Medical Alert System, Medical Alarm, Personal Alarm, Emergency Response System and Monitored Smoke Detector
Call (800) 982-0332
Study Shows Mediterranean Diet Helps Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Based on the abstract for “An experimental study of a Mediterranean diet intervention for patients with rheumatoid arthritis” by L. Skoldstam, L. Hagfors and G. Johansson
Edited (with Introduction) by Dr. Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert
Much has been written about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, which features greater consumption of fish, olive oil, and cooked vegetables. This study discusses such benefits as they relate to rheumatoid arthritis, a painful disease of the joints that many seniors suffer from. –Don Rose
Patients with well controlled although active RA of at least two years' duration, who were receiving stable pharmacological treatment, were invited to participate. All patients were randomly allocated to the MD or the control diet (CD). To achieve good compliance with prescribed diets, all patients were (for the first three weeks) served the MD or the CD, respectively, for lunch and dinner at the outpatient clinic's canteen.
Clinical examinations were performed at baseline (the beginning of the study), and again in the 3rd, 6th, and 12th week. A composite disease activity index (DAS28), a physical function index (Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ)), a health survey of quality of life (Short Form-36 (SF-36)), and the daily consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were used as primary variables to judge the MD’s effectiveness.
From baseline to the end of the study, the patients in the MD group (n=26) showed a decrease in DAS28 of 0.56 (p<0.001), in HAQ of 0.15 (p=0.020), and in two dimensions of the SF-36 Health Survey: an increase in "vitality" of 11.3 (p=0.018) and a decrease in "compared with one year earlier" of 0.6 (p=0.016). For the control patients (n=25), no significant change was seen at the end of the study. This difference between the two treatment groups was notable only in the second half of the trial.
The results indicate that patients with RA, by adjusting to a Mediterranean diet (MD), did obtain a reduction in inflammatory activity, an increase in physical function, and improved vitality.
DISCUSSION AND LESSONS LEARNED
According to the full paper that describes this research, “[case]-control studies indicate that lifelong consumption of fish, olive oil, and cooked vegetables may have independent protective effects on the development or severity of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).”
Other studies, from selected geographical regions, support these hypotheses. In the Faroe Islands, where the typical diet is high in fish and whale meat, RA reportedly was mild. In northwestern Greece, where people consume high amounts of olive oil, the number of RA occurrences has reportedly been relatively low.
Other lessons learned regarding diet and RA:
While the results of this study are promising, the authors state that a “complete therapeutic evaluation will require larger numbers of patients to be followed up for a longer time, another budget, and collaboration with other [centers].”
This article is based on the webpage titled “An experimental study of a Mediterranean diet intervention for patients with rheumatoid arthritis”--part of the government’s National Center for Biotechnology Information site. The information provided here is, to the best of our knowledge, reliable and accurate. However, while Life Alert always strives to provide true, precise and consistent information, we cannot guarantee 100 percent accuracy. Readers are encouraged to review the original article, and use any resource links provided to gather more information before drawing conclusions and making decisions.
Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.
For more information about Life Alert and its many services and benefits for seniors – available in New York, California, Florida, and other states nationwide -- please visit the following websites: