In a new study, researchers found eating a low-carb diet could reduce pain from knee osteoarthritis, the most common arthritis in the knee.
The finding suggests a healthy diet is important for people with arthritis and may help control their health condition.
The research was conducted by researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the whole joint including bone, cartilage, ligaments, and muscles.
It can affect any joint but occurs most often in the knees, hips, finger joints and big toe.
The condition is more common in people aged over 40 years or those who have had joint injuries.
Previous studies have found that there is no curative treatment for knee osteoarthritis outside of a knee replacement.
Therefore, persistent pain is commonly treated with opioids and anti-inflammatory drugs. All of the drugs have unpleasant side effects if used for a long time.
The side effects include high blood pressure, liver or kidney injury, stomach pain, heartburn, allergic reactions and a tendency to bleed more when using aspirin.
It is important to find a non-medication way to help patients manage their symptoms.
Previous research has shown that diets such as the Mediterranean diet (a partial low-carb diet) could reduce inflammation in arthritis patients.
In the study, the team examined the efficacy of low-carb diet and low-fat diet in 21 adults ages 65-75 with knee osteoarthritis, the most prominent form of arthritis.
The participants followed one of the two diets or continue to eat as normal for a period of 12 weeks.
The team found the low-carb diet reduced more pain in some pain tasks compared with the low-fat diet and usual diet participants.
In addition, the low-carb diet reduced oxidative stress compared with the other diets.
The team suggests that a reduction in oxidative stress was important because it related to less pain in everyday activities.
The team also found the low-carb diet could improve the quality of life in the patients.
The findings suggest people can reduce their pain with a change in diet.
In addition, the low-carb diet could help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and promote weight loss.
A low-carb diet includes lean meats, such as chicken breast and pork, fish, eggs, broccoli and cauliflower, lefty green vegetables, nuts and seeds, butter, and olive or rapeseed oil.
The lead author of the study is Robert Sorge, Ph.D., director of the PAIN Collective in the UAB Department of Psychology.
The study is published in the journal Pain Medicine.
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