Researchers from University of North Carolina (UNC) have found that a diet deficient of Selenium increases the risk of developing Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is mostly an age related disease affecting the bone joints.
Osteoarthritis leads to joint stiffness, pain and loss of movement of the joint involved. The weight bearing joints like the hips and knees are affected in most of the cases. Less commonly, the non-weight bearing joints like the shoulder, elbow, finger and ankle may get affected.
Study was conducted by Dr. Joanne Jordan and his colleagues in 4,400 volunteers involving both blacks and whites and the study results were reported in the Annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. The researchers found that addition of additional tenth of a ppm (parts per million) of selenium in study volunteers the risk of knee osteoarthritis reduced by 15-20 percent.
Professor Jordan said, " We are very excited about these findings because no one had ever measured body selenium in this way in relationship to osteoarthritis and the study results suggest that we might be able to prevent or delay osteoarthritis of the knees and possibly other joints in some people if they are not getting enough selenium. That's important because the condition, which makes walking painful, is the leading cause of activity limitation among adults in developed countries."
Researchers feel that difference in selenium concentration in the diet occurs due to difference in selenium concentration in vegetables, which occurs due to cultivation of vegetables in soil without much selenium. The researchers are planning to study the effect of selenium on the human cartilage.