Mayo Clinic researchers are exploring the role of diet in reducing joint pain.
The Mayo Clinic’s researchers are studying a diet of common household worms that are used to make a variety of products including bread, noodles and condiments.
They’re also examining whether the diet may be effective in preventing arthritis, which is linked to inflammation of the joints.
“Our research has shown that, in people who have arthritis, there’s a strong association between diet and lower joint pain, lower joint stiffness, lower pain after surgery and reduced pain after joint replacement,” said study leader Dr. Jeffrey P. Gaffney, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical Nutrition.
“But it’s not the whole story.
We know that some of these things are good for your joints, but we’re not sure how they’re related to joint health.””
We know that people with arthritis have a higher risk of arthritis, and we know that diets that contain these foods are associated with lower rates of arthritis,” said Dr. P.G. Gabbard, M., chief of the division of joint disease at Mayo Clinic.
“So, we wanted to know whether this diet might be beneficial for preventing joint pain.”
The study is part of a larger effort by the Mayo clinic to examine the relationship between diet, inflammation, and arthritis.
It also involves a dietitian and dietitians from other Mayo clinics.
Gaffney and his team examined data from more than 7,000 people who underwent a comprehensive medical exam, including physical exam, a blood test and a skin biopsy.
They compared the diets of people with and without arthritis and measured their joint pain and inflammation.
“The findings were interesting, and so far, they haven’t really been consistent with the general picture that we see in the literature about diet,” Gaffrey said.
Gabbard is also part of the team that developed a similar study in the past that included people with type 2 diabetes.
The researchers found that the people who ate the most common household worm diet had lower rates than people who did not.
“We were surprised to find that these diets did actually reduce inflammation, but that the diet had no effect on joint pain,” Gabbards research partner, Dr. William G. Stemmer, M, professor of orthopedic surgery at University of Minnesota.
Gafbrink, the Mayo researcher, noted that other researchers have found that dietary changes that reduce inflammation can help to reduce the risk of joint pain in patients with certain conditions.
“For instance, we know from a lot of studies that people who eat less protein are less likely to develop osteoporosis, and that diets high in protein may help prevent joint pain that could lead to osteoporsis,” Gafbrinks research partner Dr. Joseph C. Stender, M.(MD), professor of neurology at Mayo Health Sciences Center.
“However, it’s difficult to prove that a particular diet or dietary regimen is the best one for a specific patient.
So we needed to find the right diet that could do what it was supposed to do, without having to worry about how much it was really affecting the people in the study.”
The Mayo researchers are continuing their research with more participants.
The Mayo clinic is conducting its own studies to explore whether diet and arthritis are related.