Gut Bacteria Linked to Multiple Sclerosis Development

Levels of good and bad gut bacteria influences autoimmune disease.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients were found to have lower levels of good bacteria in a recent study, revealing that bad gut bacteria or an insufficient amount of good bacteria may be a direct link to MS.

Since bacteria has been associated with contributing to good health, researchers sought to determine whether individuals with a chronic autoimmune disorder had different gut microbiome than healthy individuals for a study published in Scientific Reports.

“Every human carries trillions of bacteria in their gut (gut microbiome) and recent advances in research indicated that these tiny passengers play an important role in our overall health maintenance,” said senior study author Ashutosh Mangalam, PhD.

Researchers conducted a microbiome analysis on fecal samples collected from both MS patients and healthy controls, and found that MS patients do have a distinct microbiome from the healthy controls.

“We identified certain bacteria which are increased or decreased in the gut of patients with MS compared to health controls,” Mangalam said. “Although preliminary, our data suggest that patients with MS have reduced levels of good bacteria responsible for overall benefits obtained from consuming health foods, such as soybean and flaxseeds.”

Mangalam noted more research is needed in a larger patient population to validate the findings.