Formula Diet may aid Osteoarthritis

News from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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Formula diet may aid osteoarthritis patients
DOI: 10.1038/ejcn.2011.201

A formula diet which induces weight loss in obese osteoarthritis patients is reported online this week in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The work could help patients who have limited or impaired mobility due to their condition and for whom physical activity is not a weight loss option.

Osteoarthritis causes degradation of joints and symptoms include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness and locking. Many diets employed to aid weight loss are known to decrease bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC), which may deteriorate bone quality in subjects with low physical activity. Robin Christensen and colleagues studied 175 patients over 50 years of age with knee osteoarthritis. They followed a 16 week formula based diet scheme which consisted of 8 weeks low energy intake and 8 weeks hypo-energy intake. All formulas met recommendations for daily intake of amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

They found that patients exhibited large fat loss and low lean body mass loss while increasing BMD and preventing loss of BMC. They noted that the formula diet also improved vitamin D levels, which is used to promote health growth and remodelling of bone, and B12 levels which is known to be involved in normal functioning of the nervous system and for the formation of the blood. With their weight loss, more than 60% of participants subsequently experienced clinically significant improvements in pain and disability.

This data suggests that weight loss in patients with osteoarthritis can be achieved effectively and safely with energy formulas. The authors advise, however, that it is important that people choosing to reduce their energy intake, are gaining adequate vitamins, minerals and macronutrients.

Author contact:

Robin Christensen (Copenhagen University Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark)
Tel: +45 3816 4165; E-mail: [email protected]



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Published: 22 Dec 2011

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