When arthritis strikes, the cause may not be apparent. But two distinct types can cause the painful joint damage which ravages function in legs or hands.
- Damage to the cartilage that covers the bones in your joints, usually seen in aging and overuse in athletes
- One knee or wrist may be affected
- Joints may “unstiffen” as day progresses
- Immune system attacks the lining of your joints leading to swelling and deformity
- Similar damage is seen in joints on both sides of the body
- Pain usually lasts longer
A variety of medications have been formulated to relieve the symptoms. Because of immunomodulating and ant-inflammatory effects, lactic acid-producing bacteria (LAB) may also reduce the symptoms of arthritis in both animals and humans, say researchers.
In one study, a strain of Bacillus coagulans (along with medication) resulted in greater improvement in ability to walk, reach and participate in daily activities than the meds combined with placebo. Forty-five men and women were in the study which appeared in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, an open access online source.
Several of the typical probiotic characteristics were thought to account for the positive effects:
- Competition with antagonistic microbes
- Production of short-chain fatty acids which may in turn enrich the health of the mucosal immune system
A 2015 report in the Journal of Functional Foods suggests another model of modus operandi.
In “Lactobacillus helveticus suppresses experimental rheumatoid arthritis by reducing inflammatory T cell responses“, Kima Jung-Eun and colleagues were able to observe slowed development and progression of RA. This was attributed to: phenotypic changes which led to changes in cytokines involved in inflammation.
For a look at what the community educating about arthritis is saying, see The Promise of Probiotics for Arthritis by Jodi Helmer for Arthritis Foundation online report.
Meanwhile, make sure your squeaky wheels get some grease–yogurt anyone?