Dietary change reduce inflammation and pain in rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The immune system in somebody who has an autoimmune disease will attack the persons own tissue and produce serious inflammation.
Over the years several studies has been conducted showing benefits of dietary changes on rheumatoid arthritis. A study published this year investigated the concept that rheumatoid arthritis may be affected by reactions to food antigens, meaning that immune responses to certain foods would increase inflammation (Podas T, et al. 2007).
In this study the researchers compared a group of patients on an elemental diet with a group taking prednisolone an anti-inflammatory steroid medication. The treatment only lasted 2 weeks for both the diet group and the medication group. Assessments were made before the start and after 2, 4 and 6 weeks.
The conclusion was that the 2 week diet was as effective as the steroid medication in producing clinical improvement in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.
A study conducted in Sweden also on rheumatoid arthritis patients produced very interesting results (Skoldstam L. et al, 2003). The investigators compared one group of patients on a Mediterranean diet with another group on an ordinary Western diet for a decrease in disease activity. Examinations were performed at the start and after 3, 6 and 12 weeks. After 6 weeks a difference was seen between the two groups.
The conclusion was that the patients who adjusted to a Mediterranean diet obtained a reduction in inflammatory activity, an increase in physical function and improved vitality.
4 weeks on a very low-fat vegan diet has also shown to produce significant reductions in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms (McGougall J, et al. 2002).
However, you don’t have to have a severe condition such as rheumatoid arthritis to benefit from dietary changes. If you find this research interesting you can find explanations referring to numerous studies on why and what to do to decrease pain and improve function, in a book I wrote titled Effective Nutrition for Effective Healing. This book also includes a lot of easy to make recipes.
You can read more about it on our website www.TissueRecovery.com. You can order it on the website or call us at 1-800-883-1252.
Wishing you the best of health,
Podas T, Nightingale JM, Oldham R, Roy S, Sheehan NJ, Mayberry JF. Is rheumatoid arthritis a disease that starts in the intestine? A pilot study comparing an elemental diet with oral prednisolone. Postgrad Med J. 2007 Feb;83(976):128-31.
Skoldstam L, Hagfors L, Johansson G. An experimental study of a Mediterranean diet intervention for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2003 Mar;62(3):208-14.