Nightshade Vegetables and Arthritis


Authored by Jaipi Sixbear in Diseases 
Published on 10-11-2009

Is there a connection between nightshade vegetables and arthritis? Some arthritis sufferers swear by eliminating nightshade vegetables from their diets. Others insist abstinence from nightshade vegetables and arthritis symptoms have no connection. Some say the connection between nightshade vegetable and arthritis depends on the individual. What is the truth about nightshade vegetables and arthritis?

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain and swelling of the joints. There are hundreds of different types of arthritis. No two cases of arthritis are exactly the same. There are similarities among arthritis sufferers. Proponents of the nightshade vegetables and arthritis connection would say these similarities make abstinence from nightshade vegetables vital for arthritis pain control.

What are nightshade vegetables?

Nightshade vegetables grow at night, rather than in daylight. This class of vegetables includes potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, ground cherries, huckleberry and tobacco. Some arthritis sufferers feel that abstinence from all types of nightshade vegetables is unnecessary. For instance, as an arthritis sufferer, I may notice that potatoes aggravate my symptoms but tomatoes do not.

What is the connection between arthritis and nightshade vegetables?

Solanine is the ingredient in nightshade vegetables believed to be linked to arthritis symptoms. Some people are even convinced that the solanine in nightshade vegetables may be the cause of arthritis. Solanine is a toxic compound produced in the green parts of nightshade vegetables. It is said to add to the toxins already present in arthritis patients and deplete calcium levels.

What is the evidence supporting the connection?

There have been no studies to date proving the connection between nightshade vegetables and arthritis. This may be due to the varied reactions of arthritis patients to nightshade vegetables. The original theory connecting nightshade vegetables and arthritis originated from Norman Childers, an arthritis sufferer and professor, who noticed a connection between his symptoms and tomato consumption.

What can arthritis sufferers do to test their reactions to nightshade vegetables?

Test the connection between nightshade vegetables and arthritis by eliminating them from your diet. This is a common means of testing non life threatening negative food reactions. Simply eliminate all nightshade vegetables from the diet for a month. Those who see noticeable improvement in arthritis symptoms should think about making this a permanent change.

How can arthritis sufferers determine which nightshade vegetables cause symptom flare ups?

Those who have tried this test and found nightshade vegetables to be a problem may face a dilemma.
It may be difficult to eliminate all nightshade vegetables from the diet. Potatoes and tomatoes are common foods in the American diet. In order to determine which nightshade vegetables are causing arthritis symptoms, it may be necessary to repeat the test with each vegetable separately.

There is no solid evidence supporting the connection between nightshade vegetables and arthritis. There are numerous arthritis patients who feel abstaining from nightshade vegetables can alleviate and even cure arthritis. Others believe there is no connection at all between nightshade vegetables and arthritis. Individual sensitivity to nightshade vegetables varies. Arthritis sufferers should do a simple abstinence test to see if this diet change works for them.


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