People with rheumatoid arthritis may be deficient in protein, calcium and potassium
A lack of protein, calcium and potassium has been identified in people with rheumatoid arthritis, experts highlight in Clinical Nutrition.
People with arthritis often turn to diet as a form of self-management of the painful condition. Whilst plenty of research has been done when it comes to drugs and painkillers, there has been less of a focus on diet. So a group of researchers recently carried out an analytical study in 141 Indian (Asian) people with rheumatoid arthritis (average age 46 years) who they compared to 165 healthy people. Everyone filled out a food frequency questionnaire.
Those with rheumatoid arthritis (especially women) were found to be deficient in daily calorie intake and consumption of proteins, calcium and potassium when compared to healthy people. It was also inadequate for several nutrients when compacted to recommended daily allowance.
In terms of vegetarians, 44% of people with rheumatoid arthritis chose this diet and they showed less pain and better function compared to non-vegetarians but not enough for this to be deemed ‘significant’.
A total of 44% of people said they restricted their diet. People experienced higher swollen joint counts following dietary restriction, Ayurveda advice (ancient Indian medicinal system) or eating night shade vegetables.
“Dietary inadequacy and in particular for protein and potassium was identified in patients of rheumatoid arthritis,” the study authors warn. “Any form of dietary restriction did not seem to improve rheumatoid arthritis.”
Click here to read the original research.
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