Volume 16 - spring                   RJMS 2009, 16 - spring: 39-46 | Back to browse issues page

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     Background and Aim: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease in which stiffness, pain, and inflammation of joints are common. It has been observed that some dietary factors can ameliorate or woren the disease. Vegetarian diets and dairy products have had useful effects, while allergic foods tend to aggravate the condition. The main objective of this study was to assess dietary intake of antioxidants and nutritional factors affecting the illness in women with rheumatoid arthritis.

 Patients and Methods: In this case-control study, 40 RA diagnosed female patients that had referred to the University clinic and 40 sex and age matched women from the patients relatives were selected as the case and control groups, respectively. Subjects’ dietary pattern was evaluated through food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) on daily, weekly and rarely intake of the main antioxidant sources. Data were analyzed with t and chi-square tests using SPSS software version number 13.

 Results: Daily intake of tomato and fruits in controls was respectively 3 (P<0.02) and 1.7 (P<0.04) times more than that of patients. Number of healthy subjects who ate tuna fish and fruit juices on weekly basis was 4.3 (P<0.01) and 4.6 (P<0.02) times more than patients, respectively. Consumption of peanut in patients was 5 times more than that of healthy subjects. Eggplant and cucumber were reported to worsen the symptoms of disease in about 30 and 20 percent of patients, respectively. While consumption of fish and garlic was associated with amelioration of symptoms in about one-forth of patients.

  Prevalence of obesity (based on body fat percent) was 4 times higher in patients compared to the controls (P < 0.05).

 Conclusion: Intake of tomato, fresh fruits and fruit juices, as the main sources of dietary antioxidants, was lower while intake of peanut-as one of the main allergic foods-was higher in patients compared with the control group. Eggplant and cucumber aggravated, but fish and garlic lessened the severity of RA. Higher rate of obesity was prevalent in RA patients. Considering the above points, weight reduction and consumption of antioxidant rich foods is highly recommended.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Rheumatology

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