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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 07




Effect of a prebiotic supplement on knee joint function, gut microbiota, and inflammation in adults with co-morbid obesity and knee osteoarthritis: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic and painful condition where the articular cartilage surfaces progressively degenerate, resulting in loss of function and progressive disability. Obesity is a primary risk factor for the development and progression of knee OA, defined as the "metabolic OA" phenotype. Metabolic OA is associated with increased fat deposits that release inflammatory cytokines/adipokines, thereby resulting in systemic inflammation which can contribute to cartilage degeneration. There is currently no cure for OA. Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that can positively influence gut microbiota thereby reducing systemic inflammation and offering protection of joint integrity in rodents. However, no human clinical trials have tested the effects of prebiotics in adults with obesity suffering from knee OA. Therefore, the purpose of this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial is to determine if prebiotic supplementation can, through positive changes in the gut microbiota, improve knee function and physical performance in adults with obesity and knee OA.