Are Nightshade Vegetables Aggravating Your Arthritis?

by on September 28th, 2010 at 7:00 am

Could easing arthritis pain be as simple as eliminating a few foods – particularly those from the “nightshade” family?  Many people claim that altering their diet has shown substantial changes in their symptoms- for better and for worse. “Nightshade”, aka the common name for over 2,800 species of plants, encompasses not only a wide group of foods, but also herbs, shrubs, and trees.

Nightshade plants contain alkaloids, which been studied for their effects on nerve-muscle functioning and joint functioning. There has been speculation that alkaloids may contribute to joint damage as a result of inflammation and alteration of calcium in the body.

While research says that there is not yet a definitive correlation between certain foods worsening osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other joint problems like gout, for those with sensitivity to alkaloids, there may be a link.

Some common nightshade vegetables include:

  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet and hot peppers
  • Tomatillos and tamarillos
  • Pepinos and pimentos

If you find your symptoms worsening after eating any of these foods, perhaps it is worth a test to eliminate these foods for several weeks and monitor results.

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