In recent years, an explosion of “anti-inflammatory” diets has been bombarding the web with the ultimate nutrition plans to prevent, manage and even cure autoimmune diseases. No wonder why we are so confused about the type of foods and diet to follow. Are the nightshades safe? Should I eat gluten-free, dairy free, soy free? What about the Autoimmune Protocol Diet? Should I go Keto?
Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s start with the basics and review a little bit of the past and present of diet interventions in inflammatory arthritis, particularly Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
In 1909, the article "Diet in Rheumatoid Arthritis" described dietary instructions to manage RA during and after an arthritis attack. According to Dr. R. Llewellyn Jones, patients with RA often presented with gastrointestinal disturbances, so it was believed that diet could modify the intestinal flora that was leading to chronic toxemia or poisoning of the body causing pain. Drinking milk for the first 24 hours of the acute phase was the main treatment, if milk was not tolerated, then “sour milk” or fermented milk was recommended. It suggested that lactic acid bacilli reduced intestinal putrefaction. A pint of Whisky was part of the protocol! I guess alcohol helped to knock off the pain in those rotten bodies.