Today, 425 million people globally live with diabetes, but promising new research is exploring how gut microbe management may prevent or control type 2 diabetes. John Hopkins Hospital has been ranked as one of the top three hospitals for adults in the United States in 2018-2019. So, when they report medical news, we take it seriously. And, this includes when they’ve declared the following as an “area of interest”: to discover “how signals from the digestive system affect metabolism, raising or reducing risk for health conditions like type 2 diabetes. ‘This involves interactions between nerve signals, gut hormones and microbiota—the bacteria that live in the digestive system’.”
More About Gut Health and Diabetes
The Cleveland Clinic provides more in-depth information on gut health and diabetes, first pointing out how both obesity and type 2 diabetes are “growing at an alarming rate” and then admitting that, in the past, few people working in the endocrinology field “could have imagined that one day we might link the microbes in our gut to be possibly one of the causes of this increase.”
And, yet, that’s exactly what discussion is taking place, including in our country’s top hospitals and research facilities. The Cleveland Clinic describes, too, what this new research is indicating: that gut bacteria may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes after some of these microbes form toxins. These toxins then enter the gut, spreading bodily inflammation, which in turn affect both fat cells and the liver—which then have a negative impact on insulin sensitivity, and affect the body’s metabolism.
Researchers are actually discovering what the Cleveland Clinic describes as “stunning links” between gut flora changes and the increase in diabetes. The article cautions that this is not a proven connection, at least not yet, but it’s strong enough to warrant continuing research.
The two types of gut bacteria that seem to have a significant impact are:
bacteroidetes, which play a key role in digestion of both protein and carbohydrates
firmicutes, which play a role in processing dietary fat
Studies are also being done to determine how boosting the quality of gut flora may help children with type 1 diabetes, and how bariatric surgery can also boost the body’s ability to create insulin, triggered by an unanticipated change in gut bacteria, post-surgery.
Another article shares more information about how to fight diabetes by focusing on gut health, including that gut microbiota differences may help to explain why certain nutritional strategies and interventions work better for some people than others. They also reference a 2015 study that demonstrated how gut bacteria can have an impact on blood sugar, helping to determine how quickly a particular person’s blood sugar rises after eating a certain food. So, modifying a person’s gut bacteria may mean that he or she might obtain more control over blood sugar, which is at the core of managing type 2 diabetes.
What’s Next in the Fight Against Diabetes
This is all, without a doubt, exciting news. There’s plenty of hope on the horizon as researchers explore the connections between type 2 diabetes and gut microbiota, and find new ways to develop successful therapies.
You can always count on Hardy Healthy Gut to bring you updates on these highly encouraging developments.