New diet study for children with rheumatism

New diet study for children with rheumatism

A new treatment is now being tested for children and adolescents with inflammatory joint disease (JIA) at the Academic Hospital in Uppsala. It is a special diet program that researchers hope will reduce inflammation and reduce the need for medicines in the future.

More research is needed to know if specific dietary recommendations can be given for people with rheumatism. In Uppsala, a diet study is now being conducted for children and teenagers who have been diagnosed with inflammatory joint disease (JIA) at the age of 1-16. The study aims to investigate whether a certain type of low-inflammatory diet can reduce inflammation and complement traditional treatment.

- A low inflammatory diet means eating foods which in animal experiments have had a positive impact on the intestinal immune system. The diet program in this ongoing study has been taken from an American study and is proven to be effective in reducing intestinal inflammation in children, says Lillemor Berntsson, who is the responsible researcher.

The diet in the study consists of foods that are cooked from scratch, and avoids semi-manufactured and ready-made foods. It consists of meat, seafood, eggs and nuts with lots of vegetables and fruits. The diet is also free of gluten and sugar and contains a limited amount of dairy products.

- Gluten is probably not harmful in itself, but it is about reducing the amount of certain carbohydrates. Perhaps the most important thing about the diet is that it is free from substances that arise when food is processed,  and is free from consistency sensors, she says.

Lillemor Berntsson's advice is to be careful about experimenting too much with your diet without having discussed it with your healthcare professionals. Follow the usual dietary tips and try to eat lots of vegetables and fruits. In a few year,s we will see the scientific results of the study, which is expected to last until 2021. (1,2)


  1. Låginflammatorisk kost prövas mot barnreumatism. Akademiska sjukhuset, 2019

  2. Ny kost prövas för barn med reumatism. Sveriges Radio, 2019