Scientists say Gut bugs influence Rheumatoid Arthritis risk

colon inflammation

Endoscopic biopsy showing granulomatous inflammation of the colon in a case of Crohn's disease.

Larger-than-normal populations of specific gut bacteria may trigger autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, a team of scientists has found in research that could help spot those at risk and even stop the crippling condition before it starts.

A team led by Dr. Veena Taneja from the Mayo Clinic found that billions of bacteria in the gut play a role in regulating the immune system.

But an overabundance of a certain kind of gut bacteria — more than what is considered typical — could actually lead to autoimmune diseases like painful rheumatoid arthritis in people who may be susceptible to the disease, they found.

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