Gut bacteria could cause diabetes
GUT BACTERIA AND TYPE 2 DIABETES Studying gut bacteria can reveal a range of human illness. Now, new research shows that the composition of a person’s intestinal bacteria could play an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes. These results, from a joint European and Chinese research team, have just been published in the journal Nature.
The number of people suffering from type 2 diabetes world-wide has risen rapidly in recent years, and scientists estimate that just as many people could be suffering from the illness without realising it. New research now indicates that your gut bacteria can reveal whether you suffer from the disease.
“We have demonstrated that people with type 2 diabetes have a high level of pathogens in their intestines,” says professor Jun Wang from the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Biology and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research.
See video where professor Jun Wang and professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen explain the results just published in the scientific journal Nature. At link
Important intestinal bacteria
The 1.5 kilograms of bacteria that we each carry in our intestines have an enormous impact on our health and well being. The bacteria normally live in a sensitive equilibrium but if this equilibrium is disrupted our health could suffer. In the new study, scientists examined the intestinal bacteria of 345 people from China, of which 171 had type 2 diabetes. The team managed to identify clear biological indicators that someday could be used in methods that provide faster and earlier diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
The research, which was recently published in the scientific journal Nature, also demonstrated that people with type 2 diabetes have a more hostile bacterial environment in their intestines, which can increase resistance to different medicines.
Similar studies carried out on sufferers of type 2 diabetes in Denmark also discovered a significant imbalance in the function of their intestinal bacteria and composition. Future Danish studies will examine whether intestinal bacteria is already abnormal in people that are deemed to be at risk of developing diabetes.
“We are going to transplant gut bacteria from people that suffer from type 2 diabetes into mice and examine whether the mice then develop diabetes,” says another of the lead scientists behind the project, professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen from the University of Copenhagen and centre director at LuCamp, the Lundbeck Foundation Centre for Applied Medical Genomics in Personalised Disease Prediction, Prevention and Care.
International research team investigates gut bacteria
By working together, a team scientists from the University of Copenhagen and the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) was able to make to several breakthroughs in the field of ‘metagenomics’.
Scientists working on the EU research project MetaHIT have uncovered more than 3.3 million genes from gut bacteria found in people from Spain and Denmark. These genes could play a key role in understanding and treating a range of serious illnesses. According to Professor Karsten Kristiansen from the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Biology, the recent discovery is an important step in the comprehensive international research that is currently underway to investigate the interplay between intestinal bacteria and health.
“The European and Chinese working on the MetaHIT project were able to make important new discoveries about the relationship between intestinal bacteria and health. The new discovery indicates a possible connection between type 2 diabetes and the intestinal bacteria in Chinese people,” Kristiansen says.
“It is important to point out that our discovery demonstrates a correlation. The big question now is whether the changes in gut bacteria can affect the development of type 2 diabetes or whether the changes simply reflect that the person is suffering from type 2 diabetes.”
Why is this related to autism ?
1. Researchers have made similar discoveries in gut bacteria in ASD children.
Impaired Carbohydrate Digestion and Transport and Mucosal Dysbiosis in the Intestines of Children with Autism and Gastrointestinal Disturbances
Regression (loss of language and/or other skills following acquisition) is reported in 20% to 40% of individuals with autism, and some studies suggest higher rates of GI symptoms in ASD subjects with regression than those without regression . Eighty-seven percent of AUT-GI subjects in our study had behavioral regression
2. Harvard researchers undertook research in co-morbid conditions in ASD children here
9.44% of ASD patients had epilepsy as compared to 2.19% in the overall hospital population (95% confidence interval for difference in percentages 13.58–14.69%), 2.43% of ASD with schizophrenia vs. 0.24% in the hospital population (95% CI 1.89–2.39%), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) 0.83% vs. 0.54% (95% CI 0.13–0.43%), bowel disorders (without IBD) 11.74% vs. 4.5% (95% CI 5.72–6.68%), CNS/cranial anomalies 12.45% vs. 1.19% (95% CI 9.41–10.38%), diabetes mellitus type I (DM1) 0.79% vs. 0.34% (95% CI 0.3–0.6%), muscular dystrophy 0.47% vs 0.05% (95% CI 0.26–0.49%), sleep disorders 1.12% vs. 0.14% (95% CI 0.79–1.14%). Autoimmune disorders (excluding DM1 and IBD) were not significantly different at 0.67% vs. 0.68% (95% CI −0.14-0.13%).
Three of the studied comorbidities increased significantly when comparing ages 0–17 vs 18–34 with p<0.001: Schizophrenia (1.43% vs. 8.76%), diabetes mellitus type I (0.67% vs. 2.08%), IBD (0.68% vs. 1.99%) whereas sleeping disorders, bowel disorders (without IBD) and epilepsy did not change significantly.
3. University of California researchers also found inetersting associations between diabetes and autism.
Maternal obesity, diabetes associated with autism, other developmental disorders
A major study conducted by researchers affiliated with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found strong links between maternal diabetes and obesity and the likelihood of having a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or another developmental disorder.
The study, which investigated the relationships between maternal metabolic conditions and the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, found that mothers who were obese were 67 percent more likely to have a child with ASD than normal-weight mothers without diabetes or hypertension, and were more than twice as likely to have a child with another developmental disorder.
Mothers with diabetes were found to have nearly 67 percent more likely to have a child with developmental delays as healthy mothers. However, the proportion of mothers with diabetes who had a child with ASD was higher than in healthy moms but did not reach statistical significance.
The study also found that the children of diabetic mothers who had ASD were more disabled — had greater deficits in language comprehension and production and adaptive communication — than were the children with ASD born to healthy mothers.
However, even children without ASD born to diabetic mothers exhibited impairments in socialization in addition to language comprehension and production, when compared with the non-ASD children of healthy women. Children without ASD of mothers with any of the metabolic conditions displayed mild deficits in problem solving, language comprehension and production, motor skills and socialization.
Implications for the future
Trends in the prevalence of preexisting diabetes and gestational diabetes mellitus among a racially/ethnically diverse population of pregnant women, 1999-2005.
Preexisting diabetes was identified in 2,784 (1.3%) of all pregnancies, rising from an age- and race/ethnicity-adjusted prevalence of 0.81 per 100 in 1999 to 1.82 per 100 in 2005 (P(trend) < 0.001). Significant increases were observed in all age-groups and all racial/ethnic groups.
After women with preexisting diabetes were excluded, GDM was identified in 15,121 (7.6%) of 199,298 screened pregnancies. The age- and race/ethnicity-adjusted GDM prevalence remained constant at 7.5 per 100 in 1999 to 7.4 per 100 in 2005 (P(trend) = 0.07). Among all deliveries to women with either form of diabetes, 10% were due to preexisting diabetes in 1999, rising to 21% in 2005, with GDM accounting for the remainder.
The stable prevalence of GDM and increase in the prevalence of preexisting diabetes were independent of changes in the age and race/ethnicity of the population. The increase in preexisting diabetes, particularly among younger women early in their reproductive years, is of concern.