Grain-Free Diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Uriia Underhill, B.Sc.
Rheumatoid Arthritis currently affects up to one percent of the adult population. Females are four times more likely to be affected than males (ANA, 2009). Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease, which affects the membrane lining in moving joints causing inflammation. This disease can lead to damage of the cartilage and bones as well as lead to permanent disability.
A treatment that has shown promise in alleviating the pain and symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis has been following a grain-free diet. Patients with the disease have shown an increase in anaerobic bacteria present in the intestines. Eliminating foods such as grains, legumes, and beans have shown to improve symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is because those types of foods contain Lectins. Lectins contain anti-nutritional traits that can impact cells that make up the lining of the intestine walls called enterocytes and cells in the lymph, lymphoid tissues and blood. Lectins are able to pass through the gastrointestinal barrier and continue through circulation, which may directly impact synovial tissue. Lectins have also been thought to be a leading cause in inflammation.
American Nutrition Association, (2009) Nutrition Digest, Volume 36, No. 3, Diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis, Retrieved September 3, 2013 from http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/diet-rheumatoid-arthritis-0