Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by wear and tear on the cartilage in the joints, leading to inflammation, swelling and pain in the joints. Medical experts have been able to identify a few factors that cause rheumatoid arthritis, but the onset of rheumatoid arthritis is still not fully explained. Experts in the field of rheumatoid arthritis have recently begun to consider how intestinal bacteria affect the joints and their possible impact on the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
Recent studies have shown that intestinal bacteria can cause joint pain, and this includes pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, intestinal bacteria and their function have been linked to a weakening of the body’s immunity, which can lead to other health problems.
Intestinal bacteria – one cause of rheumatoid arthritis?
In 2013, Jose Scher, a specialist in rheumatology at the University of New York, found while examining patients that people with rheumatoid arthritis had more bacteria called Prevotella copri in their gut.
In a study published the same year, Scher says that people with psoriatic arthritis, in turn, have low levels of important bacteria in the gut.
The aforementioned subsidies are a fraction of all the research work that is being done on intestinal bacteria in the world. Researchers are interested in the effect of normal bacteria and bacterial infections in the gut on the health of the whole body.
The intestinal bacterial population covers up to 1000 different bacterial species weighing a total of 1 kg or even 3 kg. In recent years, scientists have tried to prove that these organisms have a lot to do with how healthy a person is and what diseases he or she has. Some bacteria trigger diseases and some protect the body.
Intestinal bacteria affect the body’s defenses
Human Defense Physician Veena Taneja, who works at a clinic in Minnesota, USA, confirms that: “With each study, it is becoming increasingly clear to researchers that these microbes can affect defense and contribute to diseases outside the gut. Joint pain is associated with intestinal bacteria . ”
Researchers have been surprised by the results that intestinal bacteria affect defenses much more than previously thought.
In recent decades, autoimmune diseases have increased and many microbial experts suspect that modern man’s lifestyle and changes in diet, for example, have transformed the intestinal microbial ecosystem and led to current health problems.
Prevotella copri – the bacterium may be responsible for joint pain
The effect of these microbes on intestinal health is clear, as up to two-thirds of all cells in the body that maintain immunity are located in the intestine. During digestion, a huge amount of external microbes flow into the gut that we get from food and drink.
The gut has developed a multi-level defense system to protect the body, and the effect of the gut is felt throughout the body. Defensive cells in the gut are able to activate cellular inflammation throughout the body, including the joints.
According to Jose Scher, the bacterium Prevotella copri can cause a reaction in the defense system that later spreads to other tissues and causes pain in the joints. According to another theory, beneficial microbes travel from the intestine to other parts of the body and impair defenses.
The last theory is based on an experiment on intestinal bacterial strains, which revealed that those patients with a large amount of Prevotella copri in their intestines suffer from a deficiency of a good-quality bacterium, Bacteroides fragilis . The latter support the normal functioning of the defense system, so if there are not enough of them, a person may become more susceptible to illness.
The results from these experiments and studies pave the way for new studies that focus on the bacterial strain of the gut and its effect on the whole body.
Nutrition experts often recommend the consumption of probiotics to support a good intestinal bacterial population. Probiotics should be taken especially during a course of antibiotics, as antibiotics kill a lot of good microbes in the gut. Probiotics are also believed to help with acne, insomnia and other ailments.