In a nutshell
This study investigated the effect of a Mediterranean diet (MD) intervention with physical activity on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease status and the risk of cardiovascular diseases in women. The data showed that a personalized MD plan along with physical activity (PA) may provide benefits to females with RA.
RA is a chronic, inflammatory disease that results in painful, swollen joints, stiffness, bone resorption, erosion of cartilage, and joint destruction. The disease occurs more frequently in females compared to males and often has a reduced quality of life (QoL). Genetic and environmental factors are believed to play a role in the development of RA. Diet may be important in controlling inflammation which is linked to RA.
A MD is mainly plant-based and consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, legumes, olive oils, and fish with reduced quantities of dairy and meat products. This diet is associated with anti-inflammatory effects and may offer protection against obesity and cardiometabolic conditions. There is a need to investigate the potential benefits of combining an MD with lifestyle modifications like PA in females with RA.
Methods & findings
This study included 40 adult females with RA. Patients had mild to moderate disease activity based on the disease activity score 28 (DAS28 less than 3.2). All patients were randomized to either a dietary intervention group or a control group. The MD dietary intervention group received a personalized MD plan and guidance on improving PA. The control group received dietary and PA guidance based on National Dietary Guidelines but not a personalized MD plan. Adherence to MD was assessed in patients. Changes in disease activity, height, weight, dietary intake, PA, vitamin D concentrations, and fat content in the blood were determined over 12 weeks.
The intervention group showed significantly better adherence to MD, lower DAS28, improved dietary intake, PA, body weight, body composition, blood glucose, and serum concentrations compared to the control group at 3 months.
The bottom line
The study concluded that a personalized MD combined with PA for 12 weeks was associated with a better adherence to dietary changes and resulted in decreased fat intake, body weight, body composition, and reduced disease activity in women with RA.
The fine print
The study included a small number of participants and the tools used for subject self-reporting may have affected the study outcomes.
Published By :
Jan 31, 2023