New Study Shows Flaxseed and Diet Can Reduce Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

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A new 12-week randomized controlled trial published in the European Journal of Nutrition demonstrated that consuming flaxseed combined with an anti-inflammatory diet reduced symptoms and improved quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

RA is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease causing joint damage and disability. New research is examining natural ways patients can manage this painful condition.

In the study, 120 RA patients were divided into 3 groups:

  1. Flaxseed (30g/day) plus anti-inflammatory diet (AIF)
  2. Flaxseed plus regular diet
  3. Roasted wheat plus regular diet (control group)  

After 12 weeks, those consuming flaxseed and AIF showed the greatest improvements in disease activity scores, pain levels, morning joint stiffness, and physical health compared to the roasted wheat group.

Specifically, the flaxseed plus regular diet group decreased Disease Activity Score (DAS28) by 0.87 points more than controls. DAS28 decreased by 1.5 points in the AIF group, showing the additional benefits of combining flaxseed with anti-inflammatory foods. A decrease of 0.6 is considered a clinically meaningful improvement in RA disease activity.

The flaxseed groups also reported significant reductions in the severity of pain, duration of morning stiffness, and perceptions of their disease compared to controls. Quality of life increased in all groups, but more profoundly with flaxseed supplementation.  

Flaxseed is rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids which likely contributed to reducing inflammatory symptoms. The anti-inflammatory diet emphasized fruits, vegetables, whole grains and excluded processed foods and red meat.

While blood markers of inflammation like c-reactive protein and rheumatoid factor did not change, patient-reported symptoms dramatically improved with flaxseed and diet. This highlights the importance of patient perceptions of treatment efficacy.  

This rigorous research adds to earlier studies indicating flaxseed’s utility in mitigating RA. It also demonstrates additional quality of life benefits from combining flaxseed with anti-inflammatory dietary choices. Dietary approaches offer safer long-term options compared to medications that carry side effects.

With 1.3 million American RA sufferers desperate for symptom relief, this research provides patients options and hope. Flaxseed and diet modifications could provide a constructive first step in managing RA, especially when combined with appropriate medical care. Patients now have science-based nutritional strategies for reclaiming control over this life-altering disease.

For those looking to further research natural alternatives, the Greenmedinfo.com database contains 168 substances with studies related to rheumatoid arthritis www.greenmedinfo.com/disease/rheumatoid-arthritis, including promising options like curcumin, fish oil, ginger and boswellia. Their database also has over 140 studies on the health benefits of flaxseed in a wide range of conditions. www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/flaxseed

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Key Research Topics

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

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