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Gut bacteria linked to arthritis

Posted 7 years ago by Jacob in General Health News

New research from the U.S has found that rheumatoid arthritis, and other auto-immune diseases, may be triggered by certain bacterial changes in our gut. The team of researchers from Mayo Clinic and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discovered that specific populations of bacteria may trigger the development of rheumatoid arthritis and possibly fuel disease progression in people genetically susceptible to developing it.

The team of researchers also discovered that hormone changes related to aging may also affect the gut's immune system and fuel progression of auto-immune diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis.

couple handsScientists believe that the weakening of the mucosal barrier, of which probiotics play a large role in maintaining, is a pivotal factor in the development of auto-immune diseases. When the barrier is weakened, bacteria and even particles of food are able to move from the gut through into the body, triggering the immune system into overdrive.

This new discovery may lead to the development of early detection tests which could radically improve speedy diagnosis of the condition, a key factor in implementing effective treatment and halting the disease.

"The next step for us is to show if bugs in the gut can be manipulated to change the course of disease." commented senior author, Dr Veena Taneja.

Reference: Gomez, A. et al. (2012) Loss of Sex and Age Driven Differences in the Gut Microbiome Characterize Arthritis-Susceptible *0402 Mice. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (4): e36095


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