According to the findings of a new study, men who take down too many fizzy drinks in a week are more likely to witness a faster progression of the disease than those who avoid such drinks.
Interestingly, the piece of advice goes out only for men as the researchers found no such link between high consumption of sugar-packed sodas and degenerated knee osteoarthritis in women.
For the purpose of the study, researchers looked at data of 2,149 patients, all of whom were diagnosed with osteoarthritis following an X-ray.
Using a food frequency questionnaire, the details of each participant’s soft-drink consumption, barring sugar-free drinks, and body mass index was collected at the start of the study.
The participants were re-assessed at 12, 24, 36 and 48 months gap to track their body mass index and osteoarthritis progression. The progression of the condition was checked by measuring the joint space change in the medial knee compartments.
Researchers found that consumption of soft drinks was directly linked to degenerating knee osteoarthritis i.e. men who consumed more soft drinks per week witnessed worsening of their condition.
The findings were significant even after BMI and other factors that contribute to knee osteoarthritis were taken into account. While the joint space reduced by an average of 0.29 millimeters in men who abstained soft drinks, it rose to 0.59 millimeters in men who consumed more than five soft drinks a week, researchers highlighted.
Furthermore, the condition was more debilitating in skinny and normal weight men than those who were overweight or obese.
“Little is known about the course of disability over time in patients with osteoarthritis,” study leader Dr Bing Lu from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said. “This study may offer the potential to identify a modifiable dietary risk factor for disease progression, enable evaluation of prevailing recommendations of healthy diet, and thus have potential public health implications.”
The findings of the study were presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.