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More and more health problems are being linked to an unhealthy gut.
That’s why finally more and more doctors are beginning to recommend nutrients that help repair a leaky gut and promote healthy bacterial levels.
Now, there’s one more reason to focus on your gut health — pain relief.
According to research published in the journal Current Rheumatology Reports, there is a complex interaction between the gut and joints that could not only initiate arthritis pain but also offer a pathway to healing.
Intestinal permeability and inflammation
“We know about the intricate relationship of the gut to the brain, lung, liver, and skin, so it’s not surprising that research is expanding about the gut-joint axis,” said probiotic expert and best-selling author Ross Pelton, RPh, CCN.
The gut-joint axis is exactly what the latest research set out to explore by reviewing a multitude of studies that delved into how gut health influences joint health.
Here’s how the results of their review boiled down:
- Toxic leaking – The researchers discovered that leaky gut syndrome results in the release of bacterial endotoxins and metabolites, including lipopolysaccharides (LPS), into the bloodstream, which increases joint pain.
- Bacterial imbalance – Gut dysbiosis (when bad bacteria outnumber the good in your gut) increases the production of zonulin, a protein that contributes to intestinal permeability. This increased permeability allows even more toxins to cross the gut lining to destroy your joints.
- Systemic inflammation – All those leaking toxins result in chronic systemic inflammation, which attacks the synovial fluid in your joints, breaks down cartilage and magnifies joint pain.
Overall, the researchers say that their research proves that poor gut health leads to joint pain by kicking off osteoarthritis and accelerating its progression.
Better gut health for better joints
So what do they recommend you do about it?
Well, past research has suggested that rebalancing the gut microbiome could enhance cartilage healing by creating metabolites with immunosuppressive properties.
To rebalance your gut microbiome:
- Eat gut-friendly – To improve gut health, avoid high-fat foods and instead eat a more Mediterranean-style diet, which can even include bread.
- Avoid sugar and processed foods – Ubiquitous in the Western diet, sugar and processed foods can negatively alter gut bacteria and leave your joints aching.
- Add probiotics – Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in your gut. Getting more of them on a daily basis, whether through supplementation or foods like kefir and yogurt, can help you tilt the balance to the good side.
- Include prebiotics – Prebiotics act as food for probiotics, so you can increase the results you get by combining them. Good sources of prebiotics include chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens, garlic, leeks, onions, asparagus and green bananas.
- Move more – Exercise has been shown to be a great way to boost gut health, so be sure to hit the gym regularly. Continuing movement through osteoarthritis is also beneficial.
- Nutrients that repair leaky gut – You can find a full list here.
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New Information About the Gut-Joint Axis – Integrative Practitioner