Nuclear Factor Kappa-Β (NF-kB) is recognized as one of the main inflammatory pathways in the Autoimmune Disease (AD) Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), which exhibits high levels of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, TNFa and IL-6 linked to bone erosion and disease progression. NF-kB is also the most studied pathophysiological mechanism in RA, however, over the last few decades, a more recently discovered Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor Kappa-Β Ligand (RANKL), also linked to NF-kB activation and bone erosion, has been the topic of interest for research in the area of AD management. As the non-discriminative long term suppression of the NF-kB pathway by pharmacological agents in the management of RA has been linked with a number of side effects and with the discovery of the RANKL mechanism, which may present a more targeted approach to the management of the AD, there has been renewed interest in research on the potential impact of nutritional interventions influencing the NF-kB pathway, RANKL as well as RA disease outcomes. Existing research highlights the potential utility of nutrients such as Omega 3 and Vitamin D, which may lower NF-kB activation in RA. There is, however, a gap in the knowledge of the effects of nutritional interventions on pathophysiological mechanisms contributing to RA and a more robust systematic analysis of whether nutrients or specific vitamins can have an effect on the NF-kB and RANKL main drivers of pathology in RA. Findings from this study suggest the potential of Vitamin D supplementation in lowering the levels of RANKL and related markers/cytokines such as Th17 cell levels, OPG/RANKL ratio and CXCL10 pathway, which may present as a viable nutrition intervention for the management of RA. The methodology of this review involved a Systematic Search of the Literature with a Critical Appraisal of papers. It incorporated three tranche searches of 1. review, 2. animal/in vitro and 3. intervention peer reviewed research published in the last 10 years, resulting in a total of 119 papers. Results provide an overview of the NF-kB pathway, a detailed mechanistic examination of the Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor Kappa-Β Ligand (RANKL) which is linked to bone erosion, and finally a review of nutritional interventions relating to this mechanism of pathophysiology. The accepted papers were critically appraised using SIGN50 for human studies and the ARRIVE guidelines for animal studies; the narrative was analysed and the extracted information coded into key themes.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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