Diabetes is a chronic disease, lasting for a long period, which affects the process of turning food into energy. Most of the food that we eat breaks down into sugar and gets released into our bloodstream. When the blood sugar goes up, it signals the pancreas to release insulin. This insulin acts as a key factor in letting the blood sugar inside the cells to use as energy.
If having diabetes, the body cannot make enough insulin. As a result, the cells stop responding and too much blood sugar stays in the bloodstream. In such a situation, it can cause health problems like kidney disease and heart disease.
Type 2 Diabetes
In Type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t use the provided insulin well which results in fluctuating blood sugar levels. The body makes insulin but it does not react to it effectively. This is the common type of diabetes and about 90-95% of people come under this type.
Causes, Symptoms, and Risk in Type 2 Diabetes
The problems which cause Type 2 Diabetes are
- The pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin which results in difficulty in managing blood sugar levels.
- The cells in fat, muscle, and liver become resistant to insulin because they don’t take in enough sugar.
The development of Type 2 symptoms is often slow. Surviving with this type of diabetes is possible for years without knowing it. The symptoms may include:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Frequent infections
- Slow-healing sores
The risk factors in Type 2 diabetes are:
- Storing fat in the abdomen indicates the development of uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes and its risk in the human body.
- Being overweight or obese.
- Less physical activity does not help in controlling weight which leads to low usage of glucose as energy and makes your cells insensitive to insulin.
Gut Bacteria and Diabetes
The human body is loaded with millions of bacteria paired with tiny organisms like fungi and viruses which is known as microbiome or microbiota. The mixture of bacteria is unique in every human body. It is determined by the mother’s microbiota and partly by diet. Nearly 2 million genes live in the gut. They line the entire digestive system and most of it lives in the intestines. It helps in processing but at the same time affects metabolism and immune system. It may involve the risk of diabetes, depression, obesity, and colon cancer.
Effect in Metabolism
A few organisms within the gut microbiota play a serious role in the rescue of Type 2 diabetic patients which opens the door for treating serious metabolic diseases. Imbalance in microbiota is commonly associated with harmful effects on a person’s health. For the study, researchers used an approach named Transkingdom Network analysis for studying the host-microbe interactions under the western diet. This led them to check whether each member of the microbiome had a part in metabolic changes in the diet that induces the host.
The researchers fed mice with that of a western diet and then they supplemented them with the worsener and improver microbes. Checking the results against the data that they received from an earlier study, found the correlations between human body mass index and abundance of the four bacteria, namely Lactobacillus johnsonii, Lactobacillus gasseri, Romboutsia ilealis, and Ruminococcus gnavus, where more of the improvers meant a far better BMI (Body Mass Index) and more of the worseners was connected to less BMI.
Rescue of Type 2 Diabetic Patients and a Viable Solution in Treating Diabetes
The researchers wanted to know what happened to the rodent’s metabolism when they received improvers and worseners. This is to check whether the bacteria could improve the metabolism of people with Type 2 diabetes. Mice on a diet that contained R. ilealis showed a result of reduced glucose tolerance level and production of insulin, which suggested a diabetes-like condition. Surprisingly, R. ilealis did not affect the body fat, L. gasseri, and L. johnsonii helped in reducing it. They also found that it improved glucose tolerance in rodents which was fed with the Western diet.
Next, they looked at the target organs such as the gut and the liver which might be affected by Lactobacilli. The reduction of fat in the liver is important for the recovery from Type 2 diabetes. A recent study found that genes that control liver cells which has overall glucose control were upregulated.
The mitochondrial health that functioned in the liver of mice received L. gasseri or L. johnsonii and reduced bad lipids. Researchers think that this finding is important for achieving better glucose tolerance and metabolism.
Andrey Morgun, MD, Ph.D., study co-leader and associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the OSU College of Pharmacy, said that “Our study reveals potential probiotic strains for treatment of Type 2 diabetes and obesity as well as insights into the mechanisms of their action. That means an opportunity to develop targeted therapies rather than attempting to restore healthy microbiota in general.”
The researchers by their recent study believe that the medical analysis of gut bacteria might help to treat Type 2 diabetes in the future.