Standard image of the new scientist

Do Potatoes and Tomatoes Worse Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Claims that solanine, a toxic compound found in many plants, worsen arthritis is a pillars staple of health – but there's no solid science to back it up James Wong


| comment

October 28, 2020

By James Wong

Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

As a botanist fascinated by the properties of plants, I am always curious when I discover new claims about them. When a colleague complained that she recently had to stop eating tomatoes (her favorite food) at lunch because she feared it would worsen her debilitating rheumatoid arthritis, I could barely clear my plate before reaching for the studies.

The first thing I discovered was that a link between tomato consumption and this painful, poorly understood degenerative condition was not a new idea at all, it was just new to me that day. It was a staple food for …