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Diet and Arthritis Pain

A diet loaded with cooked vegetables and olive oil helps reduce the pain, swelling and discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study from Harvard School of Public Health.

Before this study, there was no really good evidence that diet had anything to do with the course of rheumatoid arthritis. One popular misconception is that the nightshade vegetables, which include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers could make arthritis pain worse. There is no scientific support for this theory.

Your body makes bad prostaglandins that cause swelling and pain and good prostaglandins that prevent swelling and pain. Aspirin and other arthritis pain medicines contain drugs that block the bad prostaglandins. Cooked vegetables and olive oils contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils that are used by your body to make the good prostaglandins that block pain and swelling. They also are full of antioxidants that help block pain and swelling. Everyone should eat lots of vegetables, but this study tells us that vegetables and olive oil are particularly good for those who have arthritis.

Arthritis treatments

1) A Linos, VG Kaklamani, E Kaklamani, Y Koumantaki, E Giziaki, S Papazoglou, CS Mantzoros. Dietary factors in relation to rheumatoid arthritis: a role for olive oil and cooked vegetables. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1999, Vol 70, Iss 6, pp 1077-1082 Mantzoros CS, Harvard Univ, Sch Med, Beth Israel Deaconess Med Ctr, Div Endocrinol, Boston,MA 02215 USA.

2) M Helgeland, E Svendsen, O Forre, M Haugen. Dietary intake and serum concentrations of antioxidants in children with juvenile arthritis. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 2000, Vol 18, Iss 5, pp 637-642Address Haugen M, Oslo Natl Hosp, Ctr Rheumat Dis, Sognsvannsveien 20, N-0027 Oslo, NORWAY

Checked 9/13/17

August 22nd, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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