Bacteria in the gut linked to arthritis and joint pain, study reveals
(NaturalHealth365) It has long been assumed that osteoarthritis, in obese people, was only caused by excess wear and tear on their joints. However, new research out of the University of Rochester Medical Center reveals that a gut microbiome imbalance – including a deficit of Bifidobacteria – is the likely culprit.
The evidence shows a high fat, Western-style diet alters gut microbes, increasing inflammation in the body and speeding up joint deterioration. Fortunately, a common dietary supplement was found to overturn gut microbiome imbalances in mice.
And, although it did not help – in terms of weight loss – it does suggest that maintaining a proper balance of gut bacteria (even without a low fat diet) can help to avoid painful joints.
Editor’s note: Even though this study suggests that eating fatty food is not the issue in terms of avoiding joint issues. We, at NaturalHealth365, do not believe that ‘all fats are created equal.’ Maintaining a healthy gut and diet is always the best strategy to avoid health problems.
Osteoarthritis joint pain affects 31 million Americans, yet Western medicine fails to see the obvious solution. (hint: it’s not more toxic drugs)
The University of Rochester Medical Center has found compelling links between an imbalance in gut bacteria -which is directly affected by diet – and osteoarthritis. In the research, scientists found obese mice showed increased levels of harmful gut bacteria compared with lean mice.
This led to a chronic state of inflammation, throughout the body, causing rapid joint deterioration.
Keep in mind, this condition is no small problem: Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of disabilities in the U.S., affecting an estimated 31 million people and widely accepted (within the conventional medical world) to be a byproduct of obesity. (the point is: we can fix this.)
Fact: Chronic gut bacteria imbalances will lead to joint pain and arthritis
For the study, the mice that became obese had been fed a high-fat Western diet for 12 weeks, equivalent to eating milkshakes and cheeseburgers regularly. Naturally, within the 12 weeks, the mice became both obese and diabetic.
Their colons were almost completely devoid of beneficial, probiotic bacteria like Bifidobateria. Instead, the colons of obese mice were dominated by harmful pro-inflammatory bacteria.
Body-wide inflammation was found, including in the knees and other joints. The obese mice were much more prone to injuries like meniscal tears in the knee, a common injury known to lead to osteoarthritis.
The condition of arthritis also progressed much more rapidly in obese mice.
Just about all the mice had their cartilage disappear within 12 weeks of a meniscus tear. The implications are clear: for those that look to be more physically active, a poor balance of gut bacteria actually increases the risk of joint problems, unwanted surgeries and painful outcomes.
Cartilage is both a lubricant and cushion, facilitating comfortable, friction-free movement. Without it, joints end up bone on bone and (in many cases – conventionally speaking) often get surgically replaced.
The common prebiotic oligofructose was found to completely offset the effects of obesity on gut bacteria and inflammation. This allowed osteoarthritis to be completely prevented even when consuming a high fat diet.
Oligofructose prebiotic is food for Bifidobacteria, enhancing gut bacteria balance and eliminating the threat of chronic inflammation
Prebiotics like oligofructose are not digestible by humans or mice. However, they are feasted upon and greatly enjoyed by beneficial gut bacteria such as Bifidobacteria.
When present in the gut, they crowd out bad actors such as pro-inflammatory bacteria. This assists in the preservation of cartilage and healthier joints. The oligofructose also made the obese mice less diabetic.
Since there are currently no known (conventional) treatments that stop or slow the progression of osteoarthritis, these findings are particularly exciting. They set the stage for the development of new therapies to regulate the microbiome and reduce osteoarthritis symptoms.
Meanwhile, you can adjust your diet to enjoy the benefits of prebiotics. Eat foods rich in prebiotics include raw chicory root, raw Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens, onions and garlic.
Above all, never forget the healing power of the human body – especially when given the resources needed.
Sources for this article include:
Food & Nutrition
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