Study Highlights Hypothesized Role of Gut Bacteria in Diabetes

Study Highlights Hypothesized Role of Gut Bacteria in Diabetes

It has been shown that higher levels of the gut bacteria Coprococcus are related with greater insulin sensitivity, but higher levels of Flavonifractor have been found to be associated with less insulin sensitivity. Researchers have recently come to the conclusion that certain strains of gut bacteria may play a significant part in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.

Some strains of gut bacteria may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, while others may protect against the illness, according to the preliminary results of a long-term, prospective study that was led by experts at Cedars-Sinai.

According to research that was published in the scholarly journal Diabetes, individuals whose microbiomes contained a greater proportion of the genus Coprococcus tended to have improved insulin sensitivity, whereas those whose microbiomes contained a greater proportion of the genus Flavonifractor tended to have decreased insulin sensitivity.

Researchers have spent a considerable amount of time investigating the potential connection between the microbiome in the gut and the progression of diabetes.

Alterations in both the makeup of the microbiome and one’s diet have been hypothesized to have an effect on one’s health. According to the findings of the study, those who have insulin resistance also tend to have lower levels of the bacteria that are responsible for producing the fatty acid butyrate.

Mark Goodarzi, MD, Ph.D., who is the director of the Endocrine Genetics Laboratory at Cedars-Sinai, is now directing an ongoing research project with the goal of determining whether or not people who have smaller levels of these bacteria are more likely to develop diabetes.

Since 2018, researchers with MILES have been gathering data from a diverse group of adults ranging in age from 40 to 80 years old who are non-Hispanic white or Black. According to the findings of a prior cohort study carried out as part of the MILES project, giving birth through cesarean section is associated with an increased likelihood of developing prediabetes as well as diabetes.

The most recent findings from this ongoing investigation were based on information acquired from 352 individuals who did not have diabetes and who were treated at the Wake Forest Baptist Health System in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Before each clinic appointment, participants were instructed to bring in feces samples for examination at least three times. The information that was acquired in the initial examination was analyzed by the researchers. In order to analyze the microbiomes of the patients, for example, the researchers employed genetic sequencing on stool samples. They were seeking for microbes that have been associated to insulin resistance in earlier studies.

In addition, dietary questionnaires and an oral glucose tolerance test were administered to participants in order to evaluate glucose metabolism.

According to the results of the oral glucose tolerance test, the researchers found that 28 people had data that suggested they most likely had diabetes. In addition, they found that 135 of the patients had prediabetes, which is a disease that is characterized by high blood sugar levels but does not meet the criteria for being classified as diabetes.

The researchers analyzed the patients’ feces to seek for any links between the presence of 36 butyrate-producing bacteria in the stool samples and the subjects’ ability to maintain stable insulin levels. They took into consideration demographic factors such as age, gender, body mass index (BMI), and race, all of which have the potential to influence diabetes risk. There was a bacterial network that increased insulin sensitivity. It was composed of Coprococcus and other bacteria that were comparable to it.

Flavonifractor has been related to insulin resistance, despite the fact that it has a function in the formation of butyrate. Previous studies have shown that diabetics have higher amounts of flavonifractors in their stools than those who do not have diabetes.

The study is still being conducted on the long-term effects of the intervention on insulin production and the makeup of the microbiota. Thanks to the kind gift of samples from patients who participated in the research, researchers have been able to continue their work. They are also interested in learning more about the delicate bacterial balance that exists inside the microbiome.

Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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