Nutrition and Bone Health, The Surprising Microbiome Connection

Nutrition and Bone Health, The Surprising Microbiome Connection

Three Studies on The Connection Between The Health of Your Bones, and The Health of Your Microbiome

Nutrition and bone health, plus the promise of future probioitic treatments for addressing osteoarthritis.

Research Piece #1

Title

A Link between the Gut and Bone: Bone Health Impacted by Changes in Gut Microbiota

Source

The American Journal of Pathology Volume 189, Issue 2, February 2019, Pages 229-230

Type

In vivo, mice. (Some in vitro examination as well.)

Findings

When given two broad-spectrum antibiotics, the male mice in this study experienced material disruption to their bone health. Interestingly, the female mice experienced no such disruption.

Limitations

This study used mice only. Results could very well be different in humans.

The difference in response between the males and females might have been a function of the design of the experiment and warrants further investigation.

Important Takeaways

The study established that there is a mechanism between the health of gut microbiota and the health of an organism’s bones, most likely through the immune-regulating powers of the gut microbiome.

While much work needs to be done, the reach of the microbiome regarding the health and well-being of complex living organisms appears to keep growing.

Actionable Information

While you must always consult with your healthcare practitioner first, it would certainly do no harm (and possibly quite a bit of good) if you were to question whether a particular round of antibiotic treatment is absolutely necessary, particularly if you already experience poor bone health.

Research Piece #2

Title

A correlation between intestinal microbiota dysbiosis and osteoarthritis

Source

Heliyon Volume 5, Issue 1, January 2019, e01134

In Vivo Human

Type
In vivo Human, in part. This was a meta-analysis of many studies, which did include human studies, mice models, and in vitro experiments.

Findings

There is a great deal of support in recent research for the link between gut health and the development and severity of osteoarthritis.

Limitations

This is a meta analysis of numerous other studies, not a study designed from the ground up to explore this question.

Important Takeaway

While it is early, and no one is proposing that there is a miracle cure for all forms of osteoarthritis just around the corner, this is an incredibly exciting avenue for future research into the treatment and prevention of this disease.

Actionable Information

If you suffer from osteoarthritis, or are at increased risk for the disease, you have yet another reason to take into account the health of your microbiome when it comes to diet, lifestyle, and possible supplementation.

Research Piece #3

Title

Lactobacillus reuteri Reduced Bone Loss in Older Women

Source

JMI Journal of Internal Medicine 21 June 2018

Type

In vitro, human. The study was conducted on 90 women between the ages of 75 and 80 years old.

Findings

The women who were given 10 billion CFUs of Lactobacillus reuteri ATCCPTA 6475 per day demonstrated materially less bone loss vs. those taking a placebo.

Limitations

The study focused on a specific strain of Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri 6475 for short).

The study was funded in part by BioGaia AB, the company that owns the patent to the specific probiotic strain used in the study. Researchers note that the company had no say in the design or outcome of the study, although several do have some ties to the company and/or other commercial enterprises in the space.

Important Takeaway

This study was released last year, but provides important evidence of the link between the microbiome and bone health and the potential for probioitic supplementation to address such health concerns.

Actionable Information

If you suffer from osteoarthritis you might want to check with your healthcare practitioner to see if you are a candidate to receive this novel, but proprietary, treatment option.

Please note, the study did not demonstrate that supplementing with other strains of Lactobacillus reuteri commonly found in probiotic formulations aimed at the consumer will convey any specific health benefits regarding osteoarthritis.

Thanks for reading, comments are welcome and encouraged.

Take care!

Jon