Herbs and Helpers ®

Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs

   Feb 15

Could seafood and red meat trigger arthritis? Zinc-rich foods could cause join pain, study finds

Korean study reveals zinc rich foods could be the cause for osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis type in UK

The underlying molecular cause for arthritis has been unclear

Reducing zinc levels could lead to a new therapies for common disease

Zinc-rich foods, including seafood, cocoa and chicken, could be causing the painful condition osteoarthritis.

Cartilage can be destroyed by molecular changes involved in processing zinc, a naturally occurring metallic element, a new Korean study has found.

Seafood, such as salmon, and other fish, have been found as a strong source of zinc in our everyday diet

When the cartilage breaks down in osteoarthritis, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Osteoarthritis affects the joints and is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, with around 1 million people seeing their GP about it every year.

The NHS in England and Wales performs over 140,000 hip and knee replacement operations every year as a result, but almost any joint can be affected by the disease.

However, there has been a lack of effective therapies for the disease because before now the underlying molecular causes have been unclear.

But a new study revealed that osteoarthritis-related tissue damage is caused by a molecular pathway that is involved in regulating and responding to zinc levels inside of cartilage cells.

A protein called ZIP8 transports zinc inside these cells, setting off a cascade of molecular events that result in the destruction of cartilage tissue in mice.

As a result, reducing zinc levels could lead to a new generation of therapies for osteoarthritis.

Jang-Soo Chun of the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in Korea said: ‘No evidence available to date clearly indicated that zinc plays a causal role in osteoarthritis.

‘In our study, we revealed the entire series of molecular events in the osteoarthritis zinc pathway, from zinc influx into cells to cartilage destruction.’

Cutting down on foods that contain cocoa powder may be the key to reducing diseases like osteoarthritis

The tissue destruction is caused by proteins called ‘matrix-degrading enzymes’, which are produced by cartilage cells and are the key culprits responsible for degrading the extracellular matrix-the structural support system that surrounds cells and holds them together.

Because matrix-degrading enzymes require zinc to function, researchers suspected that zinc levels inside of cartilage cells may play a role in osteoarthritis.

To examine the theory they first examined cartilage from osteoarthritis patients as well as a mouse model of the disease.

They found abnormally high levels of a protein called ZIP8, which is embedded in the plasma membrane of cartilage cells and is involved in transporting zinc inside of these cells from the outside environment.

Chicken, one of the British food staples, might be a slight cause for diseases that can cause crippling joint pain, and in cutting down on them, people might be able to reduce the chances of developing the arthritic diseases later in life

Zinc influx through ZIP8 activated a protein called metal-regulatory transcription factor-1 (MTF1), which in turn increased levels of matrix-degrading enzymes in cartilage cells.

Through genetic experiments in mice, the researchers showed that this zinc-ZIP8-MTF1 pathway plays a key role in causing osteoarthritis-related cartilage destruction.

Jang-Soo Chun said: ‘Our findings suggest that local depletion of zinc or pharmacological inhibition of ZIP8 function or MTF1 activity in cartilage tissue would be effective therapeutic approaches for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

‘We are hopeful that this research will lead to the discovery and rapid development of novel drugs to suppress the progression of this debilitating disease.’

Source: Daily Mail

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.