Dehghani and colleagues1 in Iran and Australia have discovered that garlic supplementation of 12 weeks’ duration may reduce pain in overweight or obese women with knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Obesity, pain, and osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent progressive joint disease that can lead to deformity, comorbidities, and poor quality of life. Recent research has implicated adipose tissue and adipose-derived peptides such as adipo-cytokines and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in OA pathogenesis.
Studies have shown that garlic may reduce the risk of cardiovascular and other inflammatory diseases. Dehghani and associates looked at the effect of garlic supplementation on serum concentrations of resistin and TNF-α in overweight or obese women with knee OA. Furthermore, they sought to determine whether garlic supplementation could alter disease complications such as pain in knee OA.
The authors conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-design trial that included postmenopausal overweight and obese women aged 50 to 75 years with mild to moderate knee OA. Patients with other chronic diseases, allergies to garlic, smokers, those with hip OA, or in weight loss programs were excluded.
Two random groups were formed with one receiving blinded 500-mg garlic tablets two times a day for 12 weeks and the other placebo. Joint pain was assessed using a visual analogue scale, and blood was obtained for resistin and TNF assays.
Ultimately, 76 subjects completed the study (39 in the garlic group and 37 in the placebo group).
Next: the results and take-home points for clinicians.
1. Dehghani S, Alipoor E, Salimzadeh A, et al. The effect of a garlic supplement on the pro-inflammatory adipocytokines, resistin and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and on pain severity, in overweight or obese women with knee osteoarthritis. Phytomedicine. 2018;48:70-75. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.04.060.