Why do we fund research?
We fund research projects undertaken by universities in the field of arthritis and lifestyle. This helps us to continually improve our offering to our members and ensure that what we do is based on evidence. It also means we can help the community by adding to the knowledge base in the field of arthritis. We are currently funding one research project on the dietary aspect of the Programme.
We have many comments from members on how our Programme and the diet in particular, helps reduce their arthritis symptoms. We want the clinical evidence to support this to be scientifically assessed. We have commissioned the University of Kent to undertake a study on how diet can affect the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Preliminary results from the study were presented at the Nutrition Society conference in July 2014. A poster was published in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (Volume 73, Issue OCE3, 2014). To view the poster click here.
University of Kent research project a Research Study into the Effectiveness of the Nutritional Element of Arthritis Action’s Programme.
The University has designed an intervention study which uses a food frequency questionnaie and arthritis impact questionnaire to record nutritional intake and correlate them with symptoms of arthritis to give a subjective view of the efficacy of diet on arthritis. At the same time they want to record objective data by taking blood samples from some participants and analysing an array of biomarkers for the signs of inflammation found in osteoarthritis.
The data collection and analysis phase of the project is underway, with results due towards the end of 2014. Preliminary results were presented at the Nutrition Society conference in July 2014. A poster was published in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (Volume 73, Issue OCE3, 2014). To view the poster click here.
These results will be promoted at an international scientific conference and published in a relevant scientific journal. In this way we will be adding to the knowledge base about arthritis while ensuring we are giving evidence based advice to our members.
London Metropolitan University research project to assess the validity of Arthritis Action’s 7-Day Food Diary with a weighed food diary.
This project validated the 7-Day Food Diary that our dietitian uses during a nutritional consultation.We want to ensure that the method we use for recording food intake is the most reliable available. We asked London Metropolitan University to undertake the study.
The final results of the research study showed that reporting from the food diary was as accurate as the ‘gold standard’ reporting which is the result we wanted to validate the diary. This means we can use it with complete confidence that it is ‘doing the job’. Members have also said that it is very easy to use and is much simpler than the old style food diary.
As a by-product of the analysis the study showed that the nutrient intake of the participants is “healthier” than the average UK population intake. Percentage intake of energy from fat and in particular saturated fats is favourably lower, and fibre intake is higher. The intake of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and Vitamin C is also higher than the average UK population, which indicates that the participants’ diet is high in fruit and vegetables.
Generally, intake of micronutrients for the participants met the Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) with the exception of Vitamin D. Vitamin D intake was similar to intake for the general population at 3.3ug/d but was lower than the recommended level of 10 ug/d. As the majority of Vitamin D comes from sunlight, the assessment of dietary intake for Vitamin D remains controversial.
The researchers from London Metropolitan University presented this study at the Nutrition Society Conference in July 2014 and will be publishing their complete findings in a scientific journal in due course.