Gluten-Free Vegan Diet Protects Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients

March 18, 2008 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.

Since a gluten-free vegan diet is able to lower cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and oxidizedLDL (OxLDL), patients with RA who are on this diet are protected from such cardiovascular events.

Now, Johan Frostegard of the Rheumatology Unit at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm and colleagues divided sixty-six RA patients randomly into two groups. They randomly assigned 38 of the volunteers to eat a gluten-free vegan diet, and the other 28 a well-balanced but non-vegan diet for one year.

They analysed the levels of fatty, lipid molecules in blood samples using routine analytical methods at regular periods. They also measured oxLDL and anti-phosphorylcholine (antiPC) factor at the beginning of the experiment, at 3 months and again at 12 months.

The researchers found that the gluten-free vegan diet not only reduced LDL and oxLDL levels and raised antiPC antibodies but lowered the body-mass index (BMI) of the volunteers in that group. Levels of other fatty molecules, including triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) stayed the same. In contrast, none of the indicators differed significantly for the control groups on the conventional healthy diet.

I have already mentioned here that peoplewith arthritis need a change not only in lifestyl, but more particularly, the diet.

A vegan diet doesn’t include animal meat and animal-derived food products.

Vegan diets (sometimes called strict or pure vegetarian diets) are a subset of vegetarian diets, which are credited with lowering the risk of colon cancer, heart attack, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, prostate cancer, and stroke.[8]

However, vegan diets can be low in levels of calcium, iodine, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Vegans are therefore encouraged to plan their diet and take dietary supplements as appropriate.[9]

Granting that adapting to a vegan diet means eating healthy, if you are somebody who cannot easily shift to this rather extreme diet lifestyle, you may wanna discuss the matter with your nutritionist.

The idea that we can influence our health by changing our eating habits has become a fashionable idea among lifestyle and consumer magazines. There is evidence that dietary changes can bring about health benefits but specific results are not widespread.

Frostegard and colleagues have now shown that diet could be used to improve the long-term health of people with rheumatoid arthritis. They concede that a bigger study group will be needed to discern which particular aspects of the diet help the most.

It’s like hitting two birds in one stone (me thinks!): gluten-free vegan diet against rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular diseases. BUT. I know it isn’t easy going into this particular diet, however healthy that is. 😉

Find more details from Science Daily.

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2 Responses to “Gluten-Free Vegan Diet Protects Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients”
  1. Gerhard says:

    The diet can be quite easy. Look at Dr. Schnitzer’s homepage.

  2. Tina says:

    Hey, Gloria. I am ordering this at my library to check out before purchase. Thank you.

    A book I did end up buying and made everyone I know buy, also, lol, is Preventing Arthritis: A Holistic Approach to Life Without Pain by Ronald M. Lawrence and Martin Zucker.

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