Three new studies reveal unique insights into the role played by gut microbiome in the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Researchers are focused on discovering the ways by which the gut microbes influencing our health. From discovering higher bacterial load in a sample isolated from patients suffering from diabetes to the recently discovered microbial metabolites which could be used for novel treatments.
There is evidence that gut bacteria play an important role in insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism and overall energy homeostasis. Scientists have been unable to know which specific bacteria are associated with positive metabolic results in regards to type-2 diabetes.
Researchers from Oregon State University have recently tried to analyze the large volume of recently conducted studies investigating the links between the gut microbiome and T2D.
The meta-analysis of these studies are published in the journal EBioMedicine
This meta-analysis has examined 42 human-based studies checking associations between T2D and the gut microbiome. Despite finding no as such consensus which implicates specific bacteria with T2D, the scientist identified many recurring observations.
Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides were the most frequently identified genera as potentially protective against type 2 diabetes. Bifidobacterium, in particular, was reported in all the studies but in one study to be high in the healthy people and low in the patients with T2D.
On the other hand bacteria including Blautia, Fusobacterium and Ruminococuus were more frequently detected in higher levels in the patients suffering from T2D. The scientists noticed the conflicting findings regarding all these three genera.
According to the meta-analysis, the Lactobacillus genus showed the most discordant results. The study hypothesizes the effects of Lactobacillus may be highly species-specific, some species including L. gasseri, L. salivarius and L. acidophilus were found in high levels in patients with T2D, while other species such as L. amylovorus were seen in low levels.
The ultimate conclusion of this analysis is that research on microbiome involved in T2D is too heterogeneous. The conclusion of this meta-study suggests that there is a need to focus towards developing personalized medicine selecting anti-diabetics and Probiotics for the patients based on the combination of their mammalian and microbial genomes.
Bacterial Translocation Study
Another new compelling hypothesis suggested that gut bacteria may be responsible for the onset of type 2 diabetes. It could be the result of microbes crossing the intestinal barriers into the other tissue in the body, a process known as bacterial translocation.
The findings of this bacterial translocation study are published in the journal Nature Metabolism.
A closer analysis of microbial genetics, bacteria that were identified in the tissue samples revealed that it is most likely coming from the intestine. This finding supports the hypothesis that microbial load identified in the tissue samples is a result of bacterial translocation.
The team of researchers examined the blood samples of 148 adults using the process known as metabolomic profiling to check biomarkers which could be associated with diabetes. One particular molecule which is known as metabolite 4-Cresol quickly stood out.
The findings of this 4-Cresol study are published in the journal Cell Reports.