Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis with Dietary Interventions

Published on August 18, 2023Author: Alison Justus

By Zihan Yu and Frances Foster, MS, NP

Review of the article:

This blog is a summary of the effects of various diets on rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but we feel this can be applied to ocular inflammatory disease as well. It is has been reported in some studies that approximately fifty percent of the risk involved in the development of RA may be contributed by host-environment interactions. As altered microbiota in the gut of RA patients is one of these host-environment risk factors that can be responsible for pathogenesis as well as disease progression, various dietary plans for RA have been studied for an extended period. Many of these studies conclude that the improvements in disease activity may be a result of the reduction in immune-reactivity to specific food antigens in the gastrointestinal tract that were eliminated by changing the diet. This article is a summary of dietary effects on RA.

In some studies, patients who took a vegan diet show that their release of lysozyme by neutrophils was reduced, which is known to cause inflammation and destruction of joints. The study also shows that starvation or ketogenic diets may play an anti-inflammatory role through the inflammasome inhibition process. In other studies using the Mediterranean diet, showed that olive oil can help reduce cartilage destruction, joint edema, and arthritis development, benefiting patients in preventing RA. P-Coumaric acid is mostly present in grapes, oranges, apples, tomatoes, spinach, and potatoes. It showed in the study that fresh fruits and vegetables are rich sources of beta-cryptoxanthin and proteolytic enzymes that could help reduce the risk of RA in patients. Fish oils provided a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, and their efficacy to treat RA has been checked in several controlled trials. A mixture of blended ginger and turmeric were given to the adjuvant-induced arthritic rats, which showed protective effects against extra-articular complications of RA.

Based on the findings in the studies, the authors have designed an anti-inflammatory food chart that may aid in reducing the signs and symptoms of RA. The ideal meal includes raw or moderately cooked vegetables, with the addition of spices like turmeric and ginger, seasonal fruits, probiotic yogurt. All of these foods are natural antioxidants and deliver anti-inflammatory effects. Meanwhile, patients should be aware of any processed food, high salt, oils, butter, sugar, and animal products. Dietary supplements like vitamin D, cod liver oil, and multivitamins can also help in managing RA according to the article. The incorporation of the food in the daily food plan may help to reduce the disease activity, delay disease progression, and reduce joint damage.


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#rheumatoidarthritis #diet #ocularinflammatorydisease

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