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Joint Effort: Bacteria in yogurt combat arthritis in rats

Consuming either dairy foods or certain types of bacteria may fight arthritis, research in laboratory rats suggests. Yogurt that contains live bacteria appears to be particularly effective against the inflammatory joint disorder.

Various bacteria, when eaten, combat pathogens in the intestines and bolster a person's immune system. Called probiotics, such bacteria can also provide benefits when introduced into other parts of the body, such as the nose and vagina, to keep harmful bacteria from taking hold (SN: 2/2/02, p. 72: http://sciencenews.org/articles/20020202/bob9.asp). However, researchers have an incomplete understanding of what makes a bacterium act as a probiotic and whether probiotics can be helpful in tissues that don't directly receive them.

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