[Are there effective dietary recommendations for patients with rheumatoid arthritis?].Z Rheumatol 2001; 60(1):17-27ZR
Patients with rheumatic diseases frequently ask the physician for diet recommendations. Although much has been written about this subject, scientifically validated studies investigating the impact of certain diets on rheumatoid arthritis are scant and often inconclusive. Elimination diets or total fasting is believed to eliminate food ingredients that cause or aggravate arthritis. In contrast, supplementation with fish oil, gamma-linoleic acid or vitamin E is directed at anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of these food compounds. So far, both approaches have failed to reveal a significant benefit with respect to objective signs of inflammation. Supplementation with other vitamins such as vitamin A and C, or with trace elements like selenium and zinc are of no proven influence on the disease activity as well. There is a higher request for calcium and vitamin D in patients with active RA under steroid treatment to prevent osteoporosis. In addition, patients with active RA have a slightly increased risk for cardiovascular events. Therefore, cholesterol-lowering diets and drugs should be applied early.