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Has eating bananas helped with my arthritis pain?

Q) I’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the right hip and am on a waiting list for a replacement. Obviously I've been in a lot of pain but recently this has stopped - totally! The only thing that I can think of that has changed is that I've been eating a lot of bananas – could this have helped – and should I still be having a major op?
Joan, via email (Summer 2013)

A) Bananas are recommended as part of a healthy diet and for the vitamin B6 they contain (as well as lots of potassium). However, bananas are also discouraged by some websites as aggravating arthritis. The bottom line is that there is little evidence that certain foods cause arthritis, or make it worse, unless that person is food allergic, which is uncommon. So, it is great that your pain has gone, for whatever reason. In this situation you should seriously re-consider your options. Pain is the major reason that these operations are done, and if you don’t have any, what do you hope to achieve? Has your mobility improved as well, or is that still a problem for you?

This answer was provided by Dr Philip Helliwell for the Summer 2013 edition of our magazine, Arthritis Today, and was correct at the time of publication.

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