molecules-logoAging is a multifactorial and tissue-specific process involving diverse alterations regarded as the “hallmarks of aging”, which include genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion and altered intracellular communication.

Although dietary factors have been extensively studied in many chronic diseases, the role of diet in the epidemiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has received little attention. Fruit and vegetables and dietary antioxidants are thought to play a protective role in the pathogenesis of CVD and some cancers, but few studies have investigated these dietary components in the aetiology of RA.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by inflammation of the synovial tissues in the joints. A number of papers related to dietary components that are associated with this inflammation are reviewed. In addition, the ecological approach is used to study the links between diet and RA. Multi-country data for prevalence of RA for females from eight and fifteen countries were compared statistically with components of national dietary supply.

OBJECTIVE: Many studies have examined the role of diet in the management of established rheumatoid arthritis (RA), warranting several recent reviews. However, none have considered the possible link between diet and the onset of RA in detail. Studies investigated a possible effect of individual components of diet and the development of RA, but the lack of a systematic review means there is no unbiased assessment of the evidence.

METHODS: We systematically reviewed studies with comparison groups that examined dietary intake or biological markers prior to the onset of RA. Four electronic databases were searched to identify relevant reports. Six quality criteria were agreed, against which the studies were assessed. The main outcome measure was a diagnosis of RA according to the ARA 1958 or revised ACR 1987 classification criteria.