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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

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »