Tags: gut | bacteria | arthritis

Bacteria may Trigger Arthritis

Friday, 15 June 2012 01:50 PM

Healthy bacteria in our intestinal systems help us fight disease and regulate the body’s immune systems. But a new study has found that larger-than-normal levels of such microbes may trigger such auto-immune diseases as rheumatoid arthritis.
Researchers at Mayo Clinic and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found some people may be genetically predisposed to the crippling and confounding condition. Identifying new biomarkers in intestinal microbe populations and maintaining a balance in gut bacteria could help physicians stop rheumatoid arthritis before it starts, they added.
"A lot of people suspected that gut flora played a role in rheumatoid arthritis, but no one had been able to prove it because they couldn't say which came first — the bacteria or the genes," said Veena Taneja, a Mayo Clinic immunologist who headed the study is published in the journal Public Library of Science ONE. "Using genomic sequencing technologies, we have been able to show the gut microbiome may be used as a biomarker for predisposition."
The human body has about 10 trillion cells that live side-by-side with beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion, boost the immune system and perform other roles. But the new study found hormones and changes related to aging may tip the balance in the gut and exacerbate inflammatory conditions in some individuals.
About 1 percent of the population has rheumatoid arthritis, a disease in which the immune system attacks tissues, inflaming joints and sometimes causing heart disease. Other diseases with suspected gut bacterial ties include type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
"The next step for us is to show if bugs in the gut can be manipulated to change the course of disease," said Taneja.

© HealthDay

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High levels of intestinal microbes may trigger auto-immune diseases like arthritis.
Friday, 15 June 2012 01:50 PM
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