Can your gut flora impact your rheumatoid arthritis?

There’s a really fascinating article today on Medscape (registration required) entitled Gut Flora Might Trigger or Worsen RA. The authors performed a series of experiments in mice examining the relationship between the bacteria in our intestinal tracts and rheumatoid arthritis. According to one of the authors,

“Many have suspected that the gut microbiome plays a role in disease susceptibility. We were able to demonstrate a link between bacterial levels and disease onset in populations with a genetic predisposition. This shows, at the very least, that bacteria are indicators of rheumatoid arthritis. In all likelihood, bacteria can be manipulated to delay or stop disease onset and progression.”

 The implications of this research is largely unknown at this point. But this is one of many papers over the past few years

Rheumatoid Arthritis Fingers

Can our poor diets be causing this?

examining a relationship between our gut flora and inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Especially with our increased use of antibiotics, coupled with our poor diets, its plausible that there may be a relationship between the two.

One way to possibly deal with this problem is to take Prebiotic and Probiotic supplements. In fact, this may also explain enzymes like this and this that help with digestion also have anti-inflammatory properties.