Taking daily supplements with some probiotics could reduce arthritis pain, researchers have claimed.
Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus are all probiotics that have been claimed to improve arthritis symptoms.
Probiotics are living bacteria in the digestive tract, that improve the quality and quantity of the gut’s beneficial bacteria.
Patients can get more of the probiotics through diet, including in yogurt and some cheeses, or by taking daily supplements, said Dr Susan Blum, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
“Generally speaking, when it comes to arthritis, probiotics are thought to improve all the functions of the good flora that we reviewed, including helping T-regulator immune cells work better and live longer, turning off inflammation, and repairing the gut lining and tight junctions,” said Dr Blum, in her book ‘Healing Arthritis’.
“The goal is to shift the population of gut bacteria toward one that is more healing and low inflammatory.
“Probiotics can improve leaky gut, reduce intestinal permeability, and help increase the production of the short-chain fatty acid butyrate.
“In addition, taking probiotics also reduces pro-inflammatory bacteria.”
L.casei was given to female rats in a study by Barkatullah University, India. The probiotic protected them from arthritis symptoms, the scientists claimed.
In rats that already had arthritis, the supplements reduced their footpad swelling, and improved their mobility.
In Canada, researchers analysed the effect of both L.reuteri and L.rhamnosus on 15 patients with joint pain.
A three-month, double-blind, study revealed the probiotics reduced inflammation in arthritis patients, while also improving their quality of life, scientists claimed.
Arthritis affects about 10 million people in the UK, including people of all ages.
Symptoms of the condition include inflammation in and around the the joints, muscle wasting, and warm, red skin over affected joints.
There’s currently no cure for arthritis, but treatments can slow its development down, according to the NHS.
Physiotherapy, painkillers, corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could reduce symptoms.