Rheumatoid arthritis, food, and allergy

Semin Arthritis Rheum. 1991 Aug;21(1):12-23. doi: 10.1016/0049-0172(91)90052-2.


One of the most promising lines of research on the etiology and pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is its association with the genetically determined MHC class II antigens. The function of these macromolecules, presentation of antigens to the T-helper cells, supports the possibility that external antigens influence RA. We review available literature concerning the relationship between RA and food. Circumstantial evidence suggests that some foods or food components might influence subgroups of RA patients, although many of the publications on this subset do not meet acceptable standards of modern medical research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Arthritis / etiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / etiology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Eosinophilia
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Immunoglobulin E / analysis
  • Intestines / immunology
  • Mastocytosis / complications
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Rheumatoid Factor / analysis
  • Synovial Membrane


  • Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Rheumatoid Factor