and inactivity causes joint cells to reprogramme and change function
- This causes an overproduction of glucose, which leads to chronic inflammation
- Inflamed cartilage is the first sign of arthritis, and causes pain and immobility
- Researchers hope the results will help control or prevent the common condition
Good diet and regular exercise can prevent arthritis, debunking the idea its all down to ‘wear and tear’, a new study reveals.
Researchers have found poor diet and an inactive lifestyle triggers cells in the joints to reprogramme.
This changes how they function and leads to an overproduction of glucose, which is difficult for the body to remove and causes inflammation.
Inflamed cartilage is the first sign of osteoarthritis and results in pain and immobility.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of the disease and affects more than eight million people in the UK. In the US, around 30 million adults suffer from the condition.
Keyhole knee operations on patients with a common form of arthritis should stop as they do little to help, according to a review in the British Medical Journal earlier this month.
Arthroscopic surgery – a procedure to treat arthritic knees and torn cartilage – has been ‘oversold as a cure-all for knee pain’, the report says.
Professor Mark Wilkinson, for Arthritis Research UK, said: ‘Previous studies have shown that knee arthroscopy is not recommended for the symptoms of pain and loss of function for people with degenerative knee arthritis.
‘They will benefit from lifestyle modification, exercise, physiotherapy, pain medication or joint replacement.’
More than 150,000 Britons undergo arthroscopic keyhole surgery to their knees every year, mainly due to osteoarthritis.
Researchers from the University of Surrey carried out the research.
They hope the findings will help to control or prevent osteoarthritis before it takes hold.
Study author Ali Mobasheri, said: ‘For too long osteoarthritis has been known as the “wear and tear disease” and it has been assumed that it is part and parcel of getting older.
‘It is important never to underestimate the significance of a healthy diet and lifestyle as not only does it impact upon our general well-being but can alter the metabolic behaviour of our cells, tissues and organs leading to serious illnesses.’
The results were published in the Nature Reviews Rheumatology.
This comes after researchers from New York University have discovered a certain molecule maintains cartilage and therefore halts arthritis’ onset.
The finding could allow scientists to uncover a cure for the condition and make painful knee and hip replacement surgeries a thing of the past.
Artificial joint surgery can take up to two years to completely heal, and carries blood clot and infection risks.
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