The link between type 2 diabetes and the intestinal flora
It has long been known that one’s dietary style has a significant impact on the ecosystem of one’s intestinal flora. Therefore, in this study the characteristics of the microbiota of the participants were observed at the same time. Thus, it was noticed that in the two groups that shared a better dietary style – whether they were overweight/obese or not – their pattern of bacteria was healthier, than in those two other groups that followed worse dietary habits.
It is more than possible that the nature of the intestinal flora is behind, along with other factors and to some extent, the risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes. In fact, recent research has converged on this line. For example, the recent review of the scientific literature ‘Role of gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes pathophysiology’ concluded that there are certain bacteria (those belonging to the genera Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides, Faecalibacterium, Akkermansia and Roseburia) whose presence is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes; versus.
With respect to the mechanism by which this may be possible, there is considerable scientific literature today that suspects that certain different microbial strains may protect, at best, or destroy, at worst, what are known as the “narrow joints” of the intestinal epithelium (read this publication or this other one).
To explain it quickly, the “narrow unions” are structures that join some cells to others and that somehow (by virtue of their presence, absence and number) regulate the passage of substances between a cellular layer, in this case that of the intestinal epitheliuml. It is proposed that a negative environment in terms of intestinal flora would lead to the destruction of these structures, which would facilitate the passage of materials from the intestinal lumen to the internal environment, which is a circumstance that is related to insulin resistance (one of the defining characteristics of type 2 diabetes). On the other hand, a positive intestinal flora (to a certain extent promoted by adequate dietary habits) would favour the increase of these “close links” thus decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.