Gut Bacteria may Forecast the Onset of Type 2 Diabetes

Gut Bacteria may Forecast the Onset of Type 2 Diabetes

by Dr. Jayashree Gopinath on Feb 26 2022 3:05 PM
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  • Unhealthy eating is one of the modifiable risk factors of type 2 diabetes
  • The gut bacteria composition plays an important role in this risk factor
  • This type-2 diabetes risk factor can be controlled with diet and lifestyle changes
Bacteria living in an individual’s gut can be used as a microbial signature to predict the onset of type 2 diabetes, suggested by a study conducted by researchers from the University of Turku and Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL).
The study findings are published in the journal Diabetes Care.


New Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factor

Gut bacteria are affecting not only digestion but also overall health. Many studies have shown there is a strong link between gut health and type2 diabetes.

The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes has major impacts on quality of life and is still recognized as a serious public health concern.

Several risk factors for type 2 diabetes are genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Recently, changes in gut bacteria composition have also been associated with type 2 diabetes.


Microbial Signatures

Previous studies have reported differences in gut bacteria between healthy volunteers and those already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

To identify the gut bacteria signatures for type 2 diabetes, researchers conducted a long-term study on the composition of fecal bacteria. They used fecal samples collected from a large, representative, and unique Finnish population, FINRISK 2002.

Extensive health data from over 5,000 participants were collected during sampling, and the incidence of disease was tracked for nearly 16 years through electronic health records.

This enabled the identification of microbial biomarkers that predicted the incidence of type 2 diabetes in healthy participants at the baseline examination.

Six bacterial groups from the family Lachnospiraceae and its close relatives were associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes during the follow-up.

Despite having genetic and lifestyle differences, the microbes were strongly associated with type 2 diabetes incidence throughout Finland. This includes people from Eastern and Western Finland.

These bacterial species have been previously linked with type 2 diabetes prevalence and several other metabolic diseases, such as fatty liver disease.

These findings show that the gut bacteria composition can modulate the link between dietary habits and type 2 diabetes. Gut bacteria can also be used to develop novel therapeutic targets for diabetes.


Healthy Gut for Diabetes Prevention

In the gut, there are specific friendly bacteria, which help in digestion and maintain metabolic health. In people who have type2 diabetes, healthy microbes like the lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are replaced by unhealthy microbes. This occurs because of eating junk foods, following a sedentary lifestyle, and being obese.

Understanding gut bacteria composition as one of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes could aid in the development of more effective treatments in the future.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle, eating a lot of green leafy vegetables and fruits, and avoiding junk foods will delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. At the same time, gut bacteria balance can also be restored. The use of probiotics also helps to restore the unhealthy gut microbiota to healthy microbes.

Control your type2 diabetes risk with a healthy weight , regular exercise, and a healthy gut-friendly diet. If you have a family history of diabetes, watch out for early signs and symptoms.

  1. Gut microbiome activity predicts risk of type 2 diabetes and metformin control in a large human cohort - (