Probiotics and RA
An imbalance of probiotics (helpful bacteria that live in the body) could contribute to your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
The medical field is still getting accustomed to the idea of probiotics and the fact that we have millions of microbes in our entire body that contribute to our health. In fact, we have more bacteria and microbes in the body than cells of all the different organ systems combined.
Probiotics Have a Long History of Use
In natural healing, experts like Dr. John R. Christopher, founder of the School of Natural Healing, said that if an alien observed us from outer space, we would look like a bag of bacteria with some human cells in it. Natural healing experts have used natural ways of altering that probiotic part of our making by encouraging us to eat natural foods such as sauerkraut, fermented foods and yogurt or kefir milk. These foods have been known for centuries for their curative properties.
What Can Probiotics Do for Someone With Rheumatoid Arthritis?
The information on probiotics coming out in the medical literature right now is remarkable. There are certain strains that cause weight gain, weight loss, mental stability, and protect against traveler’s diarrhea, disorders of the GI system, and other diseases. Companies are sprouting up that customize the probiotic formula to match the person’s condition, using the most helpful strains to promote the return of health. Probiotics have been used to improve digestion, lower cholesterol, prevent cancer and improve immunity.
One application of probiotics is the recommendation of probiotics for those with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders.
What the Studies Show
In one animal study performed at Cairo University, probiotics given to rabbits for 30 days in addition to the regular diet elevated thyroid hormone (thyroxine), growth hormone, testosterone, and insulin levels as well as antioxidant levels in the skeletal muscles, liver and kidney. The antioxidants tested included superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase, and reduced glutathione.
One of the chemical fragments in the body called MDA for short (malondialdehyde), which is associated with rapid aging of all the tissues in body, was decreased at well. This is excellent news for those who have rheumatoid arthritis because they have an excessive production of free radicals. This damages tissues and contributes to the joint destruction found in rheumatoid arthritis. The scientists commented that probiotics could be used as a preventive measure for protection against free radical-induced disorders.
In another study that took place at several universities and institutions in Iran, doctors tested 46 patients with rheumatoid arthritis with a capsule of 100 million colony-forming units of Lactobacillus casei consumed daily for two months. Compared to the placebo group, the group that took the probiotics made a big difference. Their disease activity score was significantly lower and three of the four inflammatory cytokines tested within normal ranges as well. Those two were interleukin-10, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin 6. They concluded that probiotics should be part of treatment for those who have rheumatoid arthritis.
It’s pretty easy to start reading up on the topic of probiotics. It’s easier to get a probiotic supplement at the health food store and begin taking it. Then notice the results, giving yourself at least 8 weeks of a trial period.
Vaghef-Mehrabany, E., et al. Probiotic supplementation improves inflammatory status in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition 2014 Apr;30(4):430-5.
Ghoneim, M.A. and Moselhy, S.S. Antioxidant status and hormonal profile reflected by experimental feeding of probiotics. Toxicol Ind Health 2013 Nov 30. Epub ahead of print.