Effect of diet and exercise on osteoarthritis

Lead researcher and their location/institution

Ms Rachel Deere (PhD Student), University of Bath, supervised by Professor James Bilzon.

Who can get involved

Male and post-menopausal females aged between 45 and 69 years old with knee osteoarthritis, with a BMI between 27.5 and 40.0.

Type of study

Randomised control study.


Participants are required to travel to Bath for testing, but exercise will be carried out at home. Travel expenses will be reimbursed.

About the project

Historically, osteoarthritis was thought of as a disease caused by mechanical factors, but we are now aware that inflammation also plays a part. In this study we aim to test a short-term diet/exercise intervention that we have seen improve inflammation in other populations in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. This will allow us to see if reducing food intake alone or doing this with regular exercise can improve outcomes without substantial weight loss.

What is involved?

Participants will continue their normal lifestyle for the first four weeks of the study. After this, they will be divided into two groups. Group one will be asked to reduce their food intake by 5000 calories per week, group two will also be asked to reduce their calorie intake while also completing 30 minutes of moderate intensity cycling exercise five times a week for four weeks.

At the start and end of each period we will collect a blood sample from each participant to assess markers of inflammation and disease related processes. We will also conduct questionnaire measurements, tests of physical function and experimental pain and scan participants to establish body composition.

Find out more

To find our more please contact Rachel Deere on R.Deere@bath.ac.uk, 01225 385918 or Professor James Bilzon on J.Bilzon@bath.ac.uk, 01225 383174.