Diabetes and gut health, what's the link?
Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease which causes blood sugar levels to become too high due to the pancreas not producing enough (or any) insulin - that impairs the absorption and metabolism of glucose (sugar) from the foods that we eat. Recent research has looked into the link between diabetes and gut health and revered that diabetes, particularly Type 2, can cause changes in the gut microbiota, increase inflammation and disrupt gut barrier function, all of which can lead to insulin resistance. Findings show that diabetic patients have a deficiency in the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which regulate glucose homeostasis and have a protective effect on the gut barrier. Diabetic patients have been found to have a different intestinal microbiome compared to non-diabetics, displaying lower numbers beneficial bacteria, higher numbers of opportunistic bacteria, as well as fewer butyrate (a Short Chain Fatty Acid) producing bacteria, all of which could be causing impaired glucose metabolism. What does this mean for the future treatment of diabetes? As science looks to the future this will be a very promising frontier. It can be foreseen that the gut microbiota will be used not only as a biomarker for diabetes, but also as a target for potential therapeutic treatments. Through the intervention of gut bacteria, it will eventually be possible to achieve a more precise and personalized diagnosis as well as treatment of diabetes. You can access the full article here.