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Intestinal Bacteria May Have Role In Diabetes Prevention [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 13, 2017 09:34 AM EDT

A study showed that intestinal bacteria may have a diabetes protection effect via the indolepropionic acid they produce.

Indolepropionic acid is a byproduct of gut bacteria. The research from the University of Finland suggested that indolepropronic acid found in higher levels in the blood could be what gets in the way of developing type 2 diabetes. It led the researchers to suggest that intestinal bacteria may offer health benefits by way of diabetes protection.

Metabolites are small molecules formed as a result of the activities of cells of organisms such as gut bacteria. The investigators analyzed the concentrations of some metabolites in the participants, a method called nontargeted metabolomics analysis. The volunteers consisted of 200 individuals, some developed type 2 diabetes in a span of 5 years while the rest did not have it when they were followed up within 15 years.

The researchers found that what set the two groups apart was the high blood concentration of indoleproprionic acid which appeared to prevent type 2 diabetes. This was also observed in data from earlier studies-- the Finnish Metabolic Syndrome in Men Study and the Swedish Västerbotten Intervention Project, the Medical Xpress reported.

The level of indoleproprionic acid produced by intestinal bacteria increases with a diet rich in fiber, that is, plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The research, therefore, gave an insight on how one's diet and lifestyle has an impact on whether a person develops type 2 diabetes or not.

Gut bacteria does not only aid in digestion but they are also involved in many systems of the body. One of their key functions is in the immune system. The substances they produce prevent disease-causing bacteria from growing. Eating fermented foods that raises the number of good bacteria could help reduce inflammation and illnesses.

These types of bacteria have been shown to affect mood and energy levels as well. Studies have been shedding light on their critical role in overall health.

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