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December 6, 2004

Eating Red Meat Doubles Chances Of Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis

Topics: Medicine

If you eat lots of red meat you may be doubling your chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis, say researchers from the University of Manchester, UK.

Researchers compared 88 rheumatoid arthritis patients, drawn from a research sample of over 25,000 men and women between the ages of 45 and 70, with 176 controls. Participants in the study completed a seven-day food diary and were asked about their smoking habits.

Results showed those eating the most red meat had twice the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Patients consuming red meat as well as other types of meat had similar higher risk factors. However, higher levels of dietary fats, including saturated fat, did not appear to have an effect.

Researchers say they are unsure exactly why red meat has this effect, speculating the high collagen content of meat may provoke an immune response in individuals with a predisposition for rheumatoid arthritis. Thus researchers conclude saying that, a high level of red meat consumption may represent a novel risk factor for inflammatory arthritis or may act as a marker for a group of persons with an increased risk from other lifestyle causes.

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is actually a family of related diseases, not a single entity. The problems are primarily a consequence of persistent inflammation . In the right place and for a limited period, such as a localised infection, inflammation is good, because it is the body's mechanism for dealing with the problem. It results in the attraction of white cells from the blood, which help fight the infection.

In RA, however, the inflammation becomes persistent, without having any known beneficial effect. It happens in the layers of tissue that line the joint (the synovium), causing pain and swelling and stiffness when moving the joint. There may be excessive production of the synovial fluid that lubricates the joint, making pressure build up and causing pain.

Whilst any joint can be affected, it is usually in the small peripheral joints, such as those in the fingers or wrist, that this is first noticed. Often, joints are affected symmetrically. Other features that can accompany RA include the presence of a protein called Rheumatoid Factor in the blood. Sometimes, usually after many months, the development of pits or erosions can occur in thejoints; this can be seen by X-ray. Although RA usually begins to affect people from their forties onwards, it can strike at any age, including young children.   Medical News Today...

Posted by Hyscience at December 6, 2004 7:15 AM

Dear Sirs;
I take note in your article on rheumatoid arthritis that you fail to mention potassium. Potassium is always low in the cell fluid of arthritics and low in the serum according to the NHANES survey. I suspect that this is the most important symptom during rheumatoid arthritis, and is responsible for most of the other symptoms. Perhaps I can persuade you to include a discussion of potassium for rheumatoid arthritis in future articles. If so, you may feel free to use information from a series of articles without concern about copyright starting at; . You may also see a summary of this concept at;

Sincerely, Charles Weber

PS There is information on potassium and its relation to rheumatoid arthritis from respected researchers. I can refer you to the work of LaCelle for cell potassium content, for instance;
LaCelle PL et al 1964 An investigation of total body potassium in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Rheumatism Association, Arthritis and Rheumatism 7; 321
I have many publications myself in well respected journals, for instance;
Weber CE 1974 Potassium in the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis and heart infarction. Journal of Applied Nutrition 26; numbers 1&2, 41-67.
Weber CE 1970 Journal of Theoretical Biology 29; 327
Weber CE 1983 Corticosteroid regulation of electrolytes. Journal of Theoretical Biology 104; 443
Weber CE 1983 A proposal for an experiment of potassium on rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology 1; 184
Weber CE 1984 Copper response in rheumatoid arthritis Medical Hypotheses 15; 333
Weber CE 1998 Cortisol's purpose. Medical Hypotheses 51; 289

Posted by: Charles Weber at December 12, 2004 11:30 AM

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