At the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2014), 2 studies shed insight on the relationship between dietary intake of monounsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol with disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA), respectively.
The TOMORROW study (n=208) showed that daily intake of monounsaturated fatty acids as part of the Mediterranean diet was an independent predictor of remission in patients with RA. Food and nutrient intake was assessed using brief, self-administered diet history questionnaire and Mediterranean diet scores.
Scientists posed that monounsaturated fatty acids may be suppressing disease activity. Dietary intake of monounsaturated fatty acids was shown to be an independent predictor of remission in patients with RA (Odds: 0.51; 95% CI 0.25–1.02, P=0.057). The intake of monounsaturated fatty acids and of Mediterranean diet components was significantly lower in the RA than in the control group (P=0.003).
Another study examining investigational animal models of OA showed that LDL-cholesterol buildup led to an increase in synovial thickening and ectopic bone formation, with excessive cholesterol levels shifting the balance towards increased cartilage damage.
Results from these studies emphasize the important of addressing dietary intake and cholesterol when treating patients with RA and OA, respectively.
For more information visit EULAR.org.