What About Diet and Pain?

The question of diet and chronic pain has been only answered well by one randomized trial of 17 subjects showing benefit and another of 19 cases with statistical but not clinical pain reduction. The idea is that an anti-inflammatory diet might help but I wonder if it is beef related…

I have included all studies so you can decide…

vegan diets:

Uncontrolled Pilot study:

Donaldson, Michael S., Neal Speight, and Stephen Loomis.
Fibromyalgia syndrome improved using a mostly raw vegetarian diet: an observational study.
BMC complementary and alternative medicine 1.1 (2001): 7.
17 subjects


Kaartinen, K., et al.
Vegan diet alleviates fibromyalgia symptoms.
Scandinavian journal of rheumatology 29.5 (2000): 308-313.

 18 subjects 15 controls


Whole food Plant based diet on Osteoarthritis Pains
Clinton, Chelsea M., et al.
Whole-foods, plant-based diet alleviates the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Arthritis 2015 (2015).

  • Whole Food Plant Based diet consisted of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains. Animal products were proscribed and the use of unrefined foods was encouraged.
  • 19 intervention; 18 controls

OA pain_diet


An anti-inflammatory diet effects

Mandolfo, Christina M.
Consuming An Anti-Inflammatory Diet to Alleviate Chronic Pain.
Diss. D’Youville College, 2018.

  • “five week study included a 1-week control diet consuming a typical Western diet (diet WD) diet followed by a 4-week Pain Free/antiinflammatory diet (diet PF)
  • 12 people
  • Diet was extensively written:






Results – unfortunately a small group (12) so unsure if real:


Comment – so we have two uncontrolled studies – one of 17, another with 12 with results you cannot trust. One controlled trial with 18 subjects/15 controls with results and another showing statistical but not clinical effects. This does not instill great confidence.


I have been on a Mediterranean sort of diet and noticed a IBS flare with beef. Beef has stood out in the literature recently for fact:

28% people show antibodies to it and that subgroup have 30% more arteriosclerosis:
Wilson, Jeffrey M., et al.
IgE to the mammalian oligosaccharide galactose-α-1, 3-galactose is associated with increased atheroma volume and plaques with unstable characteristics—brief report. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology 38.7 (2018): 1665-1669.


  • “In subjects ≤65 years of age, the strength of the association with atheroma burden was stronger (P<0.001), and plaques in the sensitized group had less stable features based on intravascular ultrasound.”
  • Thought some of the allergic reactions could be started by a tick bite.
  • I am hoping staying away from beef will help but wonder if some of the benefits for Mediterranean diet is because it is beef free.
  • I would suggest a vegan diet would be worth using for 1-2 months to see…


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