Volume 63, Issue 4 (13 2005)                   Tehran Univ Med J 2005, 63(4): 316-321 | Back to browse issues page

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Khalvat A, Rostamian A. Effect Of Fasting And Vegetarian Diet On The Improvement Of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Tehran Univ Med J. 2005; 63 (4) :316-321
URL: http://tumj.tums.ac.ir/article-1-1018-en.html
Abstract:   (4134 Views)
Background: The high incidence of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), the conventional treatments and the experimental observations have shown that by taking particular foods or omitting some foods form ordinary diet, the disease symptoms of the patients reduce. The interesting point is that fasting lowers the objective and subjective indexes of disease activities in most patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. The effects of a short-time fast and subsequent vegetarian diets for one year, on the rheumatoid arthritis patients were studied in this research.
Materials and Methods: 52 patients (40 females and 12 males) with definite rheumatoid arthritis, based on the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria were selected and duly studied with single blind method. 28 patients were selected after one month fasting at Ramadan. From the tenth day, a vegetarian diet was prescribed for them. This diet was continued for three moths. After three moths, the diet was changed to a combination of milk, vegetables and fruits. Two of the patients left the study at the end of Ramadan. A group of 24 non-fasting patients with ordinary food diet were selected as control group.
Results: In the patients subject of study (with the average age of 39+14.5) and average 36 months disease, after four weeks of fasting under vegetarian diet, significant improvement was found in many of their disease indexes based on ACR criteria, such as joint pain and joint swelling, length of morning stiffness and responds to a health evaluation questionnaires. These suitable effects have still remained the same after one year. With respect to the findings, it is concluded that fasting and a changed diet had left significant effects on all calculated indexes. Although short time fasting had suitable effects in most patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, almost in all cases, the disease recurred when the patient returned to his/her ordinary food diet.
Conclusion: The results of the study show that the patient’s improvement can continue through selecting a type of food diet and based on a regulated diet, the rheumatoid arthritis activities decrease. It is suggested to set a tolerable food diet for the rheumatoid arthritis patients and those foods, which involve in the disease, should be omitted or at least, balanced.
Keywords: vegetarian diet
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