Obese? Weight loss may prevent knee joint degeneration

Obese? Weight loss may prevent knee joint degeneration
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Highlights

The more weight obese and overweight individuals lose, the better it could be for their knee joints. Being overweight or obese can place extra pressure on the joints and cartilage, causing them to wear away.

The more weight obese and overweight individuals lose, the better it could be for their knee joints. Being overweight or obese can place extra pressure on the joints and cartilage, causing them to wear away. In addition, people with more body fat may have higher blood levels of substances that cause inflammation in the joints, raising the risk for osteoarthritis.

For this research the differences between groups with and without weight loss, were analysed. "We looked at the degeneration of all knee joint structures, such as menisci, articular cartilage and bone marrow," said Alexandra Gersing, from the University of California in San Francisco, US.

Not only did the researchers find that weight loss slowed articular cartilage degeneration, they also saw changes in the menisci, crescent-shaped fibrocartilage pads that protect and cushion the joint.

"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 said.

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