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Arthritis and The Mediterranean Diet


This study set out to investigate if a change in one's diet can have an effect on the amount of disease activity and suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with well controlled, although active RA of at least two years' duration, who were receiving stable pharmacological treatment, were invited to participate. All patients were randomly allocated to the Mediterranean Diet or the control diet. For the control diet patients, there was no significant change seen at the end of the study. The results indicate that patients with rheumatoid arthritis, by adjusting to a Mediterranean diet, did obtain a reduction in inflammatory activity, an increase in physical function, and improved vitality.

- Ann Rheum Dis. 2003 Mar;62(3):208-14.An experimental study of a Mediterranean diet intervention for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.Sk├Âldstam L, Hagfors L, Johansson G.

The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness and safety of dietary interventions in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. A single trial with a moderate risk of bias found that a 12-week Cretan Mediterranean diet may reduce pain, but not physical function or morning stiffness immediately after intervention. The effects of dietary manipulation, including vegetarian, Mediterranean, elemental and elimination diets, on rheumatoid arthritis are still uncertain due to the included studies being small, single trials with moderate to high risk of bias.

- Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Jan 21;(1):CD006400. Dietary interventions for rheumatoid arthritis.Hagen KB, Byfuglien MG, Falzon L, Olsen SU, Smedslund G.

A Mediterranean-type diet rich in fish, fruit and vegetables and low in saturated fats has been associated with health benefits, including improved cardiovascular profile and benefit in rheumatoid arthritis. Significant benefit was shown in the intervention group compared with controls for patient global assessment at 6 months, pain score at 3 and 6 months, early morning stiffness at 6 months and Health Assessment Questionnaire score at 3 months. Results demonstrate that a 6 week intervention can improve consumption of healthier foods. If implemented more widely it may prove a popular, inexpensive and useful adjunct to other rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

- Ann Rheum Dis. 2007 Sep;66(9):1239-43. Epub 2007 Jul 5. A pilot study of a Mediterranean-type diet intervention in female patients with rheumatoid arthritis living in areas of social deprivation in Glasgow.McKellar G, Morrison E, McEntegart A, Hampson R, Tierney A, Mackle G, Scoular J, Scott JA, Capell HA.

See also: Mediterranean Diet



References and Sources: Medline, Pubmed, National Institutes of Health.


last update: April 2009


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