Low-carbohydrate diets have been popular with those wanting to lose weight. Over the years, countless variations and versions of low-carb diet have been popularised, some of them through trends and fads and others through research. Low-carb diets have been shown to help shed kilos faster and improve health, as they tend to be lower in calories and processed grains. Now a new study has said that low-carb diets may help relieve symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition which is said to affect tissues at the end of bones, which wear down and it affects more than 10 million adults in India every year.
The study is a randomised control trial, conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama and the results of the research were published in the journal Pain Medicine. The study titled, "The Effect of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets on Pain in Individuals with Knee Osteoarthritis", looked at the impact of following a low-carb diet in adults suffering from knee osteoarthritis with ages between 65 and 75 years. Over a period of 12 weeks, the participants were asked to follow a low-carb diet or a low-fat diet, or continue to follow the diet that they have been. The impacts of the diets were seen on the patients in three control groups.
The researchers found that low-carbohydrate was linked with lesser oxidative stress, which translated to lesser intensity of pain in patients while performing daily functional tasks. The patients were assessed on the basis of self-reporting of pain and those following low-carb diets experienced the greatest relief as compared to those who followed low-fat diet or didn't make any change in their diet at all. The study said, "The LCD also significantly reduced oxidative stress and the adipokine leptin compared with the LFD and CTRL. Reduction in oxidative stress was related to reduced functional pain."
It concluded by saying, "We present evidence suggesting that oxidative stress may be related to functional pain, and lowering it through our LCD intervention could provide relief from pain and be an opioid alternative."