Could RA Symptoms be Relieved With a Gluten-Free Vegan Diet?

Could RA Symptoms be Relieved With a Gluten-Free Vegan Diet?

Gluten-Free Diet for Relief

It’s a known fact that people with celiac disease are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other disorders such as lupus, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, asthma, and connective tissue disorders.

However, did you know that people who have rheumatoid arthritis may see their condition completely go into remission when gluten is removed from the diet?

The Proof That This Can Happen

Here’s what happened in one study that took place at a Stockholm, Swedish hospital: The researchers found sixty-six patients who had rheumatoid arthritis that was quite troublesome.

They divided the patients into two groups – one group of 38 that would eat a vegan diet without any gluten whatsoever, and another group of 28 patients who ate a non-vegan diet that was well-balanced and contained wheat. They were told to stay on this diet for an entire year.

The researchers didn’t just leave them alone and come back a year later to see who was still following the diet. The patients were monitored at intervals of 3 months, 6 months and 12 months.  During these monitoring sessions, the patients’ blood was checked for gliadin and beta-lactoglobulin and x-rays of their hands and feet were also taken.

At the end of the study, there were 22 rheumatoid arthritis patients who were in the vegan group and 25 rheumatoid arthritis patients in the non-vegan group that completed at least 9 months of their diet. The researchers used the standards from the American College of Rheumatology to determine how many of the patients had truly improved.


Want to know the results? Nine vegan patients improved, compared to only one patient eating the well-balanced non-vegetarian diet. The antibodies to beta-lactoglobulin and gliadin decreased only in the vegan group. However, the x-rays were similar in both groups.

The researchers made the conclusion that this type of diet could be beneficial for some patients who had rheumatoid arthritis.

What You Can Do Now

You don’t necessarily have to go to the extreme of creating a vegan diet. Just start with a gluten-free and wheat-free diet. But do remember that in order to do this right, all grains must be removed from the diet. That includes corn, rice, barley, rye and wheat. It also includes organic wheat. Just because a grain is organic doesn’t mean it’s any better for you; the genetics of the wheat is still the same. It’s genetically engineered.

Einkorn wheat is the only pure wheat and luckily, some farmers in the U.S. have started planting this heirloom and ancient crop. You can purchase it online; just do a search for einkorn wheat and a few places that sell it will come up. Einkorn wheat was found in Israel, Turkey and some other foreign countries, untampered with genetically. It’s these original seeds and plants that were brought back here to the U.S. and to Europe that have been used to start the whole einkorn revolution. It’s all organic.


Hafstrom, I., et al. A vegan diet free of gluten improves the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: the effects on arthritis correlate with a reduction in antibodies to food antigens. Rheumatol (Oxford) 2001 Oct; 40, 10: 1175-9.

Davis, William. Wheat Belly. Lose the Wheat. Lose the Weight, and Your Path Back to Health. Rodale Press, 2011.

Up next:
RA Herb Research Promising, but Inconclusive

RA Herb Research Promising, but Inconclusive

Modern practitioners usually recommend that thunder god vine for RA be consumed three times daily for effective treatment.
by Patricia Bratianu on June 24, 2015
Click here to see comments