Gut bacteria compound may help to prevent type 2 diabetes
New research from Finland suggests that higher blood levels of indolepropionic acid - a product of gut bacteria that is increased by a fiber-rich diet - may help to protect against type 2 diabetes.
Writing about the discovery in the journal Scientific Reports, the team - led by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio - suggests that it increases our understanding of the important part played by gut bacteria in the relationship between diet, metabolism, and health.
Diabetes is a disease in which the blood contains too much sugar, or glucose - a vital source of energy for the body's cells.
If uncontrolled, high blood sugar can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and amputation of lower limbs.
Levels of blood sugar are regulated by the hormone insulin, which is made in the pancreas.
The type of diabetes that develops depends on whether the high blood glucose results from lack of insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the body's inability to use insulin (type 2 diabetes).
Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common form of diabetes around the world and largely develops from being overweight and not exercising.
Molecular factors in type 2 diabetes less well-understood
Once a disease occurring only in adults, the number of children with type 2 diabetes is now on the rise.
Adults with diabetes have a two- to threefold higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Type 2 diabetes patients can be treated with oral medication, but they may also need insulin.
More than a fifth of healthcare spending in the U.S. is for people diagnosed with diabetes.
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