Is it true that inflammation is the main enemy of the joint?
Inflammation can lead to injuries, sprains in our muscular system and even fibrillar tears, affecting our well-being and health. To avoid these situations, it is essential to moderate physical activity, ensure good rest periods, a correct diet and, if necessary, nutritional supplementation.

Marc Caballero – Nutritionist – nutrition and joint supplementation

• Regarding food, which nutrients have a role in favor and which ones against joint health?
First of all, it is essential to ensure a healthy and balanced diet and avoid being overweight as a factor that negatively affects joint health. And of course avoid dehydration! To maintain good joint health we must take good care of our muscles through physical activity and an adequate supply of nutrients. A protein intake with values of 1 to 1.5g of protein/kg of weight per day would be a sufficient intake at the individual level.

A sufficient and optimal supply of vitamins and minerals will also be important for joint health. Thus, for example, it is recommended to include foods rich in calcium (milk, yogurt, nuts, etc.), vitamin D (cod oil, oily fish, egg yolk), zinc (wheat germ, seafood , soy, meat), vitamin C (fruit, especially citrus, raw vegetables such as spinach) and magnesium (green leafy vegetables, cereals, cocoa, seeds and nuts) among others. There are food supplements enriched in these nutrients that can have a beneficial effect at the joint level and that also include collagen or hyaluronic acid among other specific nutrients…

On the other hand, a diet high in energy foods, with excess fat, especially saturated, or added sugars that provide “extra calories” should be avoided, since it could be related to being overweight or obese that would negatively affect joint health.

• What other factors should we consider to support joint health?
Physical activity and exercise help to maintain a healthy weight and good muscle tone, especially in women over 50, postmenopause, to prevent osteoporosis and bone decalcification.

To prevent overweight and obesity, reduce risk factors for injuries and joint pain, we must maintain a healthy, sufficient diet (limiting extras) and be active! Ensuring adequate coverage of dietary needs for all nutrients is basic at any age, and in the 50-60 stage we must pay special attention to a balanced energy intake, and cover key nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and protein .

• In what cases would joint supplements be recommended?
Supplementation should always be personalized and advised by a health professional: doctor, nutritionist or pharmacist. It is always necessary to ensure a correct diet, prior to supplementation

For example, for a 50-year-old man with slight obesity and a knee injury, who used to run up to 10 km, I would recommend: first, improve his eating habits to maintain a Mediterranean diet and lose weight. Once your physical activity has been recovered, it is essential to ensure good hydration, not to injure yourself, recover muscle and ensure that all nutrients are well covered. If your diet was not varied enough, I could suggest a supplementation of water-soluble vitamins (C and group B), vitamin D and calcium, in addition to ensuring an adequate supply of energy and high-quality proteins, giving preference to taking these proteins in the interval one hour after performing the exercise to optimize its use1.

Vitamin D is essential for the bone and joint system, as well as vitamin C for the synthesis of collagen. The ANIBES2 scientific study indicates that 94% of the Spanish population does not cover the recommended daily intake of this vitamin. For this and other reasons, the current Spanish guidelines3 consider the recommendation to reinforce the daily diet in deficient nutrients to cover individual needs through their nutritional supplementation.

Regarding the maintenance of muscle tone, if we do not work on it with adequate physical activity, we lose mobility capacity and with it health. Moving and taking care of our muscular heritage is as essential as a correct diet, low in fat and with an adequate supply of high bioavailability proteins and distributed in the different meals and intakes of the daily diet.

• Tell us about osteoporosis… How can it be prevented?
Calcium has a fundamental role in bone health. A densitometry in people aged 50-60 indicating osteoporosis may lead to supplementation to enrich the diet with calcium.