Could future treatments lie in the gut microbiota?

Lupus: can we find future treatments in the intestinal microbiota?Author:

It will be 10 years since the team was formed Biologist Jeffrey Gordon discovered it bacteria That which invades the intestine, the popular intestinal flora or microbiota, They are essential for maintaining the health of the entire human body.


  • 100 billion microorganisms of thousands of different species, on the balance of which our organs depend And they can predispose us to suffer from certain diseases, such as autoimmune diseases.

This has been known for decades Influence of intestinal bacteria in the development of diseases such as lupus, In recent years, thanks to new microbial genomic analysis methods, it has become possible to begin to understand What types of changes occur in the microbiota of people affected by the virus? systemic lupus And how they may influence the outbreak of this pathology.

Butterfly Erythema in Systemic Lupus

Microbiota and Lupus

He Dr. Jose CamposSpecialists in the rheumatology service of the Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda University Hospital, explain that:

  • “People with lupus have a depletion of microbial reserves in the gut and often dysbiosis (dislocation of normal microbes from one area of ​​the digestive tract to areas where they are not found under normal circumstances) which may be related to the severity of the disease.

  • “Signs of altered intestinal permeability With these findings”.

And although there is disparity among the bacterial populations affected, “the spread of A specific types of bacteria (Ruminococcus gnavus, May be involved in disease development,” experts say.

People with lupus suffer changes in the intestinal microbiota.

gluten free diet? Frequent suspicions in patients with lupus

Looking at the relationship of intestinal microbiota in lupus, and taking into account that, in many cases, People affected by this systemic autoimmune disease may develop other intestinal pathologies, such as celiac disease.The question arises whether they can benefit from a gluten-free diet.

In this regard, Dr. Campos explains that:

  • “Theceliac disease It is an autoimmune pathology distinct from lupus.“However, in some people both diseases may be associated.”

This also explains

  • “The proteins that make up gluten have the ability to stimulate intestinal immune system responses “In people with a genetic predisposition (such as celiac disease), but also non-celiac gluten sensitivity and even other types of gluten allergy.”
  • ,Diet (any) affects the balance of microbiotaBut it is known that these changes are usually temporary, and this is one of the difficulties for treatment.”

For these reasons experts emphasize that Neither a lupus patient nor anyone else should “follow a restrictive diet without professional advice.” The health care provider who cares for the patient.”

Lupus: what is it, symptoms and treatment of a disease that Dr. House discovered for us

Could microbiota be the gateway to new treatments against lupus?

Knowledge and results obtained in research on Relationship between microbiota and lupus In the future, this could open a window for new treatments.

“Whatever happens, happens It has not yet been possible to define which interventions may be beneficial and in which patients. For example, it has been tried stool transplant from healthy donorsCertain diets or the administration of probiotics,” says Dr. Campos.

  • However, to therapeutic levelIn this past year, Has experienced progression in both systemic lupus erythematosus and APS (antiphospholipid syndrome) and improvements in therapeutic options.

However, as mentioned Doctor Vicenc Torrente, Specialists in the Rheumatology Service of the Regional Hospital of Vilafranca del Penedès:

  • “It is in the field of lupus where we can talk about a major revolution.”

Colored scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli

Because as Dr. Torrente explains: “We have more and more treatments and therefore it is essential to know how to know when and in which patients this revolution will be most effective and efficient.”

  • We are willing to undertake such The time is not far when some classic treatments will start having side effects. And the habits used till recently are about to go away Spend time with greater safety and better health In the short term and, above all, in the long term. This is all due, in part, to therapeutic improvements, but also to increasingly improved clinical assessment.

“We rheumatology experts feel that Knowledge progress in lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome is relentless And that we are approaching conditions already experienced, fortunately, in other systemic diseases that we know and know about (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, among many others).

so Future Is encouraging And conditions are outlined, including, for example:

Zero use of corticosteroids

  • disease prevention

  • Minimal impact on quality of life

  • no accumulated damage

  • Shorter time to achieve disease control.


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