Thursday, November 7, 2013

New Finding Adds To Growing Evidence That Intestinal Bacteria Is Directly Linked To Disease

There's no doubt about it, bacteria keep us alive. They're thought to encode more than 3 million genes in the body, and this complexity of bugs may also be responsible for immune dysfunction that begins with a "failure to communicate" in the human gut, scientists say. Researchers have linked a species of intestinal bacteria to the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, the first demonstration in humans that the chronic inflammatory joint disease may be mediated in part by specific intestinal bacteria.

 
Health care of the future may include personalized diagnosis of an individual's "microbiome" to determine what prebiotics or probiotics are needed to provide balance.

A role for gut microbes in gastrointestinal function has been well documented since researchers first described differences in the fecal bacteria of people with inflammatory bowel disease.

The new findings by laboratory scientists and clinical researchers in rheumatology at NYU School of Medicine add to the growing evidence that the trillions of microbes in our body play an important role in regulating our health.

Using sophisticated DNA analysis to compare gut bacteria from fecal samples of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and healthy individuals, the researchers found that P. copri was more abundant in patients newly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis than in healthy individuals or patients with chronic, treated rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, the overgrowth of P. copri was associated with fewer beneficial gut bacteria belonging to the genera Bacteroides.

"Studies in rodent models have clearly shown that the intestinal microbiota contribute significantly to the causation of systemic autoimmune diseases," says Dan R. Littman, MD, PhD, the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Professor of Pathology and Microbiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

For the rest of the story: http://preventdisease.com/news/13/110713_New-Finding-Adds-To-Growing-Evidence-That-Intestinal-Bacteria-Directly-Linked-To-Disease.shtml

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