Gut Bacteria May Influence Risk for Diabetes

[caption id="attachment_642" align="aligncenter" width="222"]Species of Gut Bacteria Species of gut bacteria. Source: Centers for Disease Control[/caption] A recent article provides more evidence that many of our health problems are linked to not just diet, but how the bacteria in our gut uses foods to produce compounds that affect our metabolism. Several papers have shown that good gut bacteria such as Bifidobacteria can produce short-chain fatty acids from complex carbohydrates and starches which then interact with certain cellular receptors to help regulate blood sugar levels and less insulin resistance. However, other gut bacteria such as the Prevotella copri and Bacteroides vulgatus can take foods (in this case food proteins) and produce branched-chain amino acids. These BCAAs have been linked to increasing insulin resistance which is a precursor to diabetes. The paper argues that the gut microbiome should be an area of interest in combating diseases such as arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. Read more.