We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — and this may be especially true for arthritis patients.
New research out of Germany suggests that eating a bowl of muesli every morning can make bones stronger and could possibly help prevent certain types of chronic inflammatory arthritis later in life.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found that eating a diet rich in fiber can have a positive impact on chronic inflammatory joint diseases as well as musculoskeletal conditions, while also helping to build stronger bones.
Researchers said the molecules in gut bacteria, which aid our metabolism, can affect the entire immune system.
That could have an effect on inflammatory autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
The scientists concluded that eating a healthful, balanced diet that is rich in fiber and gut-friendly, anti-inflammatory options, could positively change the bacteria in the gut.
That, they said, could help quell inflammation and positively impact the immune system.
Muesli is an example of a food they suggested on this diet.
“We were able to show that a bacteria-friendly diet has an anti-inflammatory effect, as well as a positive effect on bone density,” said Dr. Mario Zaiss, the study’s lead researcher.
The authors of the study explained that bacteria are not always a negative organism. Some types of bacteria in our intestines are helpful in aiding digestion, providing energy, and having calming anti-inflammatory effects.
The bacteria can also help balance intestinal flora, which can protect against illness.
The German scientists also concluded that short-chain fatty acids that are produced in the gut can also be found inside joint fluid.
This led them to believe that these short-chain fatty acids may also have an important impact on joint function, and that a high concentration of these short-chain fatty acids in bone marrow could help to slow — or even prevent — bone erosion and degradation.
“Our findings offer a promising approach for developing innovative therapies for inflammatory joint diseases as well as for treating osteoporosis, which is often suffered by women after the menopause. We are not able to give any specific recommendations for a bacteria-friendly diet at the moment, but eating muesli every morning, as well as enough fruit and vegetables throughout the day, helps to maintain a rich variety of bacterial species,” said Zaiss.
Muesli is not the only food that can be beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, but it may be worth a try for rheumatoid arthritis patients.
“I’ve always appreciated the idea of medicine as food. I am not sure what muesli is, but I have tried a higher-fiber diet including things like oatmeal,” said Natalie Scalise, an Ohio resident with rheumatoid arthritis.
“Our findings offer a promising approach for developing innovative therapies for inflammatory joint diseases as well as for treating osteoporosis,” said Zaiss.