Rheumatoid arthritis and diet research project

Rheumatoid arthritis

Last year I completed my Post Grad Diploma in Human Nutrition at Massey University in New Zealand. For my Post Grad project I researched rheumatoid arthritis and diet.

I will be doing a series of blog posts the outcome of this research.

Here is what the topic was called:

“An investigation into the use of a Palaeolithic diet by people with rheumatoid arthritis”

This was a qualitative study, interviewing 10 people with RA who had been on a paleo diet for at least 6 months, participants all attributed the paleo diet to reducing RA symptoms and disease markers like anti-bodies. The interviews set out to find out a number of things: firstly find out what motivated people to change to a paleo diet, what challenges they encountered changing to the diet and maintaining it, and how they managed those challenges. Secondly I asked them to describe the diet they consumed, and what they eat and don’t eat with respect to the perceived effect food has on RA symptoms.

A further part of the research project involved a review of studies where diet was used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. I was surprised at the number of studies and case studies documented, all up they give an interesting picture as to the effectiveness of diet for this disease. I’ll be giving an overview of some of these studies as well, and my perspective on them given the information I found out in the interviews.


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