Harvard Health Letter

Easy way to stop knee arthritis from progressing

There's a lot you can do, but Harvard researchers now say skipping your daily soda may also help.

There is a lot of good science to suggest we can do something positive when we become weak in the knees. Steps to prevent knee osteoarthritis include reducing the weight load on your knee by maintaining an ideal weight; avoiding activities that will overstress your knees, such as running; and beefing up the muscles that support your knee. Working on the quadriceps in the front of the thigh and the hamstrings in the back of the thigh can help absorb some of the stress on your knee.

Now a new Harvard study presented recently at the annual American College of Rheumatology meeting finds that drinking soda may be associated with knee problems in men. "Based on our analyses, consumption of more than five nondiet soft drinks per week is related to significant osteoarthritis progression in men," says study author Dr. Bing Lu, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

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