Health and Wellness: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease which primarily targets our joints. Though the exact cause or mechanism which leads to the development of rheumatoid arthritis has not been completely worked out. One proposed mechanism is Molecular Mimicry. When the cell lining the wall of the colon are not healthy, condition known as “leaky gut” develops and larger proteins enter our bloodstream. Our immune system targets these larger foreign proteins, and as per design, it tries to eliminate these from our body. Some of the larger proteins can have structure which are quite similar to our own proteins. Because of molecular mimicry, the immune system confuses our proteins(due to their similarity to the foreign proteins) as foreign thereby setting off a chronic immune reaction.


The chronic immune/inflammatory reaction against joint tissue over time leads to extensive damage to the joint. Genes play a role in development of the disease but this condition is not hereditary. Even if one identical twin has the disease, the chances of the other twin developing the disease is only 1 in 3.

There is a lot of current research studying the role of gut bacteria in the development of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. It has been shown that individuals with early rheumatoid arthritis have different gut bacteria than the general population.

Beneficial gut bacteria produce compounds which keep the cells lining the gastrointestinal tract healthy and help maintain an effective barrier against larger proteins of dietary and bacterial origin. As discussed on the previous blog, plant based diet promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Moreover, naturally present anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds in plants can further reduce inflammation in our body. As the following citations show, dietary modifications are of clinical benefit in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Additionally, many studies have shown that incidence of rheumatoid arthritis is greater in populations with high meat consumption.


Instead of listing more articles, that show the detriment associated with diets rich in  animal products, and benefit associated with plant rich diets, we wanted to end this blog on this inspiring story of a cardiologist who was able to cure herself from rheumatoid arthritis by using plants.

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