An intriguing study in mice suggests that the aches and pains of arthritis might ease with exercise despite excess weight. It has long been believed that being overweight puts a strain on joints leading to the pain of osteoarthritis.
A new study from Duke University Medical Center suggests that may not be the whole story. It found that male mice fed a high-fat diet became fat, processed glucose poorly, and had higher levels of the metabolites related to the chronic inflammation underlying arthritis compared to mice fed regular mouse food. But when the fat mice exercised on running wheels, their glucose tolerance improved and their inflammatory responses that otherwise would lead to arthritis were disrupted.
If extra weight on the joints caused arthritis pain, the mice would have done worse, not better, the researchers hypothesized. Their findings are now being tested in humans. The study in mice was published September 27 online in Arthritis and Rheumatism.