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Arthritis Helped With Veggie Diets

THE ROLE OF DIET IN ARTHRITIS

By HOWARD LYMAN: MAD COWBOY TURNED VEGAN

For years people have suspected that foods are an important factor in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Many notice an improvement in their condition when they avoid dairy products, citrus fruits, tomatoes, eggplant and certain other foods.

Initially, the evidence was anecdotal. A woman from the Midwest once suffered from painful arthritis. Today she is a picture of health, thin and athletic, and her arthritis is totally gone. It seemed that dairy products were to blame for her arthritis, for when she eliminated them from her diet, the arthritis disappeared completely.

A 1989 survey of over one thousand arthritis patients revealed that the foods most commonly believed to worsen the condition were red meat, sugar, fats, salt, caffeine, and nightshade plants (e.g., tomatoes, eggplant). Once the offending food is eliminated completely, improvement usually comes within a few weeks. Dairy foods are one of the principle offenders, and the problem is the dairy protein, rather than the fat, so skim milk products are as much a problem as whole milk.

An increasing volume of research shows...

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