Probiotics Have yet Another Use: Helping Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Is there anything probiotics don’t help? A study last year showed that by increasing levels of antibodies, probiotics can reduce the likelihood of athletes developing infections throughout training. The basic idea is that by supporting the innate-immune system, the body’s first line of defence, we can make the body’s immune response more effective. Supporting the body’s defences in the gut – where many invaders first come into contact with our body’s defences – has a knock on effect that can help support antibody production throughout the rest of the body. They can also regulate inflammation, meaning inflammatory disorders such as arthritis may benefit from supplementation…

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study ion 29 rheumatoid arthritis patients taking probiotics caused a significant improvement in scores on the Health Assessment Questionnaire. They felt better and were better able to cope with their condition. Although probiotics did not clinically improve specific symptoms and measures of arthritis, there was functional improvement seen within the probiotic group compared to placebo.

Pineda M, Thompson SF, et al, (2011) “A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled pilot study of probiotics in active rheumatoid arthritis,” Med Sci Monit, de Los Angeles; 17(6): CR347-354.

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