News ID: 214549
Published: 0512 GMT May 06, 2018

Arthritis: Dumping junk food can soothe symptoms

Arthritis: Dumping junk food can soothe symptoms
Arthritis: Eating junk food can change your gut microbiota.

Rheumatoid arthritis, and other forms of the condition, symptoms include pain in the joints, stiffness and fatigue.

A new study, however, has found that eating junk food, and others high in fat, may increase your risk of developing the condition, reported.

Rheumatoid arthritis, and other forms of the condition, cause pain in the affected areas.

These tend to be in joints, such as the knee and hip, and can flare-up at times, causing increased pain, if no treatment is offered.

Other symptoms of the condition include joint tenderness, swelling and warmth, according to

The condition affects as many as 17.8 million people in the country, according to Arthritis Research UK, or 28.9 percent of the total population.

Treatments can include taking regular exercise, and making changes to your diet.

A recent study found that eating junk food, and other products high in fat, may increase the pain suffered from arthritis.

Published in the journal JCI Insight, the study found that feeding overweight mice bacteria from healthy foods reduced inflammation, and made the joints ‘indistinguishable’ from those of healthy mice.

This may be because the bacteria in their gut, gathered from eating junk food and other products high in fat, increased their symptoms.

Mice were first fed on a diet ‘similar to a Western cheeseburger and milkshake’ for 12 weeks, which caused their gut to become dominated by pro-inflammatory bacteria.

It was then supplemented by a common prebiotic called oligofructose, which changed the bacteria in the gut to include more beneficial, probiotic forms, such as Bifidobacteria.

“Colonies of those bacteria chowed down and grew, taking over the guts of obese mice and crowding out bad actors, like pro-inflammatory bacteria,” they said in a statement.

“This, in turn, decreased inflammation and slowed cartilage breakdown in the mice’s osteoarthritic knees.”

The oligofructose may have had this effect as, while it cannot be digested by rodents or humans, it can be used by certain types of beneficial bacteria.

This meant it increased the numbers of beneficial bacteria, which could have caused reduced inflammation across the body.

Robert Mooney, PhD, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and involved with this study, said, “[The results reinforced] the idea that osteoarthritis is another secondary complication of obesity, just like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, which all have inflammation as part of their cause.

“Perhaps, they all share a similar root, and the micro biome might be that common route.”

Oligofructose, is a naturally occurring compound that is found in garlic, onions, bananas and several other fruits and vegetables.

It can also be found in supplements from several shops.

However, the scientists warned that it may not have a beneficial effect on humans as, ‘the bacteria that protected mice from obesity-related osteoarthritis may differ from the bacteria that could help humans.’

“There are no treatments that can slow progression of osteoarthritis - and definitely nothing reverses it,” said Eric Schott, first study author, PhD and postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Musculoskeletal Research.

“But this study sets the stage to develop therapies that target the microbiome and actually treat the disease.”


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