Toktam Kiani, an Iranian student studying in Pune, received a patent in September for a potassium-rich food supplement that she used with a special diet in her PhD study to reduce pain in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis on standard care.
Dr Arvind Chopra, rheumatologist and director of the Centre for Rheumatic Diseases, who was her PhD guide, said the presentation — Potassium (K) in Reducing Joint Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) : A Randomized Controlled Study of K Enriched Vegetarian Diet In Patients on Standard Care, was awarded the first prize in the best oral presentation category at the12th European Congress of Integrative Medicine – II National Congress of Health and Integrative Medicine, Barcelona, held in September.
This research on potassium in rheumatoid arthritis was also accepted at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in 2016, Chopra said. Kiani completed her PhD from the Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Pune at Pune University.
The research highlights the benefits of suitable vegetarian diet in patients of rheumatoid arthritis on regular supervised medication. Reduction in pain was significant but several inflammation markers were reduced with better functional status in patients on potassium rich diet and food supplements as compared to control patients who took routine diet as per their wish.
Toktam is now pursuing an advanced fellowship training in London.