The recent study results showed that the development of rheumatoid arthritis could be prevented by changing the diet. Furthermore, it was stated that a vegan diet is the one that should be prescribed to the patient having rheumatoid arthritis. For this reason, many therapists started to recommend special diets to their patients before the prescription medications.
What is surprising here is that medical scholars and specialists argued for many years that medications should be applied at the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis. Only this approach was considered efficient before, but now the opinions of some physicians have changed.
Reading this article, you will learn more about the recent study on the vegan diet and how it can really help to prevent rheumatoid arthritis.
Research on the vegan diet and rheumatoid arthritis
As the discussion about the positive influence of a vegan diet on rheumatoid arthritis is built around the research, it is important to understand its content. Thus, 44 people participated in the experiment for 16 weeks. Half of the participants followed the vegan diet and eliminated gluten-containing products, chocolate, alcohol, and other triggers for rheumatoid arthritis from their diet. Another half of the people did not change their usual diet but took a placebo medication.
The results of the experiment illustrated that people following a vegan diet started to have fewer and weaker rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. On the contrary, those who took a placebo had no changes in frequency and strength of symptoms. Besides, people from the first group lost, on average, 14 pounds during 16 weeks, while participants from another group gained weight.
The research reviewers found several issues in this study that can question the results:
- A small sample of only 44 participants;
- No medical expertise and measurements such as x-ray or other types of diagnostics;
- No control over the diet — the data was self-reported;
- No control over other medications that participants took;
- Relatively small duration of the research for chronic disease;
- No diversity in gender, nationality, and education of participants.
Furthermore, it was impossible to determine causal links between diet and symptoms. That is why we can assume that weight loss could also influence the reduction in the frequency of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms but not the vegan diet itself.
If you have ever heard of the value of a vegan diet in the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis, there is no strong evidence for confirmation of this fact. The main conclusion is that a healthy diet is important in the healing of any diseases, but medications cannot be fully replaced with a vegan diet in the case of rheumatoid arthritis.