The theory that arthritis is caused by an allergy to certain foods is the basis of several popular diets. What are the scientific studies to support this claim?
Several anecdotal reports have described certain foods causing or worsening arthritis. Many of these are single-case reports .
|Rheumatoid arthritis||Dairy products|
|Wheat and corn|
|(tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers)|
|Behçet’s disease||Black walnuts|
|Lupus in monkeys||Alfalfa (contains L-canavanine)|
|Palindromic rheumatism||Sodium nitrate|
There have been animal models of chronic synovitis induced with dietary changes. Apparently, food antigens can cross the GI barrier and circulate not only as food antigens but also as immune complexes. Fasting appears to decrease disease activity in patients with RA. The postulated mechanisms are a reduction in immune activity and a decrease in intestinal permeability potentially reducing arthrotropic bacterial exposure.