With so many medical advances in all sorts of different fields, it’s sad to see that some fields are struggling for every single step of the way. Even sadder is to see how after a long trial, a medicine proves itself to be pointless in fighting a condition people thought it did.
But enough with the vagueness – a team of scientists from the University of Tasmania in Hobarth sadly proved that osteoarthritis is not helped by vitamin D. That’s not to say that they don’t benefit from it as much as anyone else, but their condition is in no way improved by taking the nutritional supplement.
Being a progressive disease, osteoarthritis cannot be stopped by the use of regular medication. According to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neil Roth from New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital,
Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease and any medications patients take, orally or injected, won’t alter the disease. The best we can do without a joint replacement is to modify some of the symptoms.
Affecting somewhere around 10% of men and 13% of women over the age of 60, osteoarthritis is a progressive and very painful disease which causes the loss of cartilage in the knee. There are currently no cures for it, only ways to manage to slightly manage some of the symptoms and a complete joint replacement.
The study was very well performed, with the researchers looking at a sample of over 400 patients over the course of two years. All the patients suffered from knee osteoarthritis and had low levels of vitamin D. They were divided into two groups, with some given 50,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D per month and the others given a placebo.
Over the two years of follow-ups, there was no statistically relevant improvement noticed in the levels of pain felt, in the loss of cartilage suffered at knee level, or in the bone marrow of the shin and thigh bones. That’s not to say that vitamin D didn’t play its regular part in the patients’ health. According to Dr. Roth,
That’s not to say that vitamin D doesn’t play a role in other aspects of bone health – because it does. Vitamin D is an important part of any well-balanced diet. But the notion that it is going to alter your arthritis and minimize some of the symptoms or the progression isn’t sound. I wouldn’t be taking vitamin D supplements if that’s what your goal is.
In conclusion, even though vitamin D doesn’t really do anything special for osteoarthritis patients, it most definitely still has its regular and very important uses.
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