Can foods worsen pain in osteoarthritis?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Although some patients swear to me that eating tomatoes or drinking orange juice makes their osteoarthritis (OA) worse, there's no evidence that any particular food or group of foods affects osteoarthritis one way or another. Almost all the studies on diet and arthritis have involved people who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a very different disease from OA. In some studies, some patients showed improvement when they ate a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids from fish or took fish oil capsules. I can't say for sure that this will help with OA. If you want to try it, talk to your doctor first.
There are no foods that will worsen the pain of osteoarthritis (OA). In general, people with OA are encouraged to eat a healthy, low-fat diet.

Being overweight or obese puts extra pressure on the joints. For every one pound of excess weight, for example, four pounds of added pressure is put on the knees. Also, excess fat can cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation can worsen the pain of osteoarthritis. It's for this reason that people with OA are encouraged to eat healthy and stay physically active. Maintaining a healthy body weight is one way to minimize the pain of osteoarthritis.

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