Is bacteria in our food and drink making us diabetic?
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London - Bacteria found in food and water may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, scientists have said.
Those with the condition were found to have significantly more bacteria in their blood, liver and abdominal fatty tissue.
The research raises the possibility that a probiotic drink or drug could rebalance bacteria and protect against diabetes.
In the controversial study, researchers looked at 40 very obese people, half of whom had type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It is a lifelong disease that keeps your body from using insulin the way it should. People with type 2 diabetes are said to have insulin resistance.
The symptoms include: being very thirsty, peeing a lot, blurry vision, being cranky, tingling or numbness in your hands or feet, fatigue/feeling worn out.
The study found that diabetics had more enterobacteria – a group of bacteria linked to illnesses including wound infections and stomach flu.
They also had higher levels of a potentially harmful type of bacteria called shigella in their blood. The researchers, from Laval University in Quebec, Canada, say the bacteria may have escaped through the gut and caused inflammation.
This can make it harder for the body to control blood sugar, according to the scientists, who published their findings in the journal Nature Metabolism.
Naveed Sattar, of the University of Glasgow, who was not involved in the study, said: "This is interesting research but it is more likely that factors that lead to type 2 diabetes lead to changes in bacteria within the body."