Another known risk factor for osteoarthritis is obesity. This is partly because of the excess stress put on joints when carrying around more weight, but the connection between excess weight and osteoarthritis may run a little deeper than that.  A team of researchers from the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Southern Queensland, both in Australia, recently investigated a connection between dietary fat and the onset of osteoarthritis. The group was led by professors Yin Xiao and Lindsay Brown.  This recently published study follows on from Prof. Xiao’s earlier work, which found that antioxidants and anti-cholesterol drugs may slow the progression of the joint damage attributed to the fatty acids found in foods such as palm oil and butter.  In this research project, Prof. Xiao looked specifically at the effects of a diet rich in saturated fatty acids and simple carbohydrates on osteoarthritis. These dietary components mirror the nutritional elements commonly found in junk food – high fats and high carbohydrates.  The study demonstrates that osteoarthritis may be less to do with the general usage of our joints and more to do with what we eat on a regular basis.

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