Good gut bacteria can prevent diabetes

When you think of bacteria, you normally don't associate it with words like "good" or "friendly."

But science has shown that, when it comes to the intestines, there's a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria: the good can help ward off infection and disease, while the bad can overrun the system and cause all sorts of health complications.

Bacteria and diabetes

Researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of Bern recently made the connection between good bacteria and diabetes prevention, proving that a preventative measure might involve treatment with probiotics, supplements that help to increase the "good" intestinal flora while balancing out the bad.

Using male mice, the research team found that intestinal bacteria can produce biochemicals and hormones that prevent diabetes from ever developing.

Researchers note that the prevalence of diabates has risen as our living environments have become more sanitary, thus reducing our exposure to bacteria and increasing our intolerance to it--which directly upsets the balance. This is compounded with the fact that many humans are becoming resistant to strains of antibiotics, which in and of themselves can alter the good-bad bacteria balance in the body, especially when antibiotics are taken long-term.

"We hope that our new understanding of how intestinal bacteria may protect susceptible children from developing diabetes, will allow us to start to develop new treatments to stop children getting the disease," said Andrew Macpherson of the University Bern.

Source: Medical Xpress

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