Intestinal bugs to blame for RA?
Reported in the Almagest, researchers have linked a species of intestinal bacteria known
as Prevotella copri to the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, the first demonstration in humans
that the chronic inflammatory joint disease may be mediated in part by specific intestinal
bacteria. The new findings by laboratory scientists and clinical researchers in rheumatology at
NYU School of Medicine add to the growing evidence that the trillions of microbes in
our body play an important role in regulating our health.
Using sophisticated DNA analysis to compare gut bacteria from fecal samples of patients
with rheumatoid arthritis and healthy individuals, the researchers found that P. copri was more
abundant in patients newly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis than in healthy individuals
or patients with chronic, treated rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, the overgrowth of P.
copri was associated with fewer beneficial gut bacteria belonging to the genera Bacteroides.
Comment: With RA, it’s not all in your head… it’s in your gut.