If you’re unfortunate enough to be suffering from knee osteoarthritis, you know all too well that you’ll try anything to take the edge off the pain – and a new study from the Al-Rafidain University College in Baghdad attracted a lot of attention last month, as it claimed that a compound called resveratrol has the potential to bring a substantial amount of relief to osteoarthritis sufferers.
As resveratrol is chiefly found in red grapes, and red grapes are used to make red wine, it’s not surprising the story got a hefty amount of headlines.
The study – which involved 110 patients – investigated the potential of red wine as an OA symptom alleviant by splitting up the study group into two, and giving one group a resveratrol treatment and the other half a placebo. In the end, the research team discovered that the group on resveratrol not only reported much less pain than the placebo-taking group, but also measurably showed less physical markers of inflammation.
Red red wine goes to my knee
We’ve known for a while that red wine – taken in moderation – boasts a welter of health benefits. For starters, it’s a natural antimicrobial agent – which can help our immune system fend off the likes of Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringes, Bacillus sp. and Klebsiella sp. More importantly, it’s very good at attacking S.aureus, which is the leading cause of septic arthritis.
Moreover, it’s been demonstrated that red wine is very effective in preventing cartilage damage and protecting our bones, preventing disease progression in osteoarthritis, fending off the onset of gout and improving metabolic health – and can even aid weight loss. The more you look into it, the more you believe that this stuff should be on the NHS. However, there’s a catch…
…you’d have to get legless
The bad news is that a glass of wine contains a tiny amount of resveratrol, and to receive the full benefits of it, you’d have to get through a glass big enough to contain eleven litres of plonk a day to get the recommended amount used in most studies – which would definitely go some way towards alleviating knee pain, but would cause far more health problems.
No doubt there’ll be more studies about the potential benefits of resveratrol and, maybe, one day scientists will work out how to deliver enough of it to fend off the effects of knee OA – but until then, we’re going to have to rely on the very real benefits of knee replacement surgery – be it total or partial replacement.
It’s a procedure which can become necessary at any age, due to ageing, injury or disease, and is required when the current knee has deteriorated to the point where your mobility has been sufficiently reduced and you are experiencing pain.