Microbial Affair

Microbial Affair

Diabetes mellitus, also generally referred to like people who are unable to regulate glucose metabolism.



Bacteria are everywhere, even in the far reaches of space. Some bacteria are beneficial while others are not. The recent study showcases bacteria can be both the cause and cure for diabetes. The human digestive system contains an estimated 10 trillion to 100 trillion bacteria and other microscopic organisms, with each person hosting at least 160 different species of organisms.



Some researchers now believe that this community of microbes in the human gut contributes to the onset of low-grade inflammation, which in turn may affect body weight and glucose metabolism. People with Type 2 diabetes or obesity have shown changes in the composition of their intestinal micro-organisms called the gut microbiota that healthy people do not have.



The micro-organisms in the gastrointestinal tract are collectively referred to as the gut microbiota. In mammalians, the gut microbiota mainly comprises of four main phyla: Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. 



The composition of gut microbial communities vary along the gastrointestinal tract, and remodels within and between individuals as the dietary lifestyle and nutritional status of the individual.



Apart from digestion, the gut microbiota is important in keeping up the optimal state of host health, but it is also implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous metabolic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and atherosclerosis; and intestinal diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer. There are some strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and therefore, antibiotics consumption will skew gut microbiota composition.



During this period, there were also drastic changes to the human diet, with an increased intake of carbohydrates and fats as a result of the common consumption of highly processed foods. Dietary fibre intake was also significantly lowered. As fibres cannot be digested by the human digestive fluid; they are fermented by the gut microbiota, thereby generating short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as metabolites.



Loss of early life exposure due to increased use of antibiotics and lower fibre intake causes inflammatory diseases, including diabetes. SCFAs play vital roles in Type 2 diabetes. There have been several studies reporting that the number of bacteria involved in SCFA production was significantly lower in people with Type 2 diabetes.



Article courtesy goes to Dr Pradeep Gadge, Diabetologist, Mumbai. He is a Guinness Book of World record holder for the world’s largest diabetic health screening done in November 2013.


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