Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder culminating in joint destruction with functional impairment & deformities. This disease is associated with poor nutritional status in relation to various nutrients due to not only because of increased requirements & reduction in their absorption but also due to disease modifying anti-rheumatoid drugs (DMARD’s), Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAID’s) & corticosteroids prescribed to alleviate symptoms of this disease. This results in associated side effects like gastrointestinal bleeding & bone loss (osteoporosis). Supplementation with long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) has constantly demonstrated an improvement in symptoms & reduction in dosages of NSAID’s. Such a supplementation can be provided with the use of fish oils which have an anti-inflammatory potential. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) use has been found to augment the anti-oxidant defenses, so also the use of Vitamin E (tocopherol) which has got antiinflammatory action. Beneficial effects of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal 5-phosphate) used in conjunction with folate & Vitamin B12 have been documented in those group of RA patients with high homocysteine metabolism, there by reducing the cardiovascular risk in these patients. In addition role of Selenium, Iron, Zinc, Calcium, and Vitamin D has been discussed in this review article. Besides adding certain nutrients in food, elimination of certain foods like red meat, dairy products, cereals & wheat gluten have shown improvement in progression of this disease. This article emphasizes the need for dietary supervision in the hands of expert dietician, of the Rheumatoid arthritis patients..

Key words: Rheumatoid arthritis; Fish oils; Diet; Nutrition; Minerals  
 
 
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