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Benefits of Olive Oil for Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers

Olive oil

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system reacts against its own tissues, causing swelling and pain in the joints. Having an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis can be frustrating, but at the same time, it does not have to keep you from living your life.

The good news is that experts are continuously looking for new and better treatment options to help arthritis patients get relief from the pain caused by the inflamed joints. One treatment option that has attracted considerable interest is the use of dietary intervention. While research into the role of diet in the management of rheumatoid arthritis is still in its infancy, the results of studies conducted to date have been exciting.

In this article, we will look at the potential benefits of olive oil for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.

We already know that olive oil may help fight psoriasis which, like RA, is an autoimmune condition characterized by a misbehaving immune system.

What's more, a study published in the March 2003 issue of Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that a Mediterranean-style eating plan reduced inflammatory activity, increased physical function and improved vitality in arthritic patients, suggesting that the traditional Mediterranean diet is good for RA sufferers.

As you probably already know, the Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil, along with other healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and fish.

But there have also been studies that have taken a closer looked at the potential benefits of olive oil for rheumatoid arthritis patients, and although more research is needed, the results have been promising.

Published in the Spanish journal Nutricion Hospitalaria, a review that looked at existing evidence on the beneficial effects of olive oil in RA sufferers concluded that olive oil supplementation appears to reduce both inflammation and oxidative stress in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Olive oil appears to be particularly effective at reducing arthritis symptoms when combined with fish oil, a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. In a study published in the February 2005 issue of the journal Nutrition, a combination of olive oil and fish oil was found to significantly reduce joint pain, handgrip strength and morning stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Studies Cited

  1. L. Skoldstam et al (2003). An experimental study of a Mediterranean diet intervention for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 62(3): 208-214.
  2. L. Gonzales Cernadas et al (2014). Importance of nutritional treatment in the inflammatory process of rheumatoid arthritis patients; a review. Nutricion Hospitalaria, 1;29(2):237-45.
  3. 3. A. Berbert et al (2005). Supplementation of fish oil and olive oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition, 21(2):131-6.

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