Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



A Plant-Based Diet May Ease Arthritis Symptoms, New Research Finds

In a new study, participants who went vegan and eliminated pain-trigger foods saw signifiant reduction in swollen joints and rheumatoid arthritis pain

Lock Icon

Subscribe to unlock this story.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with everything in the Print + Digital Plan plus 25+ benefits including:
  • Member-only content on 17 Outside network publications: Clean Eating, Yoga Journal, Outside & more
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons
  • More than 100 diet-specific meal plans
  • Extended member-only yoga pose library with how-to instruction
  • Today’s Plan training platform with customized training plans
  • Premium access to Outside Watch and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+
Vegetarian Times

Digital + Print
Intro Offer
$2.99 / month*

  • Annual subscription to a magazine of your choice from the Outside network
  • Access to all member-exclusive content on
  • Ad-free access to
Join Vegetarian Times

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

According to a new study published this week in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, eating an entirely plant-based or vegan diet may reduce the pain and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in adults. In the study, participants who followed a protocol first of switching to a vegan diet, then additionally eliminating other foods that are vegan but can be linked to an increase in arthritis pain, reported less joint pain, fewer painful joints, and an overall reduction in the severity of symptoms.

To conduct the experiment, the 44 participants in the study were broken into two groups. The first group switched to a vegan diet immediately for four weeks, and then went through three weeks of elimination of potential pain-trigger foods, followed by nine weeks of reintroducing those potential pain-trigger foods one by one. Meanwhile, the second group was given a placebo “supplement.” After the protocol was complete, both groups took a four-week break, then returned to switch places for the following 16 weeks.

Across both sets of test subjects, the results found that the group participating in the diet phase saw a drop in mean number of swollen joins from 7 to 3.3, while it rose from 4.7 to 5 amongst those in the placebo phase.

Neal D. Barnard, a lead author on the study, has been involved with previous research about the positive health impacts of a meat- and dairy-free lifestyle, including a 2009 study linking low-fat vegan diets to improved cardiovascular health and reduced insulin sensitivity. Dr. Barnard has also been a past contributor to Vegetarian Times. 

RELATED: The Best Anti-Inflammation Diet Tips, According to Top Nutrition Experts

Get more of what you love from VT. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitterand sign up for our email newsletters