Information for Patients

Sports-Medicine Kalyan-Dombivali
Role of Diet and Nutrition
Is Diet Important In Preventing & Managing Arthritis?
What Are The Guidelines For Healthy Diet?  
What Are The Guidelines of Food Labelling Act?
How To Ensure Daily calcium Intake?  
Tell Me More About Calorie & Weight Gain?  
How To Go About eating Well?
How Should I Go About Losing Weight?  
Tell Me More About Food Supplements For Joints.
Tell me More About calcium Supplements?

Is Diet Important In Preventing & Managing Arthritis?

Research studies indicate several connection between foot, nutritional supplement such as antioxidants, minerals & some form of arthritis (e.g. gout, osteoarthritis, RA & reactive arthritis). A balanced diet cannot only have a positive effect on your arthritis but can help you stay healthy, prevent malignancies & heart disease.

What Are The Guidelines For Healthy Diet?

  • Maintain an ideal weight.
  • To take adequate quantity of vitamins & minerals including calcium in the diet
  • To eat a variety of food
  • To avoid those foods that can interact with your medicines.

Highly prescribed

  • Plenty of vegetables, fruits & whole-grain products

Restricted Foods:

  • Fat & chloresterol containing food

  • Alcohol

  • Sugar & salt

What Are The Guidelines of Food Labelling Act?

U.S. departmental of agriculture & health & human services has set certain guidelines for health claims on food manufacture can make. These are the list which define these claims:
Click here to see table

Age Group                 


Birth to 6 months         

6 to 12 months            

1 to 3 years                 

4 to 8 years                 

9 to 18 years               

Adequate Daily

Calcium Intake

210 mg

270 mg

500 mg

800 mg

1300 mg

How To Ensure Daily calcium Intake?

See table

Tell Me More About Calorie & Weight Gain?

Calorie is a unit of measurements of energy produced by food when it used in the body. It is like a fuel which is required for all physical activity which we undertake. If the fuel supply is more than the amount of expenditure then the excess fuel (calorie) get stored in the body. In athlete it may store in muscle or it may store as fat. A balance is needed between the amount of calories taken (in food) & the amount used (exercise). If physical activity is increased than the person can eat more calories without gaining weight. If there is imbalance & the calories get stored in the body it leads to weight gain.

The amount of calories needed for balanced intake varies amongst person to person depending on age, height, gender, amount of physical activity & other factors.

How To Go About eating Well?

  1. Build Adequate Calcium Store: A diet rich in calcium e.g. milk, yogurt, salmon, calcium supplements decreases the risk of osteoporosis
  2. Ensure Adequate Vitamin C: Orange juice is an important source of Vitamin C & other antioxidants which are thought to reduce risk of osteoarthritis.
  3. Use Variety In Diet: Fruits & vegetables in a wide range of colors provide maximum nutrients such as fiber, disease fighting antioxidants & phytochemicals.
  4. Avoid Fast Food: If you happen to go to fast food restaurant, remember to drink water or juice instead of soft drink. Prefer a side salad for French fries. Opt for grilled food instead of fried food.
  5. Eat Food In Small Regular Intervals: Research has shown that eating food in much smaller regular intervals instead of two or three big meals a day boosts your metabolism & helps body work more efficiently.
  6. Curtail Tea/ Coffee Intake: Not more than 4 cups of tea a day is advisable, extra caffiene may cause osteoporosis (weak bones)
  7. Take Healthy Foods Daily: Vegetables & fruits like carrots, melon etc should form a part of daily meal. Salad should accompany any of the heavy meals you take.
  8. Take your food Supplements: Supplementing the diet with multivitamins is useful. The body will benefit from bone-building calcium & vitamin K, tissue-repairing vitamin C, pain relieving vitamin E, folic acid & anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids. Glucosamine,a food supplement has been shown to reduce pain & stiffness in arthritis & may have a role in cartilage repair.
  9. Keep a record of your food intake & your nutritional goals.

How Should I Go About Losing Weight?

  1. Set Your Goals: With your doctor's help set some basic goals such as

I.       How much weight you should lose

II.      How fast you wish to undertake that

 III.    Are you open to both dieting, exercises and also medicines

  1. Change the way you eat: Follow the guidelines of healthy diet.
  2. Burn your calories: You can choose from a variety of exercises programs, but do remember certain exercises are harmful/ stressful to your arthritic joints. You may consult your medical team for the same.

Tell Me More About Food Supplements For Joints:

These include glucosamine (extracted from crab, lobster or shrimp shells) and chondroitin sulfate (extracted from animal cartilage such as trachea). Glucosamine plays as important role in cartilage formation & repair & chondroitin sulfate is important for cartilage elasticity

Proposed role of glucosamine sulfate in OA:

  1. Glucosamine stimulates the synthesis of proteoglycane found in the structural matrix of joints.
  2. It spurs cells to produce more collagen
  3. It prevents the cartilage from breaking down
  4. It helps bind water in the cartilage matrix
  5. It is the main ingredient of synovial fluid that lubricates & provides nutrients to the joints structure
  6. It promotes incorporation of sulfur in to the cartilage

Proposed role of chondroitin sulfate in OA

  1. It plays an important role in cartilage elasticity
  2. It inhibits enzymes responsible for cartilage matrix breakdown
  3. It maximizes synovial & bony blood flow (micro circulation)

How These Supplements Are Taken?

It is always advisable to consult your doctor regarding dosage. Normally in various studies 1500 mg of glucosamine & 1200 mg of chondroitin sulfate have been used. Normally these supplements can be combined with your medication & the effects should start by 6 to 8 weeks. If in 2 months time, the symptoms are not relieved to some extent, it is unlikely that the supplement will help.

What Precautions Should I Take? What Are Side Effects?

  1. Since glucosamine is derived from shellfish, if you are allergic to shellfish you should consult your doctor before starting glucosamine
  2. Since glucosamine is an amino sugar, diabetic patients on this medications shall require more monitoring.
  3. Side Effects of these medications in pregnancy & children are not clearly understood & hence must be avoided in pregnancy & lactation
  4. Chondroitin sulfate may prolong half life of heparin
  5. More commonly encountered side effects are intestinal gas & softened stools which donot require discontinuation of treatment

Tell me More About calcium Supplements?

The important part in any calcium supplement is elemental calcium; only a percentage of calcium in a supplement is elemental calcium supplement and therefore effective.By giving calcium supplement,, there is a slight reduction in risk of fracture & reduced bone mass.

Type of Calcium






Percentage of Elemental Component