If you’re anything like me, you enjoy a nice cup of tea in the morning – and maybe the afternoon. Okay, you’ve got me, probably at night as well. In addition to tasting great, drinking tea has a variety of benefits ranging from lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of strokes to reducing inflammation throughout the body.
But could tea be used to help relieve symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Well, shares Express, a large-scale study shows that it might be able to. Published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, the research suggests that consuming tea reduced RA disease activity.
As I explained a bit above, tea has been shown to confer numerous health benefits for consumers. There are also different types of teas (herbal, green, black, white) which promote varied health outcomes. However, most teas generally have high polyphenol levels (which reduce inflammation). To learn more about the different teas and their hidden health benefits, check out this informative piece from Penn Medicine.
In the past, researchers have frequently sought to understand this drink and its impact on patients with arthritis. For this particular study, researchers wanted to explore the specific link between RA and drinking tea. Altogether, researchers used data from 733 patients with RA. Findings included:
- Using the 28-erythrocyte sedimentation rate score, researchers found lowered inflammation in patients with RA who drank tea.
- However, there was a difference between drinking high amounts versus low amounts of tea. For those consider “higher-intake,” tea consumption was associated with lower RA flares and disease activity. Alternately, those drinking lower amounts of tea did not see lower RA disease activity.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder and perceived autoimmune disorder which may impact many joints. In an autoimmune disorder such as RA, the immune system mistakenly attacks parts of the body (such as the joints). Because RA differs between patients, with some progressing rapidly and some never progressing, it can be difficult to anticipate how the condition will affect someone. However, typically, patients experience periods of remission followed by “flares,” or symptomatic periods. RA is up to 3x more common in females than males. Symptoms include:
- Joint stiffness, redness, warmth, or inflammation
- “Pins and needles” sensation
- Dry mouth
- Physical deformity
- Joint, back, and muscle pain
- Fatigue or general malaise
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- Lumps, bumps, redness, or inflammation under the skin