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14.08.2023


Vitamin C protects knee joint from wear and tear

Supplementing with vitamin C may protect against osteoarthritis. In a US epidemiological cohort study, the use of vitamin C supplements reduced the risk of knee osteoarthritis by 11 percent.


Supplementing with vitamin C may protect against osteoarthritis. In a US epidemiological cohort study, the use of vitamin C supplements reduced the risk of knee osteoarthritis by 11 percent.


Study
In the American Clearwater Osteoarthritis Study, epidemiologists have been following a group of 3700 people over the age of 40 since 1988. They hope that this will enable them to find out which lifestyle factors reduce the risk of osteoarthritis (say: worn-out joints) and which factors can slow down the course of the disease.

In 2011, researchers at the University of South Florida published a study involving 1,023 participants in the project. An earlier study, based on the same project, had already shown that the use of multivitamins reduced the risk of osteoarthritis in the knee by 7 percent. [J Musculoskel Res. 2009;12:85-93.]

The epidemiologists actually wanted to know whether the use of vitamin C supplements can reduce the risk of osteoarthritis in the knee joint. Vitamin C is a key player in the production of collagen - and the daily dietary intake of this vitamin is relatively low in surprisingly large parts of the population. In their effort to reduce confounding background variables, the researchers removed these multivitamin users from their sample.

This way, the epidemiologists got a group of 866 study participants who did not have osteoarthritis when the study started. The other 157 study participants had already been diagnosed with the disease.

Results
The study participants without osteoarthritis were examined again after almost 8 years. At that time, 39 percent of them had developed joint wear in the knee. The chance of this was 11 percent less among the study participants who said they had taken vitamin C supplements.

The researchers have no data on the dosage, form and duration of use.


Supplementing with vitamin C may protect against osteoarthritis. In a US epidemiological cohort study, the use of vitamin C supplements reduced the risk of knee osteoarthritis by 11 percent.


The researchers found no convincing evidence that vitamin C supplementation inhibited the progression of the disease in the participants who already had osteoarthritis.

Conclusion
"Vitamin C supplementation may very well be an effective strategy to combat this growing public health problem", write the epidemiologists.

"The acceptable and most effective dosing range of vitamin C is still controversial, but recent studies have found that doses of up to 2000 mg/d are safe for most adults."

"Clinicians may want to consider recommending vitamin C supplements to those at greatest risk for osteoarthritis."

Source:
Public Health Nutr. 2011 Apr;14(4):709-15.

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Archives:
Joints & Tendons
Vitamin C
Vitamins


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