Arthritis and Joint Pain is Due To Junk-Loving Bacteria Not Extra Body Weight
Do you love junk food and are you worried that it may lead to weight gain? Well, there is another worry for you now! Fast food diets are leading to arthritis and joint pain not because of weight gain but due to the boom in junk-hungry bacteria in the gut.
Osteoarthritis is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Obesity is known to increase your chances of suffering from this condition and it has always been thought that it is because of joint wear and tear. However, US researchers have found that the speed-up in arthritis and joint pain is because of the unhealthy bacteria residing in the gut. And not due to body weight. This means bulky people can avoid arthritis by balancing their gut bacteria.
Additionally, you need to know that there is no medical treatment that can slow down the progression of osteoarthritis and absolutely nothing to reverse it. The current study has paved a way to target the gut bacteria and try to treat the disease. The findings of the study are being considered to check whether supplements to promote the health of gut flora can prevent joint problems in the elderly.
The bacteria that live on high-fat containing junk food build up in the intestines and trigger inflammation and the response of the body to stress and foreign invaders.
This makes the immune system attack the cells of the body and the cartilage in joints such as the knee. The knee which is already going through a lot of wear and tear is more susceptible.
Michael Zuscik, associate professor of Orthopaedics, led the study and says that cartilage is a cushion as well as a lubricant that ensures that your movements are friction-free. Upon losing that, your bone will rub the other bone which is like a rock on a rock.
Ultimately, you would need to replace the complete joint. In order to prevent this from taking place, osteoarthritis researchers like him focus on keeping the cartilage intact.
How was the study carried out?
In the study, the team made mice consume a high fat diet. This increased their body fat and eventually made them develop diabetes. The obese group of mice had more inflammation-causing bacteria than the mice in the control group who were made to consume a lean diet. Osteoarthritis progressed quickly after each of their knee cartilage was injured.
However, by giving them a prebiotic supplement called oligofructose which is a sweetener, the above effects were not found. This prebiotic encourages the growth of bifidobacteria which is known to promote health and is usually added to yoghurt drinks.
These bacteria were completely absent in the group of mice that were fed junk food. But in the group that was given supplements the bacteria increased quite rapidly. The mice that consumed the supplement did not show extra wear and tear on their joints. Also, when compared to the control group they had lower levels of inflammation.
This study has been conducted on mice and a new round of trials needs to be carried out to find out which bacteria can produce similar results in humans.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed!