The human body is an excellent system it is built so that it can protect itself as well as heal. One such mechanism involves the usage of cartilage. This is a fluid like system which is used to lubricate all the bone and joints in the body in order to protect them from wear and tear. It is basically like a protective layer between two bones preventing contact between them and therefore avoiding friction.
Osteoarthritis is a medical condition in which the cartilage basically wears away and leads two bones in contact with each other which could possibly lead to pain occurring in the joint and even some swelling. Osteoarthritis of the knee refers to a loss of cartilage in the knee region. Research has recently found that in men, this condition may be linked to the consumption of sugary drinks. Here is an overview of what the implications of this research might be.
What the Research Indicates
A study presented at the American College of Rheumatology suggested that there is a link between the amount of sugary drinks that men consume and how prone they are to osteoarthritis of the knee. No such link was found in the case of women. The study showed that the amount of sugar present in the drinks that were consumed was directly proportional to the progression of the disease in men.
It may be thought that the increase in sugar led to an increase in calories and therefore the weight of an individual which is bringing about the increase in osteoarthritis. This link could be established because obesity is a prominent factor which contributes to the occurrence of this disease. However, the results of the study had nothing to do with the weight of an individual because that was controlled for. The study was carried out on men having different Body Mass Indexes (BMI) and the link between sugary drinks and osteoarthritis of the knee was only found in those men who have a lower BMI. Therefore, weight has no role to play here.
Some facts about the Osteoarthritis
A study in 2007 showed that 19% women and 14% men over the age of 45 years demonstrate symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee like joint pain and stiffness. The disease occurs when the cartilage in the knee joint wears away. This leads to the two bones coming into contact, a factor that may cause friction when there is movement in the body. As a result of this, the bones might be worn away, or pain may be experienced in the joint when movement occurs. Swelling of the joint may also take place. Obesity is one of the biggest factors that bring about osteoarthritis of the knee. Some other factors that have been known to contribute to the occurrence of this disease include:
- Older age: Osteoarthritis of the knee is usually found in people that cross the 45 year mark.
- The knee being injured from before
- Extreme stress to the joints