Arthritis & Joint Pain

Changes in metabolism during a fasting period and a subsequent vegetarian diet with particular reference to glucose metabolism.

During an investigation on the effect of fasting and a vegetarian diet on the symptoms and signs in chronic cutaneous and arthritic diseases studies were made of glucose metabolism, liver function and the plasma concentration and urine excretion of some minerals. The study was performed on 27 patients who stayed as in-patients on a metabolic ward for five weeks. After the fasting period the blood glucose and serum insulin concentrations were lower (p less than 0.01) than before the fast.

[Vegetarian diets and rheumatoid arthritis. Is it possible that a vegetarian diet might influence the disease?].

For several decades representatives of Scandinavian health food movements have categorically recommended that victims of rheumatoid arthritis should switch to a vegetarian diet to obtain a cure for the disease. A very strict vegan diet (i.e., completely lacking in animal protein) is usually recommended, with certain features said to be particularly beneficial to rheumatic patients. These notions have been widely disseminated and have been adopted with remarkable faith by the public.

Controlled trial of fasting and one-year vegetarian diet in rheumatoid arthritis

Fasting is an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, but most patients relapse on reintroduction of food. The effect of fasting followed by one year of a vegetarian diet was assessed in a randomised, single-blind controlled trial. 27 patients were allocated to a four-week stay at a health farm. After an initial 7-10 day subtotal fast, they were put on an individually adjusted gluten-free vegan diet for 3.5 months. The food was then gradually changed to a lactovegetarian diet for the remainder of the study.

The influence of fast and vegetarian diet on parameters of nutritional status in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Nutritional status was studied over a period of 13 months in 34 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Seventeen patients fasted for 7-10 days, were then transferred to a gluten-free vegan diet for 3.5 months and finally to a lactovegetarian diet for 9 months. The remaining 17 patients followed a "normal" diet. After one month, the values for body mass index (BMI) and triceps skinfold thickness (TSF) were significantly reduced in the diet group compared with the values at inclusion (p < 0.001), whereas upper arm muscle area (UAMA) was not significantly reduced.

Effect of a strict vegan diet on energy and nutrient intakes by Finnish rheumatoid patients.

Dietary intake data of 43 Finnish rheumatoid arthritis patients were collected using 7-day food records. The subjects were randomized into a control and a vegan diet groups, consisting of 22 and 21 subjects, respectively. The subjects in the vegan diet group received an uncooked vegan diet ('living food') for 3 months, and they were tutored daily by a living-food expert. The subjects in the control group continued their usual diets and received no tutoring.

Vegetarian diet for patients with rheumatoid arthritis: can the clinical effects be explained by the psychological characteristics of the patients?

In a controlled, single blind clinical trial we have demonstrated recently a beneficial effect of fasting and vegetarian diet in RA. In the present study we compared 53 patients who participated in this clinical trial with 71 other RA patients with regard to some psychological parameters. The patients who participated in the clinical trial differed significantly from other RA patients. Firstly, they had a higher internal score and a lower chance score on the Multi-dimensional Health Locus of Control Scale (MHLCS).

Changes of faecal flora in rheumatoid arthritis during fasting and one-year vegetarian diet.

The beneficial effect of a 1-yr vegetarian diet in RA has recently been demonstrated in a clinical trial. We have analysed stool samples of the 53 RA patients by using direct stool sample gas-liquid chromatography of bacterial cellular fatty acids. Based on repeated clinical assessments disease improvement indices were constructed for the patients. At each time point during the intervention period the patients in the diet group were then assigned either to a group with a high improvement index (HI) or a group with a low improvement index (LI).

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