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Gut bugs play role in Type-2 diabetes: Study

Denmark,Health/Medicine, Thu, 27 Sep 2012 IANS

Copenhagen, Sep 27 (IANS) Surprisingly, your gut bugs can reveal whether you are suffering from the Type-2 diabetes, whose numbers have globally gone up. Many could be suffering from it without ever realising, fear scientists.

The research also demonstrated that people with Type-2 diabetes have a more hostile bacterial environment in their intestines, which can increase resistance to different medicines.

"We have demonstrated that people with Type-2 diabetes have a high level of pathogens in their intestines," says Jun Wang, professor of biology from the University of Copenhagen, who worked with the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI), the journal Nature reports.

The 1.5 kg of bacteria that we each carry in our intestines have an enormous impact on our health and wellbeing. The bugs normally live in a sensitive equilibrium but if this equilibrium is disrupted our health could suffer, according to a Copenhagen statement

Scientists examined the intestinal bacteria of 345 people from China, of whom 171 had Type-2 diabetes. They managed to identify clear biological indicators that someday could be used in methods that provide faster and earlier diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, according to a Copenhagen statement.

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 one of the scientists behind the project, Oluf Borbye Pedersen, professor from the University of Copenhagen.

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 Karsten Kristiansen, professor of biology from Copenhagen, 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.

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