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