Gut microbiota provide clues for treating diabetes

July 13, 2020

The individual mix of microorganisms in the human gastrointestinal tract provides vital clues as to how any future incidence of type 2 diabetes can be predicted, prevented and treated. This is demonstrated in a population study led from the University of Gothenburg. Sweden.

That a person's gut microbiota can contribute to type 2 diabetes has been shown in previous research, led by Fredrik Bäckhed, Professor of Molecular Medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.

The present study, now published in the journal Cell Metabolism, describes newly discovered clues in the microbiota to how bacteria may contribute to type 2 diabetes and potentially predict who will develop disease based individual's gut microbiota.

By studying people who have not yet developed type 2 diabetes, the researchers were able to rule out the possibility that the gut microbiota was affected by the disease or its treatment. The majority of previous studies in this field have compared healthy individuals with patients.

What has emerged is that in individuals with raised fasting blood glucose levels or reduced glucose tolerance, a condition known as prediabetes, as well as in people with untreated type 2 diabetes, the gut microbiota is changed. Accordingly, the findings show that the gut microbiota can be used to identify individuals with diabetes.

The study also shows that, in the gut microbiota of study participants with prediabetes or who had developed type 2 diabetes, the potential to produce butyrate (a fatty acid that promotes hormone production in the gastrointestinal tract and controls inflammation) was reduced. This substance is formed mainly by beneficial bacteria in intestines as they digest dietary fibers. One possible implication is that altering individuals fiber intake and perhaps matching fiber types to specific microbiota, or development of next generation probiotics to add missing bacteria, may enable the development of novel diabetes prevention or therapeutics.

"Our study shows clearly that the composition of the gut microbiota may have a great potential for helping us to understand the risks of developing type 2 diabetes, and therefore improve our chances of detecting, preventing and treating the disease," Bäckhed says.

The results confirm the picture that the gut microbiota interacts with the body's functions and internal conditions. The intestinal tract contains more than a kilogram of bacteria that are important for our health, and the kinds of gut bacteria found in people with type 2 diabetes seem to differ from those in healthy people.

"We hope to find patterns and identify which components of the gut microbiota identify individuals whose risk of developing type 2 diabetes is elevated. In the future, perhaps we'll be able to prescribe individualized dietary changes, or develop new types of probiotic that can prevent or perhaps even treat the disease," Bäckhed says.

The research now published builds on a population-based study that has been underway at the University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital since 2013. It covered some 5,000 randomly selected people who were invited to take part in the study, and its purpose was to investigate which factors may entail an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. To confirm and verify the findings, the researchers also analyzed samples collected from the Swedish Cardiopulmonary Bioimage Study (SCAPIS), a nation-wide population study.

University of Gothenburg

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to