September 28, 2012

High levels of toxic gut bacteria linked to Type 2 Diabetes

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A new study published in the medical journal Nature suggests that an overabundance of a specific intestine bacteria may be responsible for Type 2 diabetes.

The study does not specify whether the bacteria are preempting Type 2 diabetes or if they result from the disease, which can make a person vulnerable to more rapid growth of bacteria and infections.  On this premise, researchers are going to transplant the excessive toxic bacteria from people with Type 2 diabetes into non-diabetic mice.

This follow-up experiment must account for the test subjects being different in many ways, first and foremost the immune systems of mice and men. Perhaps the bacteria are all the same in the King Philip Came Over For Grape Soda classification and won’t adulterate the results too much.  It’s a sound hypothesis but I’m not sure the outcome will be entirely accurate. Many mice studies have not translated into human studies and comingling funds before you bank on  hard science is going to muddy the waters.

The movie Food Inc. tells an eye-opening tale of how the food industry has changed the way we eat more in the last 50 years than it did in the previous 10,000 years. Animals are retrained to eat differently causing a strain of bacteria growig in their digestive tracts. The movie documents how the animals we eat are heavily treated with antibiotics before you even put them on your plate.  Could the gut bacteria in the animals have anything to do with the rise in Type 2 diabetes over the last few decades?

At the very least, this could tell us which came first – a diabetes diagnosis or high levels of the toxic gut bacteria?

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