We have talked a great deal about the importance of a healthy gut and beneficial gut bacteria. Not only is maintaining a balanced gut environment important for digestive health, it is also important to the immune system – as much of the body’s immunity is contained in the gut.
Previously, healthy gut bacteria balance has been linked to increased longevity, and to reductions in breast cancer risk. Now, a new study has found that the development of type 1 diabetes has a precursor of a drop in healthy gut bacteria – leading to questions about how much gut bacteria affects this condition.
According to Jessica Dunne, the Director of Discovery Research at JDRF, a non-profit organization dedicated to diabetes research:
“We know from previous human studies that changes in gut bacterial composition correlate with the early development of type 1 diabetes, and that the interactions between bacterial networks may be a contributing factor in why some people at risk for the disease develop type 1 diabetes and others don’t. This is the first study to show how specific changes in the microbiome are affecting the progression to symptomatic T1D [type 1 diabetes].”
For their study, researchers followed the medical histories of Finnish and Estonian infants who had genetic predispositions to type 1 diabetes. Stool samples were taken, and health data was routinely collected until the participants were three years old.
From their analysis, the researchers found that in the young children that did develop type 1 diabetes, a 25 percent drop in the diversity of their microbiome (gut) was noticed about a year before they started showing symptoms. Some of the bacteria that were found in lowered levels were beneficial bacteria.
Additionally, some bacteria, linked to causing inflammation, was also observed before the diabetes symptoms occurred. While a lot more research needs to be done exploring the relationship between gut health and type 1 diabetes, this study certainly waves a red flag – it seems that when our gut is not in balance, a lot more can go wrong than we think.
For this reason, taking good care of our gut health is essential. Start by nixing the processed foods, eating a clean diet of fruits, veggies, legumes, and healthy proteins and fats. Make sure to get plenty of exercise, and lots of quality sleep.
Then, try adding some great probiotic superfoods to your diet – to keep that healthy gut bacteria as happy and effective as can be!
-The Alternative Daily