University of Oulu

Rahman, S.O., Bariguian, F. & Mobasheri, A. The Potential Role of Probiotics in the Management of Osteoarthritis Pain: Current Status and Future Prospects. Curr Rheumatol Rep (2023).

The potential role of probiotics in the management of osteoarthritis pain : current status and future prospects

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Author: Rahman, Syed Obaidur1; Bariguian, Frédérique2; Mobasheri, Ali3,4,5,6
Organizations: 1Knowledge Centre, WNS Global Services, Gurugram, India
2Haleon (Formerly GSK Consumer Healthcare), Route de L’Etraz 2, Case Postale 1279, 1260, Nyon 1, Switzerland
3Research Unit of Health Sciences and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, FI, Finland
4Department of Regenerative Medicine, State Research Institute Centre for Innovative Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania
5Department of Joint Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China
6World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Public Health Aspects of Musculoskeletal Health and Aging, Liege, Belgium
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-07


Purpose of review: This narrative review article comprehensively explains the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis (OA) pain perception, how the gut microbiota is correlated with it, possible molecular pathways involved in probiotics-mediated OA pain reduction, limitations in the current research approaches, and future perspectives.

Recent findings: The initiation and progression of OA, including the development of chronic pain, is intricately associated with activation of the innate immune system and subsequent inflammatory responses. Trauma, lifestyle (e.g., obesity and metabolic disease), and chronic antibiotic treatment can disrupt commensal homeostasis of the human microbiome, thereby affecting intestinal integrity and promoting leakage of bacterial endotoxins and metabolites such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS) into circulation. Increased level of LPS is associated with knee osteophyte severity and joint pain. Both preclinical and clinical studies strongly suggest that probiotics may benefit patients with OA pain through positive gut microbiota modulation and attenuating low-grade inflammation via multiple pathways. Patent data also suggests increased interest in the development of new innovations that involve probiotic use for reducing OA and joint pain.

Summary: Recent data suggest that probiotics are attracting more and more attention for OA pain management. The advancement of knowledge in this area may pave the way for developing different probiotic strains that can be used to support joint health, improve treatment outcomes in OA, and reduce the huge impact of the disease on healthcare systems worldwide.

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Series: Current rheumatology reports
ISSN: 1523-3774
ISSN-E: 1534-6307
ISSN-L: 1523-3774
DOI: 10.1007/s11926-023-01108-7
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit