London: They are two of the most pungentvegetables which leave a foul bad breath odour in one`s mouth,but a study claims that tucking into a diet full of garlic andonions could reduce a person`s risk of developing arthritis. Researchers at King`s College London and University ofEast Anglia investigated possible links between a diet rich ingarlic and onions and the painful joint disease -- they foundthat women who ate a lot of allium vegetables had lower levelsof hip osteoarthritis.
They found that in those who consumed a healthydiet with a high intake of fruit and vegetables, particularlyalliums such as garlic, there was less evidence of earlyosteoarthritis in the hip joint. To investigate the potential protective effect ofallium vegetables further, researchers studied the compoundsfound in garlic. They found that that a compound, diallyldisulphide, limits the amount of cartilage-damaging enzymeswhen introduced to a human cartilage cell-line in the lab. Dr Frances Williams, lead author from the Departmentof Twin Research at King`s College London, said: "While wedon`t yet know if eating garlic will lead to high levels ofthis component in the joint, these findings may point the waytowards future treatment and prevention of hip osteoarthritis. "If our results are confirmed by follow-upstudies, this will point the way towards dietary interventionor targeted drug therapy for people with osteoarthritis." Added co-author Professor Ian Clark of the Universityof East Anglia: "Osteoarthritis is a major health issue andthis exciting study shows the potential for diet to influencethe course of the disease. "With further work to confirm and extend these earlyfindings, this may open up the possibility of using diet ordietary supplements in the future treatment osteoarthritis." The findings have been published in the `BMCMusculoskeletal Disorders` journal. PTI