Article Highlight | 1-Nov-2022

No impact of diet on RMD outcomes

Systematic review and meta-analyses informing the new EULAR recommendations

European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR)

People’s diet can influence their wellbeing, with known impacts on wide-ranging body systems such as cardiovascular and mental health. However, it has not previously been clear whether dietary factors influence RMD-specific outcomes, and what knowledge there was focused primarily on osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, rather than people across the full spectrum of RMDs.

A task force was set up to examine the evidence across six key lifestyle factors – diet, exercise, weight, alcohol, smoking, and paid work – in people with one of seven RMDs (axial spondyloarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, gout, and osteo-, rheumatoid, or psoriatic arthritis). This study was performed in accordance with the EULAR standard operating procedure and is reported following PRISMA guidelines.

Although a number of dietary components were identified as having a low impact, there were none with a high impact in any of the RMDs studied. Therefore, based on the current evidence, there is no single dietary intervention which has substantial benefits, and no consistent evidence that any dietary exposure significantly improves outcomes in these conditions.

This paper from EULAR is important, as it suggests that health professionals can advise people with RMDs that consuming specific dietary components is unlikely to influence the progression of their disease. However, it is still important to maintain a well-balanced diet and healthy weight for general health reasons.



Gwinnutt JM, et al. Effects of diet on the outcomes of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs): systematic review and meta-analyses informing the 2021 EULAR recommendations for lifestyle improvements in people with RMDs. RMD Open 2022;8(2):e002167.

Further reading

Gwinnutt JM, et al. 2021 EULAR recommendations regarding lifestyle behaviours and work participation to prevent progression of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Ann Rheum Dis 2022;annrheumdis-2021-222020.


EULAR is the European umbrella organisation representing scientific societies, health professional associations and organisations for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). EULAR aims to reduce the burden of RMDs on individuals and society and to improve the treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of RMDs. To this end, EULAR fosters excellence in education and research in the field of rheumatology. It promotes the translation of research advances into daily care and fights for the recognition of the needs of people with RMDs by the EU institutions through advocacy action.



EULAR Communications,


Notes to Editors

EULAR Recommendations
EULAR Strategy
EULAR School of Rheumatology
EULAR Press Releases


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