Differences in Gut Bacteria May Help Diagnose Type 2 Diabetes

A new study shows an interesting correlation between gut flora and diabetes risk. A European and Chinese study revealed that those with type 2 diabetes had considerably different gut bacteria than those who did not have the disease.

Dr. Junjie Qin and his research team looked at 345 Chinese patients who had type 2 diabetes and compared their gut flora against a control group. After analyzing nearly 60,000 markers for bacteria present in the gut, they found that the flora of those with type 2 diabetes contained more pathogenic bacteria which are bacteria that are known to cause illness, and proteins that are noted in drug and oxidative stress resistance. The control group’s flora, however, had more markers of cell metabolism, and cell motility.

This study shows a startling correlation between disease-causing bacteria and type 2 diabetes. Says fellow author, Professor Jun Wang, "We have demonstrated that people with type 2 diabetes have a high level of pathogens in their intestines.” Wang is from the University of Copenhagen's Department of Biology.

Pathway for Further Study

It is not understood if the gut flora causes type 2 diabetes, or is a result of type 2 diabetes. Professor Karsten Kristiansen, of the University of Copenhagen's Department of Biology, says:

"It is important to point out that our discovery demonstrates a correlation. The big question now is whether the changes in gut bacteria can affect the development of type 2 diabetes or whether the changes simply reflect that the person is suffering from type 2 diabetes."

Danish members of the research team plan to perform an animal study which transplants the gut flora from the test group into the gut of mice. This may better define the cause and effect relationship between gut flora and type 2 diabetes. The study is to be led by Professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen, who is the director at the Lundbeck Foundation Centre for Applied Medical Genomics in Personalised Disease Prediction, Prevention and Care.


Sources:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0034745
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxidative_stress
http://www.physiciansbriefing.com/Article.asp?AID=668918
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120926133111.htm

Photo Credit:
www.teamwebsites.co.uk, “Salmonella,” 17 August 2011. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Salmonella_bacteria.jpg.
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