Oct 16, 2018 | Updated: 04:34 PM EDT

Weight Loss Can Slow Cartilage Degenerative Disease Osteoarthritis In The Knee, Study Says

May 02, 2017 06:55 PM EDT

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A study has reportedly discovered that weight loss can slow the process of knee joint degeneration. However, it is also advised by an expert that it isn’t the solution for everybody with osteoarthritis.

According to Philly, a team led by Alexandra Gersing from the University of California, San Francisco had found out that weight loss slows cartilage degeneration. The team looked at the data collected from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Changes that had occurred in the participants’ knee joint structures such as menisci, articular cartilage, and bone marrow were then observed over a 48-month period.

Gersing then noted that they had analyzed the difference between groups with and without weight loss. The study published in the journal Radiology involved 640 overweight and obese participants who have osteoarthritis. Patients that have MRI evidence of mild to moderate osteoarthritis were also included.

With that said, the weight loss study divided the participants into three groups after the 4 year period. The first group was said to be those who lost more than 10 percent of their body weight. The second group was mentioned to consist of those who only had lost 5 to 10 percent of their weight while the last have those of their body weight stable.

Nonetheless, the results from the group have shown that the 5 percent weight loss group led to a slow cartilage degeneration compared to those with stable weights. Meanwhile, cartilage degeneration was observed to be slower in the 10 percent weight loss category.

Aside from the slowed cartilage degeneration, changes in the menisci were also observed from the weight loss process. Menisci were described to be fibrocartilage pads that protect the knee’s joint as identified on Medical News Today.

"The most exciting finding of our research was that not only did we see slower degeneration in the articular cartilage, we saw that the menisci degenerated a lot slower in overweight and obese individuals who lost more than five percent of their body weight," Gersing concluded.

However, Dr. Matthew Hepinstall, a New York City orthopedic surgeon weight loss is indeed advised to manage osteoarthritis for obese patients. He then noted that thin patients would experience worsened arthritis, so weight loss isn’t the solution for everybody. Hepinstall then concluded that the study should be treated with an “important caveat.”

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