Good bugs ward off disease

Last month (February 2013) in the journal Science, researchers published the results of an exciting study of bacteria and diabetes that found that intestinal bacteria may be able to influence the chances of someone getting diabetes. And having a healthy balanced digestive system could actually help ward off the disease.

In mouse studies, the scientists showed that gut bacteria, especially in males, can produce biochemicals and hormones that literally stop diabetes from ever developing.

These findings alone would be a stunning revelation. But they're not the only link between our intestinal tracts and this disease.

"Hostile guts" linked to diabetes

These findings add to those from an earlier study of the link between gut bacteria and diabetes published late last year in the journal Nature. In that study, researchers concluded that people with type-2 diabetes have a "more hostile bacterial environment" in their guts.

A team of scientists from the University of Copenhagen and the Beijing Genomics Institute examined the intestinal bacteria of a group of 345 people. They found that the type-2 diabetics in the group had high levels of pathogens in their intestines. These findings backed up even earlier studies that found imbalances in the gut bacteria of diabetics.

Although more research is needed...and it's a bit of a "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" finding right now... the scientists theorize that imbalanced gut bacteria may somehow lead to diabetes. To test the theory, the team plans to next implant bacteria from the guts of type-2 diabetics into healthy mice to see if the mice develop the disease, confirming the connection between bacteria and diabetes.

But there's no reason to wait around for those results, because we already know that most of us don't have enough good bacteria in our guts. Antibiotics, stress, and modern day living can all contribute to the problem. But you can start fixing that today by taking a quality probiotic from a supplement maker you trust.