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Gut Bacteria and Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the U.S., impacting an estimated 1 in 10 Americans. With emerging medical research, we’re learning more about this common condition and how it develops. More specifically, a 2022 study revealed that a specific form of gut bacteria may play a significant role in the development of type 2 diabetes. 

In this article, we’ll explore the connection between gut bacteria and type 2 diabetes. 

The Link Between Gut Bacteria and Type 2 Diabetes

A study published in Diabetes, a peer-reviewed journal, determined that patients with higher levels of a bacteria known as Coprococcus were more likely to have higher insulin sensitivity. On the other hand, patients with higher levels of a bacterial called Flavonifractor typically had lower insulin sensitivity. 

These results are supported by another study out of the Endocrine Genetics Laboratory at Cedars-Sinai. In this study, 352 people without known diabetes were recruited from the Wake Forest Baptist Health System and asked to collect stool samples before going to three clinic visits. The investigators then tested the stool samples to gain insights into the participants’ microbiomes. 

After analyzing 36 butyrate-producing bacteria in the stool samples, the investigators determined that Coprococcus and similar bacteria positively impacted insulin sensitivity, while Flavonifractor was linked to insulin resistance. 

These studies are recent, so further research is required to conclusively determine whether the differences in gut bacteria caused diabetes, or vice versa. However, given that a healthy microbiome benefits many aspects of a person’s wellbeing, improving your gut health is a smart choice that may help reduce your diabetes risk.

Tips for Greater Gut Health

  • Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. 
  • Limit high-fat foods and animal products.
  • Consume prebiotics and probiotics, either through dietary sources or supplements.

At The Center for Natural & Integrative Health, our team can develop a personalized plan to improve your microbiome and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Schedule your appointment today!


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