BioScience Trends. 2024;18(2):187-194. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2024.01037)

Vitamin C alleviates rheumatoid arthritis by modulating gut microbiota balance

Zhang YJ, Zhen SB, Xu H, Sun SF, Wang ZW, Li M, Zou L, Zhang YY, Zhao Y, Cui YZ, Han JX


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by chronic and symmetric in-flammation. Our previous research revealed an imbalance in the gut flora of RA patients and showed that certain gut microbiota can accelerate RA progression by enhancing vitamin C degradation. However, it is unclear whether vitamin C supplementation could improve the gut microbiota to prevent the development of arthritis by interfering with the gut-joint axis. In this work, we aimed to evaluate the effects of vitamin C in regulating the gut microbiota and to elucidate its potential role in the onset and progression of RA in a mouse model, thus providing a basis for the development of new intervention strategies and treatments for RA. In this study, collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mouse models, biochemical, histological and 16S rRNA microbiological methods were used to investigate the role and possible mechanism of vitamin C in rheumatoid arthritis. The results showed that treatment of CIA mice with vitamin C effectively rescued the gut mi-crobiota imbalance and suppressed the inflammatory response associated with RA, and effectively alleviated arthritis symptoms in mice in which levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α were specifi-cally reduced. In conclusion, our results demonstrate the potential of vitamin C as a potential therapeutic choice for RA.

KEYWORDS: rheumatoid arthritis, vitamin C, gut microbiota, intestinal dysbiosis

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