Garlic, cucumber treats knee pain

Osteoarthritis is an age-related disease caused by the wear and tear of the joints. Presently, there is no known cure for osteoarthritis, but its management involves the use of high doses of pain killers and anti-inflammatory agents with different side and dependency effects.

But garlic can reduce pain severity in knee osteoarthritis. Garlic supplementation for 12 weeks might reduce pain severity in overweight or obese women with knee osteoarthritis.

In a study published in the journal Phytomedicines, researchers had sought to determine whether garlic supplementation could alter disease complications such as pain in knee osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a type of joint disease that results from the breakdown of joint cartilage and underlying bone. The most common symptoms are joint pain and stiffness.

By nature, women are more predisposed to conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis compared to men. Before the age of 55, men are at a higher risk of osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis – a joint degeneration condition. However, after the age of 55, the number of osteoarthritic women far surpasses men.

Unfortunately, there is no curable medicine in the market. But the pain and inflammation can be managed which involves the use of high doses of glucosamine-chondroitin (GC).

They conducted a trial that involved postmenopausal overweight and obese women aged 50 and 75 years with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis.

Patients with other chronic disease, allergics to garlic, smokers, those with hip osteoarthritis or in weight loss programmes were excluded.

The study participants were divided into two groups where one received blinded 500mg garlic tablets two times a day for 12 weeks and the other placebo. Joint pain was assessed.

The investigators found that at week 12 pain scores were significantly reduced in the garlic but not in the placebo group. Pain scores were also significantly lower on the garlic, compared with the placebo, group following supplementation.

They, therefore, suggested that clinicians may counsel an overweight and obese woman with osteoarthritis that supplementation with garlic may help reduce knee pain, stiffness and physical function of the knee.

Moreover, cucumber extract is effective in reducing pain related to mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis and can be potentially used in the management of stiffness and physical functions related to osteoarthritis.

The study published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Ageing suggests the use of 10mg cucumber extract twice daily in the effective management of pain-related too moderate knee osteoarthritis.

The researchers had conducted a study to evaluate the efficacy of Q-Actin, an aqueous extract of cucumber against GC in the management of moderate osteoarthritis.

The randomised double-blind parallel-group clinical trial involved 122 patients (56 males and 66 females) aged between 40 and 75 years and diagnosed with moderate knee osteoarthritis over a six months period.

The study found that the pain relief in those that had an aqueous extract of cucumber similar to that from the GC group. No adverse effect was reported during the trial period.

Full-fat dairy cheese also lowers the risk of knee OA. In a study published in the Journal, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, significant inverse associations were observed between the presence of knee osteoarthritis and intake of full-fat dairy.

Data on dairy consumption was appraised by a 253-item food frequency questionnaire covering 47 dairy products with categorisation on fat content, fermentation or dairy type.

A total of 3,010 participants were included in the study out of which 427 individuals (14per cent) were classified as having knee osteoarthritis.

The study concluded that higher intake of full-fat dairy and Dutch cheese, but not milk, was cross-sectionally associated with the lower presence of clinical knee osteoarthritis.

Earlier studies have found that frequent milk consumption may be associated with reduced osteoarthritis progression in women. Dairy contains many nutrients that are good for health, including amino acid, unsaturated fats, Vitamin K-1 and K-2, calcium and probiotics.

Several randomised clinical trials (RCTs) with herbal medicines and their derivatives have been reported. These include the use of Phellodendron and Citrus as well as Articulin-F against osteoarthritis.

The use of an avocado and soybean extract is known as Avocado/soybean unsaponifiable in the management of osteoarthritis has also been reported. Other examples of tested natural products include capsaicin derived from hot chilli peppers, Devil’s claw from Harpagophytum procumbens extract and ginger extracts as well as phenolic compounds based on olive trees used in combination with moderate physical activities.

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