Which diets influence rheumatoid arthritis disease activity? New review of the evidence…

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rheumatoid arthritis diet, arthritis gluten, arthritis Mediterranean diet, inflammation diet, arthritis foodPeople with rheumatoid arthritis often ask their doctors about which diets to follow and even in the absence of advice will try different diets in a bid to reduce symptoms. Research is somewhat lacking but a review of the available evidence suggests that:

  • Gut microbiome modifications are being studied for the prevention and management of rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Some benefits of a vegan diet may be explained by antioxidants, lactobacilli and fibre, and by potential changes in the gut microbiome;
  • Mediterranean diets shows anti-inflammatory effects due to protective properties of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamins, but also by influencing the gut microbiome;
  • Gluten-free and elemental diets have been associated with some benefits in rheumatoid arthritis but the evidence is limited;
  • Long-term intake of fish and other sources of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are protective for development of rheumatoid arthritis;
  • The benefits of fasting, anti-oxidant supplementation, flavanoids and probiotics in rheumatoid arthritis are not clear;
  • Vitamin D has been shown to influence autoimmunity and decrease rheumatoid arthritis disease activity. The role of supplements such as fish oils and vitamin D should be explored in future trials to gain new insights in disease pathogenesis and develop rheumatoid arthritis-specific dietary recommendations.

The study authors conclude:

“Specifically more research is needed to explore the association of diet and the gut microbiome and how this can influence rheumatoid arthritis disease activity.”

Click here to read the original research.

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