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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2018 May 1;57(suppl_4):iv61-iv74. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/key011.

What is the evidence for a role for diet and nutrition in osteoarthritis?

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Biosciences and Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.
School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.
Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis, Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK.
Department of Regenerative Medicine, State Research Institute, Centre for Innovative Medicine, Santariskiu 5, 08661 Vilnius, Republic of Lithuania.


As current treatment options in OA are very limited, OA patients would benefit greatly from some ability to self-manage their condition. Since diet may potentially affect OA, we reviewed the literature on the relationship between nutrition and OA risk or progression, aiming to provide guidance for clinicians. For overweight/obese patients, weight reduction, ideally incorporating exercise, is paramount. The association between metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes and OA risk or progression may partly explain the apparent benefit of dietary-lipid modification resulting from increased consumption of long-chain omega-3 fatty-acids from oily fish/fish oil supplements. A strong association between OA and raised serum cholesterol together with clinical effects in statin users suggests a potential benefit of reduction of cholesterol by dietary means. Patients should ensure that they meet the recommended intakes for micronutrients such as vitamin K, which has a role in bone/cartilage mineralization. Evidence for a role of vitamin D supplementation in OA is unconvincing.

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