Nightshade bad for the joints / Arthritis?

Consumption of plants from the nightshade species may be harmful for your joints

The nightshade species contains more than 2,500 of different plants of which potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and various peppers may be part of your daily diet. Researchers of the Stanford University found some surprising new causes for arthritis. The general perception is that wear of our joints is the result of their use, similar to what happens to machines. However this is actually not the case. The wear of cartage in our joints is usually the result of chronic inflammation that we are not aware of until the wear and underlying inflammation result in pain. Various nightshade plants that most of us consume on a regular basis were suggested to be among the factors that contribute to this chronic inflammation. Could it be that arthritis can result from these foods?

What is so typical about Nightshade?

The Nightshade family contain a large number of plants and some we know well such as tobacco, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes and various types of peppers. Nightshade plants are known to contain poisonous compounds to defend themselves against their environment of which solanine that is present in potatoes and eggplant and tomatine in tomatoes are the best known.

How poisonous are solanine and tomatine?

This depends on the amount! Unripe tomatoes contain relatively large amounts of tomatine and eating them can result in poisoning in case the total amount of tomatine exceeds 25 mg. Consuming in excess of 400 mg may be lethal! Ripe tomatoes on the contrary contain very little tomatine and form thus no danger. It is therefore advisable to only consume ripe tomatoes. Potatoes contain tomatine that is concentrated mostly under the skin that is not destroyed or removed by the cooking process. Peeled potatoes contain a relatively modest amount of tomatin that only becomes potentially poisonous when in excess of nearly 10 pounds of potatoes are consumed. It is best to keep potatoes in the dark, since exposure to light will increase their solanine content. Green spots and sprouts on the potatoes contain the highest concentrations of solanine and can best be removed.

Does consumption of plant from the nightshade family influence the quality of your joints?

Since scientist of the Stanford University suggested in 2011 that consumption of tomatoes, potatoes eggplant and other plants of the nightshade family could lead to inflammation and subsequent wear and damage of your joints, there have been no new published studies that support this theory nor is there proof that it is not true. In case you suffer from arthritis you may want to try to avoid potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers and see whether there are any positive effects. Alternatives for nightshade plants are for example green beans, cauliflower, endive and carrots.

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