An expert review from the University of Surrey, published in Nature Reviews Rheumatology identifies a link between one’s metabolism and the risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Metabolic changes, caused by a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, trigger’s the genetic reprogramming of cells in the body and joints, the researchers suggest, in a media release from University of Surrey.

Such metabolic changes impact upon the cells’ ability to produce energy, forcing it to generate alternative sources to function. The stress this places on cells leads to the overproduction of glucose, which when not used for energy transforms into lactic acid, which is difficult for the body to flush out. Abnormal levels of this acid in the body leads to the inflammation of the joint’s cartilage, which impedes on movement and causes pain.

By identifying metabolic changes in cells, it is potentially possible to control or significantly slow down the symptoms of osteoarthritis, alleviating the suffering of millions of people, the release continues.

“For too long osteoarthritis has been known as the ‘wear and tear disease,’ and it has been assumed that it is part and parcel of getting older. However, this is not the case, and what we have learnt is that we can control and prevent the onset of this painful condition,” says Professor Ali Mobasheri, Professor of Musculoskeletal Physiology at the University of Surrey and lead author of the study, in the release.

“It is important never to underestimate the significance of a healthy diet and lifestyle, as not only does it impact upon our general well-being but can alter the metabolic behavior of our cells, tissues, and organs, leading to serious illnesses.”

[Source(s): University of Surrey, Science Daily]