Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease in the world, and obesity may be its main modifiable risk factor.

Osteoarthritis develops when the cushioning cartilage lining of joints breaks down faster than the body can build it back up. The knees are the most commonly affected, leading to the assumption that the disease’s relationship to obesity was simply the excess wear and tear from added load on the joints. Non-weight-bearing joints, like the hands and wrists, can also be affected, however, which suggests the link isn’t purely mechanical. Obesity-related dyslipidemia may be playing a role, with elevations in the amount of fat, cholesterol, and triglycerides in the blood aggravating inflammation in the joints.

Losing just around a pound a year over a span of a decade may decrease the odds of developing osteoarthritis by more than 50 percent. Weight reduction may even obviate the need for knee replacement surgery. Within just eight weeks, obese osteoarthritis sufferers who had been randomized to lose weight improved their knee function as much as those going through surgery. Researchers concluded that losing around 20 pounds of fat may be viewed as an alternative to knee replacement.

Is there anything we can do diet-wise to help treat osteoarthritis? Indeed, curcumin, the bright yellow pigment in the spice turmeric, may not only play a role in preventing or treating lung disease, brain disease, and a variety of cancers, including multiple myeloma, colon cancer, and pancreatic cancer, but it has also been shown to help speed recovery after surgery and effectively treat rheumatoid arthritis better than the leading drug of choice, as well as be effective in treating osteoarthritis and other inflammatory conditions, such as lupus and inflammatory bowel disease.

Turmeric is so promising that I recommend a quarter teaspoon a day in my Daily Dozen.

For substantiation of any statements of fact from the peer-reviewed medical literature, please see the associated videos below.

Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.

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