Vegan diet promotes atheroprotective antibodies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

March 18, 2008

A gluten-free vegan diet may improve the health of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to new research from the Swedish medical universit Karolinska Institutet. The diet has a beneficial effect on several risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and cardiovascular diseases. The underlying causes are unknown, but researchers suspect that the disturbed balance of blood fats seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis may be part of the explanation.

A research team at Karolinska Institutet has shown in a new study that a gluten-free vegan diet has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular risk factors in people with rheumatoid arthritis. The effect was seen when a group of patients who kept to a gluten-free vegan diet for a year were compared with a control group which had followed ordinary dietary advice.

Vegan food had a positive effect on symptoms of the disease, which were more pronounced in the control group. Blood levels of oxidised LDL-cholesterol, a risk factor for atherosclerosis, were also lower in the group which kept to the vegan diet. The vegan group also had higher levels of anti-PC, a type of antibody that the researchers believe has a protective effect against atherosclerosis.

“Our findings suggest a new mechanism by which the level of natural protective antibodies can be increased. They also show that diet can have effects on the immune system with implications for the incidence of disease”, says Professor Johan Frostegård, who led the study.

The study was initiated by Professor Ingiäld Hafström and was carried out within the framework of CVDIMMUNE, an EU consortium of ten European partners led by Johan Frostegård. The consortium is studying the significance of anti-PC in the hope of developing a vaccine against atherosclerosis.

Source: Karolinska Institutet

Explore further: More effective approach to show changes in human metabolism with molecular maps

Related Stories

Can a vegan diet can be safe for pregnancy?

November 25, 2013

A popular Instagram contributor has gained particular attention recently because she is vegan, eats predominantly raw food, and is pregnant. Most of her critics focus on the effect of her diet on her unborn child, and most ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Cow embryos reveal new type of chromosome chimera

May 27, 2016

I've often wondered what happens between the time an egg is fertilized and the time the ball of cells that it becomes nestles into the uterine lining. It's a period that we know very little about, a black box of developmental ...

Shaving time to test antidotes for nerve agents

February 29, 2016

Imagine you wanted to know how much energy it took to bike up a mountain, but couldn't finish the ride to the peak yourself. So, to get the total energy required, you and a team of friends strap energy meters to your bikes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.