Drs. Oz & Roizen’s Tip of the Day: Can bacteria trigger arthritis?

King Features SyndicateDecember 4, 2013 

Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir tied paintbrushes to his hand when rheumatoid arthritis made them impossible to grip. 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 — more than 1.3 million North Americans have it. And the newest research shows an association with fewer beneficial intestinal bacteria and an overgrowth of an inflammatory gut bacterium, Prevotella copri.

We think excessive antibiotic use and/or disruptive chemicals in the food supply and environment may upset your gut’s balance of good and bad bacteria and can increase vulnerability to a variety of autoimmune conditions.

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 of only 100 percent whole grains and lots of fresh fruits and veggies; nix red meat; maintain a healthy weight to reduce bodywide inflammation; and get plenty of exercise to keep your metabolism humming at a good rate.

Taking a probiotic supplement also may 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.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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