Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which immune and inflammatory response causes pain along with cartilage and bone degradation; it can lead to significant disability and compromises quality of life.
People with RA often suffer from gastrointestinal disturbances: bloating, gastric pain, nausea and constipation and diarrhea. And interestingly, they have microbiota that differ from healthy patients. Fewer Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides-Porphyromonas-Prevotella as well as Lactobacteria were seen.
Could probiotics help?
Researchers asked the same question.
In one recent study, men and women with arthritis took either medications with probiotics or meds with a placebo. The first group did better with walking, reaching and general daily activity than the group without the probiotic. Forty-five men and women were in the study.
The Bacillus coagulans strain effected positive change in the immune system. Other probiotic strains which have also shown improvement in arthritic symptoms are: Lactobacillus GG, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus delbrueckii.
Also, lactic acid-producing bacteria (LAB)demonstrate immune and ant-inflammatory effects and the ability to lessen the symptoms of arthritis in both animals and humans.
How do probiotics work this magic?
- Competition, for one. Like renegades from a Survivor episode, the bacteria dislodge and expel the microbes which cause the inflammation and malfunctions.
- And they also produces short chain fatty acids such as butyric acid. This good acid makes for strong intestinal cells.
It may eventually be worthwhile to treat arthritic symptoms with probiotics.