Arthritis is probably one of the most common health issues we have been hearing about since childhood. We have seen elderly people in our houses suffering from this joint-related problem. But did you ever try to find out what arthritis is? According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), “arthritis” literally means joint inflammation. Although joint inflammation is a symptom or sign rather than a specific diagnosis – the term arthritis is often used to refer to any disorder that affects the joints. This further leads to moderate to severe joint pain. A recent study; however, found an easy way to ease the pain due to arthritis. Published in the journal ‘American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine’, it was found that a low-fat vegan diet, without calorie restrictions, can help improve joint pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Besides, the participants (of the study) also experienced weight loss and improved cholesterol levels in the body.
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As per reports, 44 adults – previously diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis – were part of the study. They were assigned to one of two groups for 16 weeks. The first group followed a vegan diet for four weeks, with the elimination of additional foods for three weeks, then reintroduction of the eliminated foods individually over nine weeks. The second group followed an unrestricted diet but was asked to take a daily placebo capsule, which had no effect on the study. Then the groups switched diets for 16 weeks.
It was found that by following a vegan diet, the participants experienced a significant decrease in inflammation. Besides body weight also decreased by about 14 pounds on average on the vegan diet. There were also greater reductions in total, LDL, and HDL cholesterol during the vegan phase too.
“A plant-based diet could be the prescription to alleviate joint pain for millions of people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis,” said Neal Barnard, MD, lead author of the study and president of the Physicians Committee.