Consuming a healthy diet helps in overall wellbeing of a person. Several researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have discovered that consuming a fibre-rich diet promotes bone strengthening and reduces bone degeneration in a person suffering from any chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Human intestine contains multiple species of bacteria. Every adult carries around two kilograms of benign bacteria in their intestines which breaks fiber into its individual constituents. Short-chain fatty acids are produced as a by-product of this fermentation process by intestinal bacteria. These short-chain fatty acids provide energy, stimulate the intestinal process and also have various anti-inflammatory properties. FAU researchers showed that it is not the bacteria but the metabolites that affect immune system. The bacteria along with their metabolites combat various auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
The study was published recently in Nature Communications. It is believed that the short-chained fatty acids have a positive effect on the functionality of the joints and might be found in joint fluids. Dr. Mario Zaiss from the Department of Medicine 3- Rheumatology and Immunology at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen led the study. The scientists involved in the study were able to show that consuming a fiber-rich diet can affect the intestinal bacteria in such a way that more short chain fatty acids, especially propionate, are formed. The scientists successfully showed that propionate caused a significant reduction in bone-degrading cells, thereby slowing down bone degradation, for example in bone marrow.
Women suffer from these joint inflammatory diseases and osteoporosis after menopause. They do not have any particular diet recommendation for a bacteria friendly diet. But, having muesli as breakfast daily and consuming enough fruits and vegetables all day long, would certainly help in maintaining rich variety of intestinal bacteria.