Findings from a recent study published this month in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases suggest that unhealthy dietary fats – not just obesity – may contribute to worsening osteoarthritis. Duke Medicine researchers report that mice given a supplement of omega 3 fatty acids had healthier joints than those fed diets high in saturated fats and omega 6 fatty acids.
Obesity has long been implicated as a primary risk factor for osteoarthritis, although the mechanisms linking these conditions are not fully understood. It has been assumed that increased weight wears the joints out, but this doesn’t explain why arthritis is also found in hands and other joints that don’t bear weight. Results of this research suggest that dietary factors play a more significant role than mechanical factors in the link between obesity and osteoarthritis, according to the authors. Read a news story about the findings here.