Next Article in Journal
Whole-Proteome Analysis of Twelve Species of Alphaproteobacteria Links Four Pathogens
Next Article in Special Issue
The Metabolic and Ecological Interactions of Oxalate-Degrading Bacteria in the Mammalian Gut
Previous Article in Journal
Comprehensive Analysis of Prokaryotes in Environmental Water Using DNA Microarray Analysis and Whole Genome Amplification
Previous Article in Special Issue
Effects of EGFR Inhibitor on Helicobacter pylori Induced Gastric Epithelial Pathology in Vivo
Pathogens 2013, 2(4), 606-626; doi:10.3390/pathogens2040606

The Gastrointestinal Microbiome and Musculoskeletal Diseases: A Beneficial Role for Probiotics and Prebiotics

1,2,* , 2
1 Medlab, Sydney 2015, Australia 2 School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4102, Australia 3 Monash University, Melbourne 3800, Australia 4 Bioscreen, Bio21, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3010, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 September 2013 / Revised: 4 November 2013 / Accepted: 7 November 2013 / Published: 14 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut Microbiome)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [478 KB, uploaded 14 November 2013]   |   Browse Figure


Natural medicines are an attractive option for patients diagnosed with common and debilitating musculoskeletal diseases such as Osteoarthritis (OA) or Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). The high rate of self-medication with natural products is due to (1) lack of an available cure and (2) serious adverse events associated with chronic use of pharmaceutical medications in particular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and high dose paracetamol. Pharmaceuticals to treat pain may disrupt gastrointestinal (GIT) barrier integrity inducing GIT inflammation and a state of and hyper-permeability. Probiotics and prebiotics may comprise plausible therapeutic options that can restore GIT barrier functionality and down regulate pro-inflammatory mediators by modulating the activity of, for example, Clostridia species known to induce pro-inflammatory mediators. The effect may comprise the rescue of gut barrier physiological function. A postulated requirement has been the abrogation of free radical formation by numerous natural antioxidant molecules in order to improve musculoskeletal health outcomes, this notion in our view, is in error. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in different anatomical environments including the GIT by the epithelial lining and the commensal microbe cohort is a regulated process, leading to the formation of hydrogen peroxide which is now well recognized as an essential second messenger required for normal cellular homeostasis and physiological function. The GIT commensal profile that tolerates the host does so by regulating pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory GIT mucosal actions through the activity of ROS signaling thereby controlling the activity of pathogenic bacterial species.
Keywords: gastrointestinal tract; osteoarthritis; microbiome; prebiotics; probiotics; inflammation gastrointestinal tract; osteoarthritis; microbiome; prebiotics; probiotics; inflammation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
MDPI and ACS Style

Vitetta, L.; Coulson, S.; Linnane, A.W.; Butt, H. The Gastrointestinal Microbiome and Musculoskeletal Diseases: A Beneficial Role for Probiotics and Prebiotics. Pathogens 2013, 2, 606-626.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics


Cited By

[Return to top]
Pathogens EISSN 2076-0817 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert