The bones and the microbiome

Research has shown that individuals with IBS can experience a decline in bone mass, however, the reason for this has been unclear. Recent findings show that the bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri positively influences gut health by preventing intestinal inflammation, but has also been linked to an increase in bone formation activity. In a well-established mice model of estrogen-deficiency, a major risk factor for bone volume loss due to upregulation of the immune system, supplementation with this bacteria increased the formation of bone mass. Also other types of bacteria were shown to have a similar effect, such as L. Rhamnosus. As such, it seemed that not a specific bacteria was the cause of incease bone formation, but the diversity and amount of bacteria ingested, according to the researchers. The researchers hypothesize that the increase in bone formation is an effect of the production of short-chain fatty acids by bacteria, which have a positive effect on bone formation and stop degradation (resorption) of bone mass.