Patients commonly ask me how can I reduce their pain. They also ask me what changes in their diet will improve their disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis

In rheumatoid arthritis, there are groups of food that are proinflammatory and others that decrease inflammation 1 .

  • Salt can increase the level of cells types that increase inflammation like macrophages.
  • Whereas, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, red hot chilli peppers (via Capsaicin), cocoa and nanopowdered red ginseng reduce inflammation.
  • Recently in the premier rheumatology meeting in Europe (June 2018), evidence was presented that noted a diet high in spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric, chili and coriander correlated with patients in rheumatoid remission

1 Cutolo et al RMD Open. 2018; 4(1): e000591.


In osteoarthritis, the medical evidence is weak that diet can affect this disease. However, most traditional drug treatment have potential side-effects if taken over the long-term. Thus, it is worth trialling diet changes- it is risk free and cheaper than drugs. In addition, the recommendations can also improve overall well-being and weight reduction. This includes glucosamine, chondroitin, nuts, increasing unsaturated fats, plant sterols, etc. Please refer to:

BDA Osteo Arthritis


In gout, there is a wealth of dietary changes that can reduce your risk of attacks. These include: -

  1. Reducing alcohol intake especially beer (the vast majority of my gout patients are beer drinkers whilst the rest of my patient cohort stick to good old fashion wine). Heavy beers (the tastiest!) are full of the nutrients that can increase urate levels that unfortunately cause gout.
  2. Dieting (especially red meat) to reduce weight.
  3. Vitamin C intake (500mg daily)
  4. Cherry intake (via their anthocyanins, catechins and flavonoids- all anti-oxidants). Paradoxically, orange juice can increase the risk of gout.


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Tunbridge Wells

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