Nutrition Can Affect Disease Course Among Patients With RA

Updated research indicates that routinely addressing nutrition in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can significantly improve symptoms.

Investigators conducted a systematic review of data from 70 human studies, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. They analyzed the impact of dietary supplements, fasting interventions, and nutrition on patients with RA.

“Administration of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids at high doses resulted in a reduction in RA disease activity and a lower failure rate of pharmacotherapy. Vitamin D supplementation and dietary sodium restriction were beneficial on some RA outcomes,” the authors reported.

“Fasting resulted in significant but transient subjective improvements. While the Mediterranean diet demonstrated improvements in some RA disease activity measures, outcomes from vegetarian, elimination, peptide, or elemental diets suggested that responses are very individualized,” they concluded.

--Angelique Platas


Philippou E, Petersson S, Rodomar C, Nikiphorou E. Rheumatoid arthritis and dietary interventions: systematic review of clinical trials. Nutr Rev. 2021;79(4): 410-428.