Could Your Gut Bacteria Signal Diabetes?
We know that immunity begins in the gut. Now, new data shows that the bacteria in your gut can reveal whether or not you have type 2 diabetes—perhaps even before other signs of diabetes emerge.
To reach this conclusion, researchers at the University of Copenhagen and the Beijing Genomics Institute analyzed approximately 60,000 bacterial markers in people with and without type 2 diabetes.
Results showed that people with type 2 diabetes have different gut bacteria than those without diabetes, but they don’t know if those bacteria cause the disease or just reflect that the disease is present. In order to help determine that, they’re going transplant gut bacteria from people with type 2 diabetes into healthy mice to examine if the mice then develop diabetes.
The connection between gut flora and diabetes isn’t surprising, since we know that the microbial milieu in individuals with asthma, inflammatory and irritable bowel disease, and obesity is markedly different from that of healthy people. Differences are also seen in psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, skin conditions, and mood disorders.
So what can you do to nurture your gut flora?
- First, avoid antibiotics whenever possible. These drugs can be lifesaving, but too often they are prescribed and taken for infections they’re useless against. Antibiotic-related diarrhea and vaginal infections aren’t caused by drugs. They’re caused by opportunistic bacteria that gain a foothold when antibiotics kill off beneficial flora.
- Second, eat plenty of prebiotics, indigestible carbohydrates that good bacteria thrive on. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables and bananas, onions, artichokes, whole grains, and garlic, in particular, stimulate the growth of gut flora. Also consume fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickled vegetables. They contain live bacteria that help populate the intestinal tract.
- Third, be aware that 70 percent of the antibiotics used in this country are given to livestock in a misguided effort to keep animals healthy. Although the bigger issue is antibiotic resistance, when you eat the meat from these animals, you’re also consuming traces of antibiotics.
Now it’s your turn: What do you do to keep your gut healthy?
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For more than 30 years, Dr. Julian Whitaker has helped people regain their health with a combination of therapeutic lifestyle changes, targeted nutritional support, and other cutting-edge natural therapies. He is widely known for treating diabetes, but also routinely treats heart disease and other degenerative diseases. More About Dr. Whitaker
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