Background: Besides the well-known positive effect on the reduction the risk of cardiovascular diseases, in the latest decades a growing evidence has accumulated on the beneficial effects of MD on various aspect of health outcomes. Nevertheless, data concerning the existence of a direct positive effect of MD, irrespective of its beneficial effect on body weight, in osteo-articular diseases, are still controversial. In osteo-articular diseases a pro-inflammatory environment is highlighted, with an increased systemic levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Objective: Our objective is to investigate the effects of adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and osteo-articular diseases.
Conclusion: Many food included in MD, have anti-inflammatory properties, due to the presence of nutrients such as polyunsaturated (PUFA) and monounsaturated (MUFA) fats. The two types of polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, have opposing effects on the inflammatory process. Omega-6 stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, while omega-3 fatty acids exert anti-inflammatory effects, including significant reductions in the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Some studies have shown that dietary pattern of MD consumption have an important role for the prevention development of inflammatory arthritis. Nevertheless, possible influence of MD on chronic osteo-articular diseases is very limited,this review updates the main experimental and clinical evidences concerning the potential beneficial effects of the Mediterranean Diet on the most diffuse osteo-articular chronic and degenerative joint disease.