More than being natural agents for metabolism in the digestive system, your gut bacteria could be used to determine your likelihood of developing diabetes.
This was discovered by a team of researchers from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and Chicago’s Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center, after studying more than a hundred African-American veterans who took part in the D Vitamin Intervention program. “Your gut bacteria could predict your risk of diabetes,” said study senior author Elena Barengolts in a news release.
Bacteria intrinsically found in the human intestinal tract are composed of several microorganisms, called collectively as “gut microbiota”. The study found out that certain changes and conditions in the gut bacteria composition may trigger an increase in the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. In fact, the researchers were able to find signs of alterations in the gut bacteria as early as pre-diabetes stages.
Results of the study showed that individuals who were diagnosed with pre-diabetes have more harmful bacteria in their gut, compared to those with normal blood sugar levels whose gut bacteria composition has more of the beneficial kind. Meanwhile, patients whose blood sugar control improved ove the course of one year were found to have more healthy bacteria than those with normal or unchanged glycemic levels.
The researchers were not able to pinpoint which bacteria could have caused this increased risk of diabetes, and they recommend more studies about this. However, the team believes that early intervention on diet changes may already create a significant impact on the health of people. “(Doctors) have additional reasons to recommend foods, such as prebiotics, which improve the growth and activity of helpful gut bacteria,” Barengolts added.