A recent study from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) identified a high-fat diet, and specifically, saturated fats as a prime suspect in the onset of osteoarthritis. QUT scientists found that a diet containing 20% saturated fats changed the composition of cartilage in the weight-bearing joints of the hip and knee. The modified cartilage displayed osteoarthritic changes. In addition, the diet resulted in changes to the bone under the cartilage.
The research was conducted by Professor Yin Xiao, from QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and his team, in collaboration with Professor Lindsay Brown and his team at University of Southern Queensland. It may be the first study to investigate the association between osteoarthritis and common dietary fatty acids. From the article:
“The researchers studied the effects on joints of diets rich in a variety of saturated fatty acids found in such foods as butter, coconut oil, palm oil and animal fat, and simple carbohydrates — a high-fat, high carbohydrate diet common to “junk food.” “Our findings suggest that it’s not wear and tear but diet that has a lot to do with the onset of osteoarthritis,” Professor Xiao said.
“We found that a diet containing simple carbohydrates together with 20 per cent saturated fats produced osteoarthritic-like changes in the knee. Saturated fatty acid deposits in the cartilage change its metabolism and weaken the cartilage, making it more prone to damage. This would, in turn, lead to osteoarthritic pain from the loss of the cushioning effect of cartilage. We also found changes in the bone under the cartilage on a diet rich in saturated fat.”
Read the full article in Science Daily: High-fat, high-carb diet a cause of osteoarthritis