Health experts and researchers have suggested that certain types of food can induce rheumatoid arthritis by triggering inflammation, and a growing body of evidence has shown that food allergies may be associated with RA, although definitive proof is still lacking. Based on these observations, several health experts have recommended patients suffering from RA to follow a specific diet that potentially improves the management of the disease.
According to Dr. Jonathan Brostoff, professor of Allergy and Environmental Health at Kings’ College London, the gut is directly exposed to food and several potential allergens that are often first identified by the gut’s immune system. Food allergies correspond to an adverse immune response to certain kinds of food; it usually develops when the immune system by mistake assumes that a certain food component (often proteins) is dangerous for the body and tags them with immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to mark them as invaders, triggering an allergic reaction and causing inflammatory symptoms. These reactions can vary from mild to severe.
Regarding RA, Dr. Brostoff believes that immune complexes of proteins and antibodies can be generated in the intestine of some people and circulate in the body, potentially reaching the joints and resulting in an increased risk of inflammation.
“There has not yet been a study that has validated the link between rheumatoid arthritis and food allergies. However, many health experts recommend that people take prudent care in choosing their food. If possible, individuals at high risk should adopt a rheumatoid arthritis diet,” said Michelle O’Sullivan, the VitaBreeze Supplements spokesperson, a nutraceutical brand that produces natural supplements to help people live longer and healthier lives.
A Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, cereals, olive oil, beans and fish has been recommended for RA patients as it can potentially reduce joint pain and morning stiffness while providing better health overall. Supplements can also be helpful. Glucosamine, an amino sugar, is known to protect the joints in the human body and have been suggested by health experts to be effective in reloading the normal glucosamine levels lost as the person ages, helping in the maintenance of healthy joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that leads to chronic inflammation of the joints and other parts of the body due to an overreaction of the body’s own immune system, which results in the attack of healthy tissues. In the United States, it is estimated that about 1.5 million people suffer from this disease, with women having a significantly higher susceptibility. The causes underlying autoimmune diseases are poorly understood.