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Monday, April 14, 2014

Study Finds Milk Might Slow Knee Osteoarthritis Progression in Women

“Got Milk?” A recent study conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School and published in the peer-reviewed medical journal, Arthritis Care and Research, focused on the link between osteoarthritis and milk consumption. Osteoarthritis is a joint condition where the connective tissue between bones wastes away over time, causing the bones to rub together. It’s painful and most often affects the joints in the hands, knees, spine and hips.

Researchers wanted to know if milk helps stop existing osteoarthritis from getting any worse, so they focused on one aspect of osteoarthritis: the gap in the knee joint that can be seen on an X-ray, which is an established clinical measure of the progression of the condition. 
The study found that in women who regularly drink milk, the joint gap did not reduce as much after four years than women who drank less or no milk (meaning the milk drinkers’ osteoarthritis was deteriorating at a slower rate). However, in men there was no significant association between drinking milk and the gap in the knee joint.

While the study was limited to this one measurement and did not address whether or not the reduction in joint gap led to any reduction in discomfort and pain for people with osteoarthritis, it does start an important discussion in the medical community. And it also reminds us that getting the right amount of calcium in our diets is extremely important for strengthening bones.

Want to know other foods besides milk that can help strengthen your bones? Check out our blog on 5 Foods to Improve Your Bone Health.

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