Consumption of a diet rich in allium vegetables, like onions, garlic and leeks, could reduce risk of osteoarthritis of the hip. Results of a study not only suggest the possible impact of diet in osteoarthritis protection, but also demonstrate the potential for making use of garlic compounds for developing osteoarthritis treatments. It’s been known for a while that there’s an association between osteoarthritis and body weight. Many studies have attempted to find dietary components which influence the condition.
The most common type of arthritis that affects adults is osteoarthritis, with women more inclined in developing it compared to men. It results in disability and pain by affecting the knees, hip, and spine in the elderly and middle-aged population. There’s presently no effective treatment besides pain relief and, eventually, joint replacement.
More than 1,000 healthy female twins participated in the study, a lot of whom had no arthritis symptoms. A detailed diet pattern assessment was performed and analysed together with x-ray images of the extent of early osteoarthritis in knees, spine and hips of each participant.
It was found that in individuals who ate a healthy diet with a high vegetable and fruit intake, particularly alliums like garlic, there were less signs of early hip joint osteoarthritis.
To look into the allium vegetables’ potential protective effect further, the compounds in garlic were studied. It was discovered the amount of enzymes which damage cartilage is limited when a compound known as diallyl disulphide is introduced to a laboratory human cartilage cell-line.
While it’s not yet known if garlic consumption will result in high levels of diallyl disulphide in the joint, these results could point lead to future hip osteoarthritis treatments.