Weight loss slows down knee joint degeneration says new study

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weight, obese, osteoarthritis, cartilage, knee pain, arthritis information, arthritis digestOverweight and obese people who lose a substantial amount of weight over four years have lower degeneration of knee cartilage, experts outline in Radiology.

We know that obesity is a risk factor for osteoarthritis as being overweight or obese places extra pressure on joints and cartilage, causing them to wear away. And people with more body fat may have higher blood levels of substances that cause inflammation in the joints, also raising the risk for osteoarthritis.

The team looked at the differences in degeneration of knee joint structure in 640 overweight and obese people over 48 months. The volunteers were split into three groups: those who lost more than 10% of their body weight, those who lost 5–10% of their body weight, and those whose weight remained stable.

The findings

People with 5% weight loss had lower rates of cartilage degeneration when compared with stable weight participants. In those with 10% weight loss, cartilage degeneration slowed even more.

“The most exciting finding of our research was that not only did we see slower degeneration in the articular cartilage, we saw that the menisci (pads that protect and cushion the joint) degenerated a lot slower in overweight and obese individuals who lost more than 5% of their body weight, and that the effects were strongest in overweight individuals and in individuals with substantial weight loss,” explains Dr Alexandra Gersing.

“Our study emphasizes the importance of individualized therapy strategies and lifestyle interventions in order to prevent structural knee joint degeneration as early as possible in obese and overweight patients at risk for osteoarthritis or with symptomatic osteoarthritis.”

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