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Antibiotics-Increasing-the-risk-of-Rheumatoid-Arthritis#Rheumatoid #arthritis is a long-term autoimmune condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the #joints. A combination of genetic and environmental factors are suspected to be the cause for rheumatoid arthritis (#RA) including hormonal changes, exposure to dust and other allergens as well as some bacterial and viral infections. A team of researchers from Keele University, Haywood Academic Rheumatology Centre and Quadram Institute Bioscience have been studying the link between taking #antibiotics and going on to develop RA.

Rheumatoid arthritis! – these are not the words anyone wants to hear when they start to experience joint discomfort. It quite naturally engenders fear and worry as the tretaments offered are in themselves a challenge in most cases and avoiding effective treatment can predispose an individual to a shortened and miserable life.

In an allied review I have discussed the evolving role of epigenetics as the valued mechanism for explaining how gene expression rather than DNA change determines and mediates risk for complex health problems. In addition epigenetics helps to explain cross generational exposure transmission and why despite their being less than 1% variation in human DNA between individuals they can experience significant differences in health and function.

Great hopes were pinned on the discovery of our DNA yet as discussed in a related post we have less DNA than a grape and certainly less than was originally thought, just slightly more than a humble fruit fly in fact – so surely DNA cannot carry all of our aspirations and risk within that elegant double helix.

Coeliac Disease – Local & Systemic Consequences

Wednesday, 09 December 2009 by | Comments: 1

leaky gutCoeliac disease is an inflammatory disorder with autoimmune features that is characterised by destruction of the intestinal epithelium and remodelling of the intestinal mucosa following the ingestion of dietary gluten. The human gut is home to trillions of commensal microorganisms, and we are just beginning to understand how these microorganisms interact with, and influence, the host immune system. This may also include the late onset development of Coeliac Disease, or gluten intolerance.

cover_natureWhilst to nutritionists and most people who understand the role of nutrients in health, the idea that the bacteria in our gut impacts on disease risk seems almost common knowledge, there is still a shortage of hard science to back this up. In the international journal Nature, periodic examples of how science is catching up appear. In the Oct 29th edition an article out of Australia really adds some substance to the role of food and bacteria in health and disease.

PNASIn 2000, researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine identified that a protein called zonulin was a critical molecule in the development of coeliac disease and other autoimmune disorders including multiple sclerosis and diabetes. This relationship further links the risk and progression of systemic disease to the health of the gastrointestinal tract.

Zonulin has, as is typical in the  history of immunology been further clarified and renamed as  haptoglobin 2 precursor.

Although dietary factors have been extensively studied in many chronic diseases, the role of diet in the epidemiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has received little attention. Fruit and vegetables and dietary antioxidants are thought to play a protective role in the pathogenesis of CVD and some cancers, but few studies have investigated these dietary components in the aetiology of RA.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by inflammation of the synovial tissues in the joints. A number of papers related to dietary components that are associated with this inflammation are reviewed. In addition, the ecological approach is used to study the links between diet and RA. Multi-country data for prevalence of RA for females from eight and fifteen countries were compared statistically with components of national dietary supply.

OBJECTIVE: Many studies have examined the role of diet in the management of established rheumatoid arthritis (RA), warranting several recent reviews. However, none have considered the possible link between diet and the onset of RA in detail. Studies investigated a possible effect of individual components of diet and the development of RA, but the lack of a systematic review means there is no unbiased assessment of the evidence.

METHODS: We systematically reviewed studies with comparison groups that examined dietary intake or biological markers prior to the onset of RA. Four electronic databases were searched to identify relevant reports. Six quality criteria were agreed, against which the studies were assessed. The main outcome measure was a diagnosis of RA according to the ARA 1958 or revised ACR 1987 classification criteria.

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