Strawberries: An Unexpected Osteoarthritis Pain Reliever

Osteoarthritis, (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and is a major health concern in the US.  Obesity is a primary risk factor with individuals reporting “inflammation, pain, impaired joint function, and reduced quality of life.”  Anecdotal tales of relief associated with certain foods have long been around, but there has been little clinical research on the matter until now.

In a study recently published in the journal Nutrients, researchers examined “the effects of dietary strawberries on pain, markers of inflammation, and quality of life indicators in obese adults with OA of the knee” and found that relief may indeed be as close as the produce aisle.

Subjects were divided into 2 groups, one of which received “reconstituted freeze-dried strawberry beverage (50 g/day)” and the other given a control beverage daily.  Subjects were then given 2 weeks to eat and drink normally before switching to receive the other beverage.  Researchers repeated blood draws as well as multiple pain assessments at the beginning, week 12, week 14, and week 26 of the study.

 Results indicate that consumption of the strawberry beverage was associated with decreased markers of inflammation as well as cartilage degradation in the blood tests.  Additionally, subjects reported “significantly reduced constant, intermittent, and total pain” with the strawberry supplementation.  This supports the consumption of dietary strawberries for pain relief and as an anti-inflammatory for obese adults with knee OA.

If you have osteoarthritis, talk to your doctor of chiropractic about treatment options and incorporating dietary changes that can help alleviate your pain safely and effectively.