Can Your Gut Health Influence the Health of Your Joints?

Can Your Gut Health Influence the Health of Your Joints?

When you think of the gut, you may think of it as that compartment located behind your belly button. Or maybe you think of it as the system that digests the foods you eat. While it’s true that the gut plays a significant role in digestion, research now shows that the gut expands its borders well beyond the compartment you may visualize, influencing far more than digestion.1

Gut Health and Joint Health

The importance of gut health cannot be overstated. In fact, researchers have created the term “axis” to help describe how the gut communicates with many organs of the body including the brain, skin, and liver.2 Research has also now identified the gut-joint axis as a key way to support joint health.

While research into the gut-joint axis is still in its infancy, a 2023 narrative review published in the journal Current Rheumatology Reports clearly describes the connection between the health of the gut and the health of the joints.3 The researchers explain that because a large part of the immune system cells are located in the gut, a healthy gut can help support healthy joint function, especially in individuals who are experiencing joint issues.3

The researchers also point out that recent studies indicate that probiotics help support joint health by positively influencing the gut.

How to Improve Joint Health

When it comes to the gut-joint axis, one of the best supplements for joint health is a high-quality probiotic.3 According to a review published in Integrative Practitioner, research is increasingly showing that probiotics can support joint health by supporting microbial balance within the gut.4

A 2020 paper published in the journal Nutrients found that when a probiotic supplement is combined with a healthy diet and exercise, there is even more benefit to the joints.5

There are a variety of different types of probiotics, which are defined by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”6 Bacillus Coagulans is a probiotic strain that produces lactic acid bacteria in the gut to help support digestion.7 

Probiotics such as Bacillus Coagulans can be combined with other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals and digestive enzymes to further support digestive health and the gut.

While it may be surprising, emerging research is demonstrating that gut health and joint health go hand-in-hand and that probiotics may be a great way to support both. Seeking probiotics that are easy to take? Check out Gut Guru, a pre and probiotic fiber in a delicious gummy formula.

Looking for a diet to help improve gut health? Learn about the Mediterranean Diet. Follow @zhou_nutrition for more fitness and wellness tips!


  1. Thursby E, Juge N. Introduction to the human gut microbiota. Biochem J. 2017;474(11):1823-1836.
  2. American Society for Microbiology. Gut microbiome communication: the gut-organ axis. 2023; Jan 18.
  3. Rahman S, Gariguian F, Mobasheri A. The potential role of probiotics in the management of osteoarthritis pain: current status and future prospects. Current Rheumatology Reports. 2023;2023.
  4. Gazella K. New information about the gut-joint axis. Integrative Practitioner. 2023;Oct 3.
  5. de Sire A, de Sire R, Petito V, et al. Gut-Joint Axis: The Role of Physical Exercise on Gut Microbiota Modulation in Older People with Osteoarthritis. Nutrients. 2020;12(2):574.
  6. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Probiotics fact sheet for health professionals. 2022;June 2.
  7. National Institutes of Health. Bacillus Coagulans. MedlinePlus. 2023;July 24.