Transcript: Diet & Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis can be a disfiguring condition. The treatment often involves some of our most toxic drugs—steroids, chemotherapy agents, thalidomide. We’ve known for ten years that meat consumption may play a major role, based on this kind of data, where it appears the more meat populations eat, the higher their prevalence of the disease. And so, eating vegetarian may reduce our chances of getting rheumatoid arthritis. But once you already have it, does it matter what you eat?
Vegetarian diets can be used to successfully treat rheumatoid arthritis: fact for fiction? Fact; nearly every study ever published on the matter has shown that vegetarian diets can indeed be used to successfully treat the disease. Some tested vegetarian diets with or without fasting; some tested vegan diets; some tested raw vegan diets; some even used gluten-free raw vegan diets. The one thing they all shared in common was that they were all vegetarian, and that they all worked.
The only really remaining question is why? Is rheumatoid arthritis an autoimmune meat-induced joint attack? Or, are the meat proteins themselves involved in attacking the joints?
This is from earlier this year; a case report of a woman eating eggs, dairy, and meat with joint inflammation so bad she was on chemo and steroids—until she stopped ingesting animal products, and her symptoms disappeared when she just ate plant proteins. She could turn on and off her disease like a light switch. It even says how she ate meat the night before her doctor’s appointment, just to show the doctor that she really did have bad arthritis.
When susceptible people put all these foreign animal proteins in their body, one of two things may happen. When we nibble on the cartilage at the end of a chicken’s leg, our immune system may react to these foreign cartilage proteins by producing anti-cartilage antibodies that may get confused, and start attacking our own cartilage. That’s what they mean by meat-induced joint attack. The other possibility is that even if there are no cross-reactivity confusions, the immune complexes formed by the meat proteins and our antibodies may migrate into our joints and trigger inflammation that way.
It’s actually interesting how they’re doing some of these experiments. When scientists want to know if someone’s truly reacting to animal protein, they can’t just give them bacon and eggs and ask how they’re feeling, because you have to have a placebo control to compare the food to. And people are going to know if they’re eating bacon and eggs or a sugar pill. So, how do you get food into somebody in a way that bypasses the taste buds? You stick it up their butt: “…reactivity after [a] rectal [food] challenge in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.” Again, don’t try this at home.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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