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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Any links between tomatoes and arthritis?

Q) I've heard so much about the link between consumption of tomatoes and worsening arthritis that I'm anxious to find out if there's any authoritative research thta suggests it's so. I'm 63 (fit because I'm a fitness instructor, but that involves a lot of wear and tear and over-use of joints) and aware of worsening pain since my glut of tomatoes starting in July. Maybe I’m clutching at straws?
Mary Kirk, Halesworth, Suffolk (Winter 2011) 

A) Yes, I think you are clutching at straws! I know of no research that links consumption of tomatoes with arthritis. Of course, it's just possible you have a food allergy to tomatoes and this manifests as arthritis rather than rash or diarrhoea but I've found food allergies to be a very rare cause of arthritis. Try excluding them (and other similar foods) from your diet. Joint symptoms increase with age but I really have to object to you linking your exercise with arthritis. Research suggests that normal use of the joints is good for them. It's only when injury occurs that the risk of arthritis is increased. This is why a lot of ex-footballers have knee arthritis. It also explains the different patterns of arthritis seen with occupational use, particularly in the hand.

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