According to a study Dr. Yuanyuan Wang of Monash University in Melbourne and published in the July 2007 issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy, diets containing foods with high level of antioxidants may provide protection against knee arthritis.

Antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid or vitamin C, protect cells throughout the body from oxidative damage. Some research has shown the vitamin C boosts bone density, which may explain the benefits found in Wang et al.’s study.

The subjects were 293 men and women who were middle-aged, healthy and free of knee pain at the start of the study in 1997. They were required to complete detailed questionnaires on their diets and submit to physicals. All of the nutrients absorbed during the decade were strictly obtained through food, rather than from supplements. 10 years later, their knee tissue was examined using MRI scans.

Wang and his team of researchers found that middle-aged adults with higher dietary levels of vitamin C were less likely to develop certain bone abnormalities that contribute to knee osteoarthritis.

The researchers recommended more investigation into the relation between knee osteoarthritis and vitamin C intake, as well as investigation into how other forms of arthritis are effected by high vitamin C levels.

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