Staph Bacteria May Be a Trigger for Type 2 Diabetes
A growing body of research indicates that exposure to bacteria and viruses affects one’s likelihood for developing a number of chronic health conditions. Increasingly, scientists are uncovering proof that certain features of the human microbiome may be a root cause of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
A new study published this week adds to this evidence, implicating staph bacteria as one potential cause of the disease.
For the study, published in the journal mBio, a team of microbiologists at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine exposed rabbits to the toxin produced by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The researchers found that exposure to high levels of this toxin caused the animals to develop symptoms of the disease, including insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and inflammation.
Their study suggests that drugs that eradicate or neutralize staph bacteria in the body may hold some promise as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes, which affects close to 30 million people in the U.S.
Because obesity is one of the common risk factors for the condition, the authors suggest extreme weight gain has a cascade effect: Obesity alters the microbiome and makes a person—or in this case, a rabbit—more susceptible to staph bacteria. Then a higher than normal exposure to toxins produced by the bacteria will trigger the disease.
Prior research has found that the toxins produced by staph bacteria disrupt normal immune system functioning, which can result in sepsis, inflammation of the heart and toxic shock, all of which can be fatal. But this new study shows staph toxins also a Continue reading