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Is There a Role for Diet in the Therapy of Rheumatoid Arthritis?


Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) often inquire about dietary interventions to improve RA symptoms. Although the majority of studies of diet and RA were published prior to the start of the twenty-first century, this review discusses the evidence for a relationship between diet, in particular omega-3 fatty acid supplements, vitamin D supplements, alcohol, and the Mediterranean diet and RA disease activity. We review possible mechanisms by which these dietary intakes may affect RA disease activity. Given the complexity of studying the relationship between diet and RA disease activity, we highlight areas deserving further study before specific recommendations can be made to RA patients.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


KHC reports funding from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) of the National Institutes of Health for research on diet and risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis: NIH R01 AR049880, R01 AR059086, and R01 AR061362.

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This article does not contain studies performed by either of the authors with human or animal subjects.

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Correspondence to Sara K. Tedeschi.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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Tedeschi, S.K., Costenbader, K.H. Is There a Role for Diet in the Therapy of Rheumatoid Arthritis?. Curr Rheumatol Rep 18, 23 (2016).

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  • Diet
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Treatment
  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin D
  • Mediterranean diet