Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease with 10 million people affected in France. It is also the first cause of functional incapacity from the age of 40. If we do not yet know how to repair the damaged cartilage, it is possible to limit its degradation and prevent the disease from progressing too quickly.
osteoarthritischaracterized by cartilage destruction that extends to all structures of the joint. In France, 10 million people are affected, including 65% of people over 65 but also 3% of people under 40. For the moment, the mechanisms of this cartilage degradation are poorly understood and there is no treatment to prevent it. But it is possible to relieve joint pain and slow the progression of the disease by adopting certain daily actions.
In video: 5 misconceptions about osteoarthritis
Foods beneficial for arthritis
Certain foods (or certain deficiencies) are often accused of promoting the onset or aggravation of joint disorders. To combat the wear of the articular cartilage, think of refueling selenium-rich foods, a trace element that has antioxidant properties and prevents cellular aging, especially in the tissues of the joint. Simultaneous intake of vitamin E enhances its effectiveness. Also check that you do not have a vitamin D deficiency: this is often insufficient in people with osteoarthritis.
Likewise, the foods rich in Omega-3 reduce the risk of arthritis and improve its symptoms. A Swedish study, conducted with more than 32,000 women, concluded that long-term consumption of at least one portion per week of oily fish rich in these fatty acids (mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna, salmon, etc.) is associated to a 29% reduction in the risk of arthritis. “Omega 3s reduce the inflammation process involved in arthritis, by reducing the production of certain inflammatory molecules (cytokines) and decreasing the activity of others (prostaglandins)”, explains Professor Chalès.
Foods that promote arthritis
Sugary or fatty foods that are high in calories contribute to overweight. But “excess pounds can put additional pressure on the joints and cartilage, lead to their degeneration, and thereby, with osteoarthritis“, explains Pr Gérard Chalès, rheumatologist. According to a 2018 study, each additional unit in the body mass index (you can calculate it here), increases the risk of osteoarthritis of the hip and knee by, respectively, 0.5% and 1.2% in adults, and – more worryingly – by 0.6% and 0.6% in child.
>> Gluten does not cause joint pain. “This is true only in people who suffer from a ‘real’ intolerance or sensitivity to this substance present in certain cereals (wheat, rye, oats, etc.) and products derived from them (flour, pasta, etc.)” , assures Professor Chalès. However, between them, these disorders – which are manifested mainly by digestive disorders: bloating, constipation, etc. – affect less than 10% of the population.
Our expert : Pr Gérard Chalès, professor emeritus of rheumatology at the medical school of Rennes.
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Osteoarthritis: 9 rules to adopt (from the age of 40) to delay its appearance
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