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Keep Gut Bacteria in Balance to Prevent RA

Keep Gut Bacteria in Balance to Prevent RA

Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir tied paintbrushes to his hand when rheumatoid arthritis (RA) made it impossible to grip them, and although the disease seems to have been around for millennia, when Renoir’s RA hit him in the early 1890s it was considered one of the first documented cases of the modern era.

Since then, this autoimmune attack on the lining of the joints and erosion of surrounding bone has become more common -- over 1.3 million Americans have it. And the research shows an association with fewer beneficial intestinal bacteria and an overgrowth of an inflammatory gut bacterium, Prevotella copri.

Related: The role bacteria plays in the gut.

We think excessive antibiotic use and/or disruptive chemicals in the food supply and environment may upset your guts’ balance of good and bad bacteria (you’ve got trillions of them in there) and can increase vulnerability to a variety of autoimmune conditions.

Related: Cultivate good bacteria to boost your immune system.

Our suggestion: Help your body prevent or manage an autoimmune condition such as RA by nurturing those bacteria teeming inside you, so the good and bad stay in balance.Eat a high fiber diet -- only 100% whole grains and lots of fresh fruits and veggies; nix red meat;maintain a healthy weight to reduce body-wide inflammation; and get plenty of exercise to keep your metabolism humming at a good rate.Taking a probiotic supplement may also help (we like spore probiotics containing bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 and lactobacillus GG, a strain activated by stomach acid). So ask your doctor if that’s a smart move for you -- and your joints. 

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Is There a Connection Between Gut Bacteria and Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Is There a Connection Between Gut Bacteria and Rheumatoid Arthritis?