Nightshade Vegetables Such As Tomatoes, Potatoes and Eggplant May Aggravate Arthritis Symptoms

Years of research has proven that consuming the nightshade vegetables can aggravate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in many arthritis patients.


There is evidence to suggest that the nightshade vegetables aggravate the symptoms in many arthritis patients, In particular, those afflicted with psoriatic arthritis.

Nightshade vegetables are among the foods that many arthritis patients feel can trigger arthritis flares. Others feel their arthritis symptoms improve when nightshade vegetables are avoided.

The nightshade vegetables, so named because they grow in the shade of night rather than during the day. Vegetables in this group include potatoes, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes.

These plants are known as nightshade plants, and the solanine in their leaves and roots provide natural protection against insects. For most of us non-insects, solanine is neutralized in the intestine. But because solanine foods often trigger joint pain, some researchers believe that arthritis patients may lack the intestinal mechanism that undoes solanine’s toxicity.

Nightshades contain psyllium alkaloids, which cause problems for some people. These include tomatoes, white potatoes, (red potatoes are fine), eggplant, paprika, green peppers and hot peppers.

Some researchers have speculated that nightshade alkaloids can contribute to excessive loss of calcium from bone and excessive depositing of calcium in soft tissue. For this reason, many researchers have recommended elimination of nightshade foods from the meal plans of all individuals with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other joint problems like gout.

Is there a connection between the nightshades and rheumatoid arthritis?

According to the University of Washington website, “No foods have been definitively shown to cause or exacerbate arthritis in most individuals. A variety of diets and hand-me-down information exists about certain foods and arthritis, in particular the night shade plants, but none of it has been proven….

On the other hand…. The hard facts are that there is obviously a connection between the nightshade vegetables and rheumatoid arthritis


The simple facts are that after years of many visits to Dr’s and spending thousands of dollars in bills, many arthritis patients have come to realize that it all comes down to the simplest changes, removing the nightshade vegetables.

Many arthritis patients have found that by eliminating foods belonging to the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers and chili) I they no longer have the morning stiffness that they found quite painful. Apparently it is the solanine in these foods which causes the morning stiffness.

One arthritis patient reports that once she removed tomatoes, potatoes, and green pepper and eggplant her symptoms improved overnight and then dramatically in the next few weeks. Her swollen fingers were no longer in pain and the knees improved. Within 6 months she was in complete remission.

Extensive research on the relation between inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and the consumption of the nightshade vegetables, has been conducted by Dr Norman F. Childers, Ph.D. of Rutgers University and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida, author of the best –selling book Arthritis – A Diet to Stop It: The Nightshades, Aging and Ill Health.

Dr Childers has conducted several studies over the last 30 years into the relationship between nightshades and the most common forms of arthritis – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

For more information on the research of Dr Childers, visit the website of the Arthritis Nightshades Research Foundation, founded by Dr Childers.

Additional studies have been conducted at Rutgers University with rats. One study, conducted in 1979, attempted to determine if the white potato can produce vitamin D3. Results showed that low levels of potato increased bone mineralization which is believed to be due to increased intestinal absorption of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. A high intake of potato resulted in soft tissue mineralization, decreased bone mineral content and decrease in body weight gain. The overall effect indicated the potato does have vitamin D-like activity.

The nightshade vegetables include tomatoes, white potatoes, (red potatoes are fine), eggplant, paprika, green peppers and hot peppers.


If you are suffering from the symptoms of any form of arthritis than common-sense would dictate that you try eliminating the nightshade vegetables from your diet and see if there is an improvement in your condition. Of course, if you find that these vegetables do not cause you any problems, then at all costs go ahead and enjoy them. They are very good sources of vital nutrients after all.



No responses yet

Leave a Comment