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Garlic May Help Women Avoid Arthritis

Women can reduce their risk of developing osteoarthritis by including more allium vegetables such as garlic, onions and leeks in their diet according to a new study by researchers at Kings College in London. The study was published in the December 2010 issue of BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.

Currently over 20 million Americans suffer from arthritis and it is the second highest cause of work disability for adults over 50 years of age. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are currently the most commonly prescribed medication for arthritis. Some NSAIDs have been linked to gastrointestinal toxicity, increased blood pressure and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

The researchers conducted their study in an effort to find effective alternatives or compliments to NSAIDs. 1086 female twins between 46-77 years of age were recruited to participate in the study.

The researchers measured the participants’ dietary intakes using food frequency questionnaires and compared the intakes of various food groups to the prevalence of osteoarthritis.

They found that diets high in fruits and vegetables significantly reduced the risk of osteoarthritis. More specifically, non-citrus fruits and alliums appeared to have the strongest protective effect.

Although the researchers did not look into the mechanisms behind their findings a compound found in garlic and other alliums called diallyl disulphide has been shown to reduce the expression of certain enzymes that are linked with osteoarthritis.

There are numerous other potential benefits associated with including more alliums in your diet. Currently there have been over 350 studies conducted on garlic alone, highlighting potential benefits ranging from improving cardiovascular health to boosting the immune system and keeping your mind sharp as you age.

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