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Nutrition

A vegetarian diet may reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

The recent study provides evidence that a vegetarian diet may reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can become severe in approximately 1.5 million population of the US having the disease.

Many studies have mentioned different foods that can ease the symptoms of the disease. These include the beneficial effects of seafood, turmeric, green tea, and many others.

However, some other studies have specified certain foods that may have a negative impact on rheumatoid arthritis. The examples include milk, beef, and meat cooked at a very high temperature.

Anyhow, the latest research has focused on the vegetarian diet including major servings of vegetables and grains. The study marks a plant-based diet as a basic dietary fix for patients suffering from this particular arthritis.

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How a vegetarian diet can be helpful in rheumatoid arthritis?

There are many ways in which a vegetarian diet can be beneficial for patients. For instance, a plant-based diet reduces inflammation in the body and promotes the health of gut bacteria. Moreover, it can reduce the pain and swelling due to rheumatoid arthritis.

A vegetarian diet also helps obese (or people with a body mass index above 25) in reducing their body weight.

Combining all these factors provides major beneficial effects in the management of disease and its symptoms.

The study also reports that genetics are responsible for almost 50 to 60% risk of rheumatoid arthritis. However, the other risk factors can be easily prevented, modified or managed. These modifiable risk factors include poor nutrition, poor health of gut bacteria and smoking.

The researchers said that different dietary components can trigger the autoimmune response in the body. On the other hand, the compromised intestinal health allows such foods and microbe to enter the blood circulation. As a result, they cause inflammation in the body.

Besides these, the overweight body can affect the extent of benefits medications can provide. It can also decrease the chances of reduction in RA pain and increase the risk of disease mortality.

Therefore, it is suggested that the vegetarian diet can play a major role in the management of RA pain.

However, some medical professionals and the general public (not a part of the study) have some different thoughts.

Dr. Kristine Blenche is the CEO of the Integrating Healing Center. She said that many of her RA patients have been on an anti-inflammatory diet but they got no significant result.

She added that in a plant-based diet, people consume more grains. Current agricultural practices include a wide use of pesticides. This is why grain consumption can be very inflammatory in the United States.

The vegetarian diet is beneficial on the individual basis

Different dietary approaches have concluded that the benefits of the vegetarian diet differ from one individual to another.

Dr. Neal Barnard has written on the PMRC website that arthritis is not a one-way street. The change in the menu leads to remarkable results for many people. In some individuals, the pain, swelling, and stiffness in joints improve and sometimes, disappear completely.

Thus, people suffering from arthritis can simply remove certain foods from their diet. This can help them fight the symptoms of the disease.

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