Microbiome manipulation decelerates osteoarthritis progression
Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week
Prebiotic supplements are intended to nourish and support particular bacterial strains present in the gut. This is in contrast to probiotic supplements, often found and discussed in yogurt, which attempt to confer specific bacterial cultures directly to the gut. In the experiment reported by Schott et al, it is believed that an increased abundance of microbes from the genus Bifidobacterium, resulting from prebiotic supplementation, may be responsible for the reduction in systemic inflammation and deceleration of OA symptoms.
A link between altered gut microbiome and systemic inflammation in obesity has previously been established; however, the mechanisms by which the gut microbiome affect joint health are still largely unknown. Schott speculates that either the increased numbers of Bifidobacteria are crowding out other inflammation-inducing strains, or that these Bifidobacteria are producing a metabolic byproduct(s) that has positive effects on the host, including supporting healthy joints. Answers to these questions may provide the first evidence connecting the gut microbiome to joint health.
Future work in the Zuscik lab will further investigate the gut microbiome in OA, without obesity as a comorbid factor. They hope to determine if OA patients have an altered gut microbiome compared to healthy individuals. If the microbiome is altered in OA, perhaps correction of the abnormalities will protect against or even reverse OA symptoms. Additional clarification of the gut-joint connection may lead to novel therapeutic strategies involving the manipulation of the intestinal microbial community to treat or prevent OA. Results from this work may help to address a clinical problem of enormous scope for which no effective disease-modifying therapy has been established.
Keywords for this news article include: Obesity, Bariatrics, Prebiotics, Orthopedics, Inflammation, Overnutrition, Osteoarthritis, Diet and Nutrition, Nutrition Disorders, Bacterial Polysaccharides,
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