Arthritis: ‘High tea consumption had an inverse association to the risk of RA’ says study

Rheumatoid Arthritis: NHS on common signs and symptoms

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The word arthritis is used to describe pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints. It isn’t a single condition and there are several different types. Could a simple daily walk and cups of tea help?

Some evidence suggests certain teas help relieve pain from arthritis.

Tea is a popular beverage around the world and has properties that can affect the immune system.

The association between tea consumption and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic autoimmune disease primarily affecting the joints, is not well studied and results are conflicting.

Teas, whether enjoyed hot or cold, are water-based, so they don’t have added calories, sodium, preservatives, sweeteners, carbohydrates, proteins, or fats when made at home.

When you steep tea leaves in hot water, you’re getting the essence of the plant’s benefits, which include polyphenols, or antioxidants.

 In addition to helping soothe rheumatoid arthritis, tea may also perk you up with its caffeine content, protect against heart disease and possibly cancer, lower cholesterol, and lower diabetes risk.

In a study published in BMC, tea consumption helping to reduce the risk of arthritis was further analysed.

In the study data was collected on tea consumption for 2237 incident RA cases.

Tea consumption was classified into no (0 cups/day), irregular (one cup/day), regular (one to two cups/day), and high (over two cups/day) consumption, and irregular consumption was used as the reference category.

“Among the cases, we found 57.3 percent to be ever consumers of tea with 19.7 having a high tea consumption,” noted the study.

“Corresponding figures for the controls were 58.4 percent ever drinkers with 22.1 percent high tea consumers.

“High tea consumption had an inverse association to the risk of RA compared to irregular consumption.”

The study concluded that a protective effect of high consumption of tea was evident.

It also found that those who drank more than two cups of tea a day were less likely to have rheumatoid arthritis than non-tea-drinkers or those who didn’t drink tea regularly.

Exercise has also been shown to reduce the risk of arthritis, however people at risk need to take greater care about the type of exercise they do.

Exercises that involve repeated pressure on the joints, such as running, can worsen the condition.

In those cases, activities such as brisk walking and swimming can reduce the burden on the joints while still providing the health benefits of exercise.

Your GP can give advice specific to your health circumstances about how to exercise without risking joint damage.

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