Microbiome and Probiotics: Link to Arthritis

Mohamed K. Bedaiwi; Robert D. Inman


Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2014;26(4):410-415. 

In This Article

Biology of Human Microbiota

Although many organs have their distinctive local microbial flora, the gastrointestinal tract has the largest proportion.[2] In 1676, Van Leeuwenhoek reported his discovery of microorganisms when he described 'animalcules' recovered from his mouth. It is now recognized that gut microorganisms may constitute up to 3 lbs of body weight. Microbial colonization has an important impact on the immune system development earlier in infant life. Organisms may play a protective role against certain autoimmune diseases, as exemplified by nondiabetic mice with an overrepresentation of Bacteroidetes in the microbiota.[3] In contrast, evidence has provided some links between the gut microbiome and the development of some rheumatic diseases. In addition to impacting the immune system, endogenous gut microbes may regulate the body weight by influencing the host's metabolic and neuroendocrine homeostasis.[4]