Bacteria-Infected Milk Could Trigger Rheumatoid Arthritis

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 01, 2018

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Quick Bites

  • Researchers discovered that bacteria found in milk and beef is linked to rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that mostly affects adults
  • It is more prevalent in women than men


In a study published in the journal, Frontier in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, it was discovered that bacteria commonly found in milk and beef could trigger the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in those genetically at risk.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory disorder that causes the immune system to target the joint linings. It attacks a person’s muscles, joints and bones. It can also lead to chronic pains in the bones or even deformity.

The researchers at the University of Central Florida in the US have found a connection between Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, known as MAP.

For the study, researchers involved 100 patients for clinical testing. They found that about 80 percent of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis have a mutation in the PTPN2/22 gene, and 40 percent of that number tested positive for MAP.

This study is first of its kind and could lead to better arthritis treatments targeting the bacteria.

Dr. Shazia Bég, a rheumatologist at the University of Central Florida said, “We don't know the cause of rheumatoid arthritis, so we're excited we have found this association.”

This disease can affect people of all ages but it is the most common among people of ages 40-60 years and it is three times more prevalent in women.

Also, people with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis are more vulnerable to the disease as compared to the people who do not.

Some of the signs of the disease include warm and swollen joints, joint stiffness, fatigue, and fever and weight loss. It can also affect some non-joint areas including skin, lungs, kidneys, nerve tissue, blood vessels, heart and salivary glands.

If one experiences discomfort and swelling in the joints, they must consult a doctor and get it checked. 

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