Diabetes is one of the most common health problems in the US, and nearly 90% of all diabetic patients have diabetes type 2. In this type of diabetes, the body is unable to make insulin which is required for food metabolism so the sugar levels spike making a person vulnerable to other diseases. While experimenting with diabetes type 2 treatments, the researchers have come across a type of bacteria that may help to treat this condition.
There are hundreds of bacteria inside the human gut and all of them live in a perfect balance with the harmful bacteria. Changes in this balance often lead to metabolic diseases and other adverse effects.
A recent study has revealed that any changes in the gut microbiome can increase the chances for diabetes type 2. Another study published in Nature Communications reveals that a specific type of bacteria in the gut may be involved in the development of diabetes type 2.
The research team from the Oregon State University collaborated with the University of Vienna in Austria, and the National Cancer Institute and NIH to investigate this link. Understanding how bacteria can affect the progression of diabetes type 2 can change the treatment plan and disease management completely.
For understanding this link, the research team conducted experiments on the mice and compared them with the data from previous studies involved both humans and mice. The mice were given a popular western diet which is thought to be unhealthy as well as a regular healthy diet.
Just as the research team expected, mice who were fed with a western diet eventually developed glucose intolerance and resistance together, both of which are the risk factors for diabetes type 2.
The research team also found notable changes in the diversity in the gut microbiome. Using the “Trans kingdom Network” method, they studied the interactions that take place between the bacteria and the body, to find out which specific bacteria is linked with the metabolic changes causing diabetes type 2 progression.
They shortlisted four bacteria all of which were thought to play some role in changing the metabolism. These bacteria included: Lactobacillus johnsonii, Lactobacillus gasseri, Romboutsia ilealis, and Ruminococcus gnavus.
The first two types of bacteria are considered to improve glucose metabolism and the remaining two are thought to make it worse. the overall experience with these bacteria shows that their interactions can either improve or worsen the metabolic functions, playing a key role in saving or causing diabetes type 2.
These bacteria were also linked with the body mass index of people who were following the popular western diet. Those who had Lactobacillus johnsonii and Lactobacillus gasseri experienced a low BMI and those who had the other two experienced a high BMI.
The research team is confident that the discovery can play a role while planning a suitable treatment for diabetic patients as the presence of these bacteria can predict the metabolic changes in a person. These bacteria are commonly found in fermented food and some dairy sources.