Relationship between RA and diet

-Tokyo Arthritis Clinic-

Eating habits with patients with RA

It seems that many patients with RA lose their appetite due to pain and lose weight. In addition, inflammatory substances (inflammatory cytokines) tend to break down proteins in the body, especially muscle mass. I will talk about the points of eating habits to maintain physical strength and muscle mass and prevent complications.

We will also introduce ingredients that are said to be the cause of RA = controlling the runaway of immunity.

The protein is fish

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have joint pain tend to lose muscle strength due to lack of exercise. When the pain is low, move your body within a reasonable range (as a guide, do not have joint pain the next day), and take the protein that builds muscle.

Omega 3 unsaturated fatty acids, which are abundant in fish, especially bluish fish such as sardines, saury, and mackerel, are known to suppress inflammation and cardiovascular disorders, so it is recommended to take them positively.

In addition, as mentioned above, in rheumatoid arthritis, proteins are easily decomposed and metabolized due to the effects of chronic inflammation. It is known that when the amount of protein in the body and albumin, which is one of them, decreases, the immunity weakens and the person becomes more susceptible to infectious diseases such as pneumonia.

Especially for elderly people, try to keep the serum albumin level above 4g / dl to prevent pneumonia.

Calcium and Vitamin D

Rheumatoid arthritis makes the joints brittle and makes them more susceptible to osteoporosis due to lack of exercise and long-term use of steroids. Actively take calcium to prevent osteoporosis and fractures.

Vitamin D has the effect of helping the absorption of calcium, so take it together.

Calcium is for dairy products such as milk and cheese (if you have obesity or hyperlipidemia, choose low-fat ones) Small fish, green-yellow vegetables such as spinach, seaweed such as hijiki, vitamin D is fish, It is abundant in mushrooms.


It has been reported that drunkenness prevents the development of rheumatoid arthritis. However, for patients currently suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, it is advisable to avoid excessive drinking from taking with anti-rheumatic drugs.

MTX (Rheumatolex Methotrexate), the main anti-rheumatic drug, is a drug that is metabolized in the liver, and excessive drinking can put a strain on the liver, making side effects more likely to occur. Especially for those who drink every day, it is recommended to avoid drinking on the day of taking MTX and to make it a liver holiday.

Folic acid

When taking MTX, take an appropriate amount of folic acid (foriamine) to prevent side effects, but if you take too much folic acid, the effect of MTX on RA will decrease.

Please note that some supplements, dietary supplements, and green juice are high in folic acid.

Folic acid is also found in many foodstuffs (spinach, asparagus, broccoli, legumes such as edamame, eels, liver, etc.), but it is much less than the amount of folic acid used as a medicine, so refrain from eating it. No need to.

Dietary fiber

Recent studies have revealed that patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis have "gut microbiota abnormalities."

The function of the intestine is not only to digest and absorb food, but also to control the immune system of the whole body by following the immune cells and intestinal bacteria that are gathered in the intestine.

T-legs (suppressive T cells) are special immune cells that work to soothe overactive immunity and are produced in the intestine by gut bacteria feeding on dietary fiber.

In the intestines of patients with autoimmune diseases and allergies, the ability to produce T-legs seems to be weakened.

It has also been reported that monks who eat shōjin ryōri(Vegetarian food), which is rich in dietary fiber, have improved atopy and allergies, so it is advisable to actively consume dietary fiber.

Rheumatoid arthritis onset and diet

It has also been reported that diet may have an effect on the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

People with high intakes of fish fat, olive oil, fruits, cooked vegetables (excluding raw vegetables), and cruciferous vegetables were less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.

It is said that these polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidant vitamins have the effect of suppressing inflammation, and it is speculated that they are less likely to cause rheumatoid arthritis.

The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not yet clear, but it is thought that multiple environmental factors are added to the genetic factors (constitution), so the influence of diet on the onset is not great. maybe.

However, if you have a lot of relatives with rheumatoid arthritis or high levels of rheumatoid factor, you should take the above ingredients in mind when you think "what can you do for prevention?"

List of foods good for RA

The following foods have been reported to have a variety of beneficial effects, including lowering inflammatory cytokines, reducing joint stiffness and pain, and reducing oxidative stress.

Study lists foods for fighting rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and progression.


  • Dry plums
  • grapefruit
  • Grape
  • blueberry
  • pomegranate
  • mango
  • banana
  • peach
  • Apple

Reduces inflammatory cytokine levels, oxidative stress and protects against bone and joint destruction

Whole grains and cereals

  • wheat
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • barley
  • Millet
  • Sorghum
  • Canary seed

Reduces inflammation


  • Olive oil
  • Fish oil
  • Borage seed oil (capsule)

Relieves tenderness, stiffness and pain in joints

Dairy products

  • Yogurt

Reduces inflammatory cytokine levels, oxidative stress, joint tenderness and swelling


  • Black soybeans
  • Black and green beans (bean sprouts))

Reduces oxidative stress


  • Boswellia serrata
  • Ashwagandha

Reduces inflammatory cytokine levels, collagen destruction, joint stiffness and pain


  • ginger
  • turmeric

Protects against extra-articular complications, Reduces inflammation


  • Green Tea
  • Basil tea (Tulsi tea)

Reduces inflammatory cytokines Prevents bone and cartilage destruction