Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease caused by inflammation, breakdown or loss of cartilage. The protective cartilage on the ends of your bones can wear down due to age, injury or obesity. This condition usually affects the neck, lower back, knees and hips.
How Is Avocado Beneficial For Osteoarthritis?
Avocado is a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamins (A,E and K1), minerals (potassium, magnesium), phytosterols (beta-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol), healthy fats (polyhydroxylated fatty acids) and carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.
1. Improves Cartilage Health
Aggrecan (also called proteoglycan) plays a crucial role in the functioning of articular cartilage (the cartilage found in joints) – maintaining high levels of hydration, providing the ability to resist compressive loads and keeping the cartilage healthy and functional. Aggrecan also plays a role in cartilage repair.
When you’re suffering from osteoarthritis, there is a depletion in aggrecan.
According to studies, Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU) significantly boost synthesis of collagen and aggrecan and reduce inflammation. Interestingly, avocado and soybean when consumed independently do not lead to increased aggrecan synthesis.
2. Reduces Inflammation
Phytosterols (beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol) in avocado have anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for osteoarthritis.
3. Reduces Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress plays a key role in the development of osteoarthritis. Avocados contain cartenoids (antioxidants) that help modulate oxidative stress, regulate immune responses and contribute to cell differentiation. This can help protect against knee osteoarthritis.
4. Increases Bone Mineral Density
Vitamin K increases bone mineral density in osteoporotic people and also helps reduce fracture rates.
Avocados are packed with bone and cartilage friendly nutrients. Eating half an avacado is a great idea for those suffering from osteoarthritis, and indeed for everybody in general!
1. Dreher, Mark L., and Adrienne J. Davenport. “Hass avocado composition and potential health effects.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 53.7 (2013): 738-750.
2. Little, Christopher B., et al. “Blocking aggrecanase cleavage in the aggrecan interglobular domain abrogates cartilage erosion and promotes cartilage repair.” Journal of Clinical Investigation 117.6 (2007): 1627.
3. Henrotin, Yves E., et al. “Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables increase aggrecan synthesis and reduce catabolic and proinflammatory mediator production by human osteoarthritic chondrocytes.” The Journal of rheumatology 30.8 (2003): 1825-1834.
4. Gabay, Odile, et al. “Stigmasterol: a phytosterol with potential anti-osteoarthritic properties.” Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 18.1 (2010): 106-116.
5. De Roos, Anneclaire J., et al. “Serum carotenoids and radiographic knee osteoarthritis: the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project.” Public health nutrition 4.05 (2001): 935-942.
6. Weber, Peter. “Vitamin K and bone health.” Nutrition 17.10 (2001): 880-887.