Latest News » Could this mineral change osteoarthritis care?

Osteoarthritis is a very common condition that affects tens of millions of Americans.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 50 million Americans are living with osteoarthritis – a painful joint condition caused by wear-and-tear. In fact, roughly half of Americans over the age of 85 experience osteoarthritis in their knee, which can strongly restrict their overall mobility. Calcium is already known to promote long-term bone health, and we've noted before that vitamin D also facilitates this process. 

Now, researchers have discovered that another nutrient – zinc – may be connected to the onset of osteoarthritis. This discovery could have significant ramifications for prevention and treatment of the condition going forward.

"No evidence available to date clearly indicated that zinc plays a causal role in osteoarthritis," explained lead researcher Jang-Soo Chun, of  the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea, in a recent press release. "In our study, we revealed the entire series of molecular events in the osteoarthritis zinc pathway, from zinc influx into cells to cartilage destruction."

The scientists found that mice with a condition similar to osteoarthritis had high levels of protein linked to zinc in their bones. Further investigation led them to conclude that an influx of zinc could contribute to the breakdown of cartilage that accelerates bone-on-bone degradation.

There is still much left to learn about how zinc affects bone health, so make sure you speak to a licensed nutritionist or medical practitioner before making any drastic changes to your diet based on this news. Check back with this blog to learn more about skeletal strength, memory support and other aspects of well-being. In the meantime, click here to read information about our joint health supplements.