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Could Bacteria Found in Cows Be Causing Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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Link found between bacteria in cows and rheumatoid arthritis. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Link found between bacteria in cows and rheumatoid arthritis. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

What you eat, might be giving you an autoimmune disease. A University of Central Florida team found that patients predisposed to rheumatoid arthritis could be triggering the disease by unknowingly consuming contaminated meat and dairy products.

The team found the bacteria called MAP, found in diseased livestock, along with mutations in two important immune system genes, permanently switches the immune response on in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The body starts to attack healthy tissues in joints and vital organs causing the swelling and tissue damage of the disease.

As normal pasteurization and water purification processes don’t kill MAP, and there’s no test for the mutations, it’s recommended that patients with rheumatoid arthritis consume fully cooked meat and ultra-pasteurized dairy.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur


Danielle Prieur is a general reporter for 90.7 News. She studied journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and interned at 101.9 WDET. She is originally from the metro Detroit area.