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Gut Bacteria Can Control Diabetes

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the with-a-little-help-from-my-little-friends dept.

Biotech 271

Shipud writes "Insulin resistance is the harbinger of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance is when the body cannot use insulin effectively. As a result, blood sugar and fat levels rise. Therein lies the path to morbid obesity, diabetes, stroke, and heart problems. A group of Brazilian researchers have taken a strain of mice normally known to be immune to insulin resistance, and made them insulin resistant (pre-diabetic) by changing their gut bacteria. They then gave the mice antibiotics, and by changing their gut bacteria again, reversed the process, curing them of the disease. Their research shows just how influential the bacteria living in our gut can be on our health."

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653316)

I, for one, welcome our new insulin-resistant overlords

Obligatory (-1, Redundant)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653324)

I for one, welcome our new Brazilian gut bacteria changed mice overlords.

Re:Obligatory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653426)

In Soviet Russia, gut bacteria insulinate YOU!!!!!

Re:Obligatory (5, Insightful)

m1ndcrash (2158084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654136)

in Soviet Russia people like you would be sent to concentration camp for posting this shit constantly

so (1, Insightful)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653334)

I think i'm missing something here. Obviously the cure for diabetes is giving people antibiotics so they reset their gut bacteria? I mean, i know i'm going out on a limb here trusting a slashdot editor approved summary submission but...

Re:so (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653386)

Two problems. First, I imagine there are a variety of causes of diabetes. Changing gut bacteria need not help. Second, you need also to replace the gut bacteria with something better or the reset will just result in the old bacteria coming back.

Re:so (3, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653600)

There is, genetic being one of the big ones. Along with diet, age, obesity, thyroid, medication related, pregnancy, etc. And where it's genetic and it's childhood inflicted, a lot of diabetics still hold out for partial pancreas transplants or something else, otherwise it's live with it. It does work, but compatibility is the real pain. A lot of people though these days it's simply age + lifestyle. Then again, they've changed the definition of what diabetic is too. What was diabetic 10 or even 20 years ago, isn't what it is today. So a whole new broad range of people fall into it.

Re:so (5, Informative)

dintech (998802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653808)

Actually, you can transplant human gut bacteria to treat disease. It's called Fecal Bacteriotherapy [wikipedia.org] . It's a procedure carried out under the supervision of a doctor where you put a donor's shit up your ass. Unappealing certainly, but at least it's not 2girls1cup style.

Re:so (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654026)

There are over-the-counter Lactobacillus acidophilus tablets that contain cultured bacteria already. Why in the world would anyone do it the way you describe? I suppose there are other helpful bacteria in your gut, but that seems to be the most significant variety in terms of its effect on everything from serum cholesterol levels to lactose intolerance....

Re:so (2, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654268)

There are over-the-counter Lactobacillus acidophilus tablets that contain cultured bacteria already. Why in the world would anyone do it the way you describe? I suppose there are other helpful bacteria in your gut, but that seems to be the most significant variety in terms of its effect on everything from serum cholesterol levels to lactose intolerance....

They're also useful if you want to make plastic out of potatoes.

Interesting factoid: Humans are born with a "gut bacteria" backup solution. It's called your appendix. Very useful if you eat something harsh enough to kill your gut bacteria during a 12 week overland march when you're too far to replenish them in the traditional way by shaking hands with strangers and touching your lip.

Re:so (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654350)

Unfortunately, doctors are quick to remove your appendix upon infection instead of trying antibiotics first.

Re:so (2)

batquux (323697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654684)

Because it can kill you very quickly if it explodes.

Re:so (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654460)

The healthiest people have the widest range of bacterial flora, usually established as a child and turn into a life long symbiotic relationship. A tablet could never cover the full range of bacteria for an optimal flora.

Re:so (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654526)

The over the counter is for the rich. Here in the USA the doctor uses fecal matter and a pointy stick.

Re:so (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654712)

Because the bacteria needs to get into your intestinal tract. It's very difficult for a delivery system that consists of a oral-pill to do this, becasue it has to go through the extremly bacteria-hostile environment of your stomach first. They make supplements that are supposed to overcome this and not open up until they get to your intestines, but they are not the norm.

Re:so (3, Informative)

wisty (1335733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654300)

Fun fact - Koalas eat eucalyptus (gum tree) leaves, which are pretty toxic to all other animals. They have a special bacteria in their gut which helps break the toxin down. Guess how the bacteria is passed on to the next generation?

Re:so (4, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654524)

Another fun fact: Guess how gut flora are "seeded" in humans? Hint: It's more effective with natural childbirth.

Re:so (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654666)

The appendix.

Re:so (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654858)

Not quite. The appendix is believed to harbor useful bacteria, but how do they get there in the first place? The placenta shields a fetus from most bacteria while it's in the womb, and keeps its blood supply separate from the mother's.

Re:so (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653424)

I think i'm missing something here. Obviously the cure for diabetes is giving people antibiotics so they reset their gut bacteria?

gut bacteria depend, in part, on what you eat. The easy way to change them is to flamethrower out your intestines with antibiotics and transplant a new selection, but the ratios can be influenced by food, which is no great surprise I guess. That would be a very interesting follow up paper.

Re:so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653436)

Yes, it would've been better if the research had shown that giving diabetes-prone mice new bacteria reduced their insulin resistance.

Of course, "eat this yogurt and you'll get better" doesn't sell as well as "hah, we can cause people to become diabetic, our treatment division is going to take off like a rocket"

Re:so (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653512)

Probably a bit more complicated than that. Bacteria tend to be quite specialized as far as their environment goes, to the point where you have different species of bacteria living in your armpit, the side of your arm, the outside of your elbow, and all of those are quite a bit different than the ones that live on your face. I'll go out on a limb and suppose that maybe different diets have an influence on the bacterial populations in your stomach and intestines (I've heard it suggested that the appendix might function as sort of a "storm shelter" when you have food poisoning or some sort of diarrhea) too.

Perhaps in the future, you might be able to get treatments of beneficial stomach bacteria, maybe even in pill form, to help treat diabetes. I doubt this particular strain found in mice will work though, you would probably have to find a human analog or genetically engineer a bacterium more at home in the human digestive tract.

Re:so (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654286)

Perhaps in the future, you might be able to get treatments of beneficial stomach bacteria, maybe even in pill form, to help treat diabetes. I doubt this particular strain found in mice will work though, you would probably have to find a human analog or genetically engineer a bacterium more at home in the human digestive tract.

You already can. http://www.wholehealth.com/health-articles/probiotics-may-have-role-in-and-diabetes-management [wholehealth.com] .

The natural medicine practitioners that so many folks on Slashdot seem to bash and ignore have been aware of the connection between L. acidophilus and a number of medical conditions for several years. It has just taken this long for the medical community to be sufficiently convinced that they were right through the use of double-blind studies.

Acidophilus pills are available at pretty much every pharmacy and health food store (at least in the U.S.), from CVS and Walgreens to that weird place on the corner that smells kind of like incense, but not quite. I think if I had diabetes, I'd certainly be tempted to give it a shot. In the worst case, it doesn't help your particular form of diabetes, and you wasted a few dollars for a bottle.

Consuming L. acidophilus is also known to reduce serum cholesterol, reduce lactose intolerance in many people (because it produces some of the enzymes that break down lactose), and reduce the incidence of diarrhea in many situations by crowding out the bad bacteria that cause it. Frankly, it's about as close as you can get to a miracle drug, at least when it comes to digestive health, and it's available over the counter for just a few bucks per bottle. And because each pill contains living bacteria that multiply on their own, you don't necessarily need to keep taking it, unlike drugs.

Re:so (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654842)

Several years back I picked up an infection which ended up being penicillin resistant. So they put me on a second non-penicillin based antibiotic. This back to back dose of antibiotics wiped out my gut bacteria and caused severe diarrhea. I had enough complications they even had to remove my appendix.

Now, I take digestive enzymes and probiotics: Lactobacillus acidophilus LA5, Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12, Streptococcus thermophilus (STY-31) and Lactobacillus delbruekii subsp. delbrueckii (LLBY-27).

When I first started taking these it made a large difference, but I've never been able to return to normal.

I've often wondered why these probiotics are only oral. If Fecal Bacteriotherapy is effective, why wouldn't there be a probiotic suppository as well? Is it possible my gut flora is being corrected but some harmful bacteria further along in my intestine is still able to hold on?

I tried it for IBS (4, Insightful)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654976)

Like almost all of the "natural" remedies, it didn't work at all. I've heard the same story from 3 other people. I wouldn't be surprised if the only people that reported it to work weren't just experiencing the placebo effect. Double blind studies seem to confirm that it doesn't help at all for cholesterol: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15841092 [nih.gov]

My prescription medicine for IBS started out as a "natural" medicine made from a plant, except that it works and is now western medicine instead of alternative medicine.

If you have diabetes, you should consult your doctor before you go experimenting with natural remedies. Some of them, like St. John's Wort, can interfere with the action of the medication that's actually doing something. "Natural" substances aren't inherently safe.

Re:so (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655060)

The proposed mechanism for treating lactose-intolerance doesn't stack up. The effects of lactose intolerance are not a result of having lactose in your gut per se, they're a product of gut-fauna consumption of lactose - in essence, your gut picks up an enormous amount of sugar which is not absorbed, and thus you get over-development of normal gut fauna which leads to all the fun symptoms.

Re:so (5, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653860)

No, what they discovered is actually a flaw in existing research into insulin resistance. To summarize the linked article: There is a strain of mice that did not develop insulin resistance from any of the usual procedures used to induce insulin resistance in mice. This particular group of researchers noticed that these diabetes resistant mice were typically housed in isolation from normal mouse micro-organisms. These researchers housed a group of these mice in "conventional facilities" (as opposed to "germ-free" facilities, which was normal) where they were exposed to various bacteria. These mice then developed insulin resistance. When the gut bacteria from these mice were transplanted into other mice, those mice, also, developed the symptoms of insulin resistance. Finally, if these mice were given broad spectrum antibiotics (presumably killing off the microbiota that had developed in their guts) they lost their insulin resistance.
In summation, what they discovered is that the micro-organisms that live in your intestines play a role in whether or not you develop Type 2 diabetes.

Re:so (3, Informative)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653862)

Got it backwards. Getting the right bacteria can apparently cure diabetes, or at least remove the symptoms. Killing all the bacteria with an antibiotic won't magically introduce the correct bacteria. (I retained the plural because it's not clear if there is just one strain, or if they have to work together with others)

There is no 'reset' with bacteria, only killing some or nearly all and hoping you get the right replacements. You have to put the right ones in there.

Re:so (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654332)

"giving people antibiotics so they reset their gut bacteria"

You need to get a good flora of bacteria. The best way for that is Fecal bacteriotherapy. You will die without bacteria, so you need to immediately replace them.

Wiki: "The procedure itself sometimes involves a 5- to 10-day treatment with enemas, made of bacterial flora from feces of a healthy donor"

Re:so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655000)

Antibiotics to kill off the bacteria currently infesting your guts, then introduction of the proper strain of bacteria to correct type-2 (insulin resistant) diabetes.

In my case, my type 2 is exacerbated by my cancer producing eosinophils which bind to the insulin receptors. Keep the cancer under control and the diabetes stays under control. watch the white cell count rise, means a1c rises as well.

Find it, eat it (2)

RCC42 (1457439) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653376)

Like all things in life, the solution to this problem can be found through eating (beneficial gut bacteria)

Re:Find it, eat it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653458)

Google fecal transplant. It's a real thing.

Re:Find it, eat it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653830)

Google fecal transplant.

That doesn't sound like a kid-safe thing to do. :-)

Re:Find it, eat it (5, Funny)

blueturffan (867705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654732)

Google fecal transplant. It's a real thing.

And I thought Google Wave was a bad idea. I don't care how many invites I get, I'm not trying Google Fecal Transplant.

To be pedantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653394)

Therein lies the path to morbid obesity

Not quite therein, as the conditions also have to include the person eating an amount of calories far greater than he expends from physical activity, and continuing to do so long after obvious changes in his body.

Re:To be pedantic (3, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653550)

That's not pedantic - it's a simple fact that seems to be lost on people. Sure, there are factors like diabetes and glandular issues that can make it easier to put weight on... but you still have to eat more than you use!

inefficiency causes waste - fat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653678)

I'm not so sure. Let's say your body's metabolism degrades such that you can only convert to useful energy 20% of the food you eat, as opposed to before when you could 60% (numbers just pulled out of my ass). Your body still needs the same amount of energy, but now you need to eat three times as much just to survive. A lot of that excess becomes fat and I see no way around that happening under these conditions.

Re:inefficiency causes waste - fat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653920)

A lot of that excess becomes fat and I see no way around that happening under these conditions.

Easy: poop more.

Re:inefficiency causes waste - fat (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654304)

You so missed an ExLax brownie joke there.

Re:inefficiency causes waste - fat (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654930)

If your body can only convert 20% of the food you eat to energy, what would it be doing with the other 80% that it can convert it to fat? Processing the food is a prerequisite to converting it to anything..

Re:To be pedantic (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653556)

Which are conditions that exist for virtually the entire population already.

first principles (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653402)

Maybe it's just me but the obvious question would seem to be: what causes insulin resistance in the first place?

Re:first principles (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654380)

Maybe it's just me but the obvious question would seem to be: what causes insulin resistance in the first place?

Voltage(insulin) / Current(insulin) ??

I have a gut feeling about this. (2, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653420)

Insert spam for gut bacteria pills that cure diabetes here.

Poop Pills (2)

gwn (594936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654254)

No joke. There are existing therapies where individuals who have seriously disrupted gut bacteria colonies basically take a poop pill. The idea is that you re-seed the GI track with the desirable flora in order to establish a healthy and balanced community. Of course the source of the donated flora is something that you might not want to dwell on too long.

Of course other animals do this all the time voluntarily.

Re:Poop Pills (2)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655014)

Not a pill, a transplant from a close family member, since their genetics will more closely match yours. Not much to dwell on, really; if it'll save your life, you do it.

Re:I have a gut feeling about this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654428)

Damnit Jim I'm a doctor not a doctor.

Of Mice And Men (-1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653530)

Mice aren't people. Most animal testing doesn't work because humans are different from the animals experimented with. That is why phase 1 (human testing) trials are so dangerous.

As far as type 2 diabetes goes, it is the result of chronically overeating. It is like continuing to pump gas into your car long after the tank is filled.

You can prevent type 2 diabetes simply by making sure you are hungry ( stomach rumbling ) before you eat, not eating crap and getting some exercise.

Make sure you are hungry? What? (4, Insightful)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653624)

Of many animals both available in abundance and ones that people don't feel too bad about possibly killing, mice and pigs share enough DNA and inner workings to make them both adequate test subjects. Animal testing works very well for many drugs, though of course we won't know how it will exactly react with people just as reactions will differ from person to person. Unlike animals, we interact with other drugs, activities, eating habits, and existing conditions.

But I'm sure people with Diabetes are happier with your "[make] sure you are hungry" remedy. /sarcasm

Just out of curiosity, are you also an antivaxxer? Psuedo-science is not "like" science. It is the opposite of real science.

Re:Make sure you are hungry? What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654188)

But I'm sure people with Diabetes are happier with your "[make] sure you are hungry" remedy. /sarcasm

Just out of curiosity, are you also an antivaxxer? Psuedo-science is not "like" science. It is the opposite of real science.

Ah, yes, we can't possibly suggest personal responsibility in this day and age. No, instead, it's obviously the fault of gut bacteria, that - despite working just fine for everyone else - suddenly makes the guys who eat nothing by McDonalds all day balloons. It's clearly not the fault of the guy shoving Twinkies in his face all day.

No, it's the fault of GUT BACTERIA. Based on mouse studies. And nothing else.

Who's using pseudo-science here? It's pretty well established science that eating more calories than you burn will make you fat. You can even view that on a fairly simple physics level, via the "conservation of energy/mass." Pretty basic SCIENCE, and certainly NOT pseudo-science by any means.

Re:Make sure you are hungry? What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654714)

Do your homework and read about causes of diabetes type 2.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes_mellitus_type_2

The gut bacteria research is not suggesting a cure (while there might be cases where it is indeed caused by them). It is a possible pathway to discovering how this illness "works", because something this bacteria produces could be activating the same mechanisms that're responsible for any other kind of type 2.

Re:Of Mice And Men (1)

drainbramage (588291) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653720)

Wouldn't it be more like over charging a battery thereby damaging it?
To maintain the car analogy the battery could be in your chevy volt.

If you over fill a gas tank it splashes out at you, more like vomiting, perhaps more akin to a bulimic?

Re:Of Mice And Men (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653822)

Mice aren't people. Most animal testing doesn't work because humans are different from the animals experimented with. That is why phase 1 (human testing) trials are so dangerous.

As far as type 2 diabetes goes, it is the result of chronically overeating. It is like continuing to pump gas into your car long after the tank is filled.

You can prevent type 2 diabetes simply by making sure you are hungry ( stomach rumbling ) before you eat, not eating crap and getting some exercise.

That has got to be the most asinine statement ever.
If type 2 diabetes is the result of over eating; then explain all the non-overweight type 2 diabetics.

What's so cool about this is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653846)

Sure, there are differences, but the principle is important because it should be both easy and safe to do follow-up research on humans to determine whether there's an analog. We could actually see clinical application in less than 5 years if folks get on the stick.

disclaimer: Just my opinion, IANACR.

Re:Of Mice And Men (2)

mjr167 (2477430) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653942)

I'm sure that over eating is the only possible cause of type 2 diabetes just like it's the only cause of heart failure and smoking is the only cause of lung cancer and drinking is the only cause of liver failure. Do you also believe that AIDs is the wrath of God? Correlation != causation. While some people are able to control their diabetes through diet and exercise, there are plenty of fit, active people that cannot.

Not just eating (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654130)

The way we eat certainly impacts our blood sugar and can accelerate type II diabetes, but it is -not- the only cause.

Take a read here:
http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/14046739.php

There are LOTS of different types of diabetes, not just I and II.
Genetic disposition makes a huge, huge difference. A few examples:

(1) Identical Twin Studies: If one twin has Type 2 Diabetes, the chance that the other will have it also are 4 out of 5. This is even if they are raised in different households, so it's not just an environment issue. Also, non-identical twins did not see this correlation.

(2) Genetic markers - Beta cell glucose sensitivity is decreased by 39% in non-diabetic individuals carrying multiple diabetes-risk alleles compared with those with no risk alleles.

And lots more at that link I posted above. In short, eating high carb / sugars / fructose / etc accelerate type II diabetes for those that are genetically inclined to have it, but does almost nothing to those who have fully functional bodies.

That said, somewhere around 30% of the US right now is in a pre-diabetes range, so we need to address the food issue ASAP.

Re:Of Mice And Men (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654742)

You can prevent type 2 diabetes simply by making sure you are hungry ( stomach rumbling ) before you eat, not eating crap and getting some exercise.

I think the eating less crap and exercise more are the important bits there. There seems to be a lot of debate over the healthiest way to eat (smaller meals throughout the day is the one I subscribe to) but I think ultimately even if you only eat one huge meal a day, if you are exercising and eating reasonably healthy food, you are going to be fine.

I used to be fairly heavy, and I found that just cutting down on the most unhealthy stuff, paying a little more attention to what I was eating, and getting a little exercise every day started making a difference right away.

All the information around what you should eat and how much and when overcomplicates the simple fact that if you cram junkfood and sit on your ass all day, you get fatter. When you stop doing that, you get thinner. Once you are healthy and want to get to the extremely healthy category all that nutritional science probably has it's place.. but if you are 250 just cutting out the soda and chips is going to do a world of good.

Maybe it's genetics and some people are wired to have a much harder time losing weight.. but I personally found it surprisingly straight forward.

Re:Of Mice And Men (2)

RandCraw (1047302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654898)

You need to quit giving medical advice. Type 2 diabetes has several causes, and those that you mention are simply not sufficient to identify the disease.

Many people will eat too many Calories, eat too many simple carbs, fail to exercise, and do so for 50 years and *still* not contract T2. In addition to diet, genetics and physical activity play very large roles in developing Syndrome X and T2.

For example, Arthur Ashe, Thomas Edison, Robert Guillaume, Billie Jean King, Jackie Robinson, Ernest Hemingway, and Ben Vereen are or were T2 diabetics. Halle Berry too is diabetic, and like many, her onset, symptoms, and therapy aren't classically T1 or T2.

Re:Of Mice And Men (1)

EXrider (756168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654922)

As far as type 2 diabetes goes, it is the result of chronically overeating. It is like continuing to pump gas into your car long after the tank is filled.

LOL... Wow, worst car analogy ever.

Will this need to be FDA approved? (4, Interesting)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653534)

As a pre-diabetic myself I'm wondering if this will need to be FDA approved?

I mean aren't active yeast cultures okay in non-FDA approved yogurt? Since these are (I presume) non-pathogenic bacteria, couldn't they also be made available over the counter in pill form (packaged as dried spores?).

I guess you'd still need a prescription for the anti-biotics to clear out the existing flora in your gut though.

Re:Will this need to be FDA approved? (0)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653566)

As a pre-diabetic myself I'm wondering if this will need to be FDA approved?

What makes you think this would help one bit? They created an artificial problem in mice, which as a result leads to the same problems as Type 2 diabetes, then fix the artificial problem. If you are not a mouse, then this is unlikely to work for you. And if your condition isn't caused by someone changing your gut bacteria to something very unhealthy, they have nothing that could help you.

Re:Will this need to be FDA approved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654384)

Not feeling like reaching hard today huh?

It's not like they could identify the bacteria that reduced their insulin resistance, determine what's different, move that difference to E. Coli in human gut and get lower insulin resistance.

Re:Will this need to be FDA approved? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653582)

You can start the process without anti-biotics. They just kill everything and you start fresh. You can introduce new "good" bacteria on your own. There was a product called Florastor that I took for a while that did help. It wasn't for this specific problem so you'd have to locate something with the proper one.

Re:Will this need to be FDA approved? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654388)

Posting AC since I'm at work...
 
1: pathogenicity of a bacteria is more complicated than just a species name. It has to do with the location of the bacteria (i.e. E. coli in your intestines is just fine; getting it in your eyes is pinkeye, and can cause more severe problems other places in your body), and the receptors on the surface of that particular strain (for instance, many strains of E. coli won't make you sick if you eat them, but get the O157H7 strain, and it has the receptors that allow it to colonize places in your body which will do you harm). The right mixture of bacteria will also be essential for maintaining health, and is a complicated mixture to get right once, much less controled production on a large scale. Also, not all bacteria are spore-forming, and storage conditions vary widely; (though -80C aliqots stored in a nutrient rich cryopreservative are fairly fool-proof - but that would make shelf life and distribution difficult).
 
2: Since pathogenicity of the bacteria is dependent upon administration route, these are very unlikely to be able to be sold over the counter as they could be considered pathogenic when used incorrectly. Ensuring proper storage conditions and administration put this pretty squarely in the medical treatment category, which consequently will need FDA approval. Honestly, the fecal tranplant from a healthy individual treatetment others have mentioned here is probably the better way.

That reeks of poo transplants (3, Informative)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653592)

Re:That reeks of poo transplants (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654410)

That sounds just like it, but with lazy scientists who didn't want to identify the specific bacteria.

Or you could just not be overweight (3)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653594)

Type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome are so easy to prevent by not eating the wrong kinds of foods that it's more accurate to refer to those conditions as lifestyle choices rather than diseases.

Re:Or you could just not be overweight (4, Insightful)

nanospook (521118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653840)

What came first? The chicken or the egg? You see it as lifestyle choices but may not realize that the life style is being impacted metabolically behind the scenes. A person may act like a slug because they don't have energy. Its a cycle and it's hard to change. I'm a diabetic. But I exercise and eat fairly well. But when I was younger all I did was crave sugar constantly. 2/3's of my family tree going back 3 generations is diabetic. I don't think it's quite so cut and dry. To play devil's advocate, yes eating good and exercising will help tons! But it just doesn't always change the WHY of it happening.

Re:Or you could just not be overweight (5, Informative)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654020)

Part of the problem is that so many people have been taught that "eating well" means avoiding saturated fat and eating lots of grains and vegetable oil, despite the evidence that such a diet has the exact opposite effect of what is claimed. Once you figure out that eating well means almost the complete opposite of what the government-sponsored experts have been telling us for the last 30 years it becomes very easy to reverse the process.

Re:Or you could just not be overweight (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654540)

While eating less saturated fat is a good step it is not a solution and eating lots of any oil is bad, and not a serious issue unless you have high cholesterol(which can also be controlled with exercise). Eating whole grain bread and other goods as a substitute for white-bread and processed carbohydrates does spread out the sugar release and help to control hunger pangs and chocolate cravings, but you are supposed to swap them in as a substitute not eat "lots" because they are healthy which is counter-productive. I have in short never heard a real expert advocating the diet you are proposing it is an oversimplified caricature, but one oftern peddled by semi uniformed "nutritionists".

Re:Or you could just not be overweight (5, Informative)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654628)

I lost 50 lbs by eliminating sugar, starches and grains (and byproducts) and replacing those with saturated fats, green vegetables and meat without even bothering to think about calories and without spending nearly every waking moment exercising. The primal/paleo diets work for a lot of people, far more than are able to make a low-calorie, low-fat diet work for any substantial period of time.

Re:Or you could just not be overweight (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654044)

Unfortunately, the foods that are standard recommendation for 'healthy' eating are exactly the foods that many people should not be eating, and many of the foods that they are told to avoid are the ones they should be eating.

Of course the myth that weight gain is all about eating and exercise is both ridiculous and obvious in being ridiculous. Look at these people that are 350-400 pounds. Could you get to that weight if you tried? I doubt it. I know that if I put an effort into it, I MIGHT be able to reach 300 pounds. There is no way that I could reach 400, even with effort. Conversely, I could also never reach 150 lbs without resorting to amputation. There is simply a range that my body is genetically capable of achieving. The same applies to everyone else.

Re:Or you could just not be overweight (4, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654272)

Conversely, I could also never reach 150 lbs without resorting to amputation. There is simply a range that my body is genetically capable of achieving. The same applies to everyone else.

I've seen and experienced for myself far too many success stories with low carb/primal eating to take claims like that at face value. My personal experience corresponds to Mark Sisson's claim that diet is 80% of what determines your body composition.

Re:Or you could just not be overweight (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655056)

Look at these people that are 350-400 pounds. Could you get to that weight if you tried? I doubt it. I know that if I put an effort into it, I MIGHT be able to reach 300 pounds. There is no way that I could reach 400, even with effort. Conversely, I could also never reach 150 lbs without resorting to amputation. There is simply a range that my body is genetically capable of achieving. The same applies to everyone else.

Not with attitude.

Story of a woman who lost all gut bacteria... (3, Interesting)

pebbert (624675) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653614)

Here is a story of a woman who lost all her gut bacteria and almost died because she couldn't digest her food. They injected some of her husbands and cured her almost instantly. http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/26178/ [technologyreview.com]

Homeopathy (0)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653622)

And the homeopathic crowd goes wild!

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654472)

I can't tell if you are trolling or you are an idiot, because the linked article is reporting on very interesting and well done basic biomedical research conducted by mainstream scientists working at respected institutions of higher learning and scientific investigation that contributes to the body of medical knowledge and insight into a very important cause of human morbidity.

Absolutely nothing in the linked article has anything to do with homeopathy, which is neither mainstream nor scientific.

Re:Homeopathy (1)

schitso (2541028) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654534)

"A system for the treatment of disease by minute doses of natural substances that in a healthy person would produce symptoms of disease" How is this homeopathy? Just because something doesn't suggest that the only way to help someone with a disease is to throw pills at them until something happens, doesn't make it homeopathic.

...in mice (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653634)

While mammals have many things in common the gut fauna of humans is different of mice's. They were immune to diabetes to begin with, so I think they are not a good model at all for these studies. Sure, the researchers found a way to give them diabetes, but that doesn't mean that human diabetes has the same cause.

Re:...in mice (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653834)

However, it sure deserves trials in humans to qualify it as non-working.

Quatrotriticale? (2)

wrencherd (865833) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653644)

Whenever I read something like this (from TFA):

Think about it: all the McCrap you can eat, yet your blood sugar level remains normal (although you still grow fat).

I think about how closely the description of "McCrap" and HFCS resemble the grain that starved the Tribbles to death on Star Trek.

Re:Quatrotriticale? (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654722)

Please stop. Contrary to what stupid people say, there is nutrition in Mcdonalds burger. Plenty, in fact. there is also a load ton of fat and salt.
And HFCS is no different then Cane Sugar or beat sugar.

Type II Diabetes (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653694)

It's a common oversight in reporting about Diabetes not to recognize that there are two separate diseases with the same name. Type I ("One") Diabetes, also called Juvenile Diabetes, is caused largely by genetics and some unknown environmental factors. It is an auto-immune disease in which the immune system attacks the pancreas, causing the body to produce no more insulin. It's the type that requires insulin injections multiple times per day as well as constant monitoring.

Type II ("Two", Adult) Diabetes is caused by genetics in combination with unhealthy lifestyle habits such as unhealthy diets. It's triggered when the body forms a resistance to insulin, normally due to its high concentration in the body resulting from unhealthy eating. It can often be managed by improving diet and/or oral medication, though in some cases it requires insulin injections.

Both diseases result in high blood sugars, and thus the same symptoms, which is why they share a name.

As a Type I Diabetic, it's frustrating when people assume I had an unhealthy childhood or poor eating habits as a young adult due to shoddy reporting that conflates the two diseases due to their horrible naming. I remember there being some call to rename one of the diseases to help avoid this confusion. But I can't seem to find a reference on the Wikipedia articles.

When discussing Diabetes in the future, please be careful to specify which type you are referring to as they are really separate diseases.

Re:Type II Diabetes (1)

metalgamer84 (1916754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653828)

I've been a Type 1 diabetic for almost 25 years now. I've never once taken offense or gotten frustrated when people unknowingly refer to Type 2 diabetes as "Diabetes". If anything, it opens the door on educating people on the differences as you have just done above. There are so many medical conditions with difference nuances and particularities these days that its not worth getting upset over the fact that an average person doesn't know the difference about a medical condition that you have.

Re:Type II Diabetes (1)

Krater76 (810350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654334)

My wife is a Type I and constantly gets annoyed when the two are used interchangeably. When some stupid TV personality talks about how you can control 'diabeetus' with diet and exercise it takes away from the other spectrum of individuals who can't control it that way. It reduces the visibility of the disease of Type I, making it look like a lifestyle disease, like alcoholism or an STD, instead of a chronic but manageable illness, like arthritis, Lyme disease, or MS.

Re:Type II Diabetes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654624)

Type 1 here for 15 years or so, and I think he is refering how people judge you for the factors that cause type 2 when getting type 1 is out of your control(unless you move to type 1 from 2 for taking poor care of yourself).

I have heard talking behind my back before about how I got diabetes because I was a fat kid (when granted I was overweight, but not obese) when that has nothing to do with getting type 1. The amount of disinformation and preconceptions about diabetes are so awful I generally find that I just avoid letting people know I have it, which is technicly dangerous in itself if I get low blood sugar. People don't understand that a healthy diet (actually healthy, not "healthy" as most people do with eating huge amounts of pasta and other carbs) is perfectly fine for type 1's.

I happen to have an insulin pump, which is either a choice, or in some cases doctors require you to be in good control to authorize you to get one. Pump users are generally in better control and need to test their blood sugars more times per day. But I hear all the time about "his diabetes got so bad they had to stick him on this permanent pump thing"(not in reference to me, and they didnt know I was diabetic/had a pump). I think people just want to gossip mainly.

Re:Type II Diabetes (0)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38653924)

*in simpsons laugh*
hah hah!

Hygenic Food (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38653968)

When i was in India, we were clean, but not clean by American standards, i mean we didn't spray around chlorinated spray everywhere we touch, yes we washed hands after using the restrooms (typically took baths), cooked fresh food everyday etc etc.
But in USA, i have seen that we try to have almost sterile environments and because of that even minor infections get people down, the bodies here don't seem to have their own immunity, the gut bacteria's flora-fona is not that expansive (number of species) people have and another factor we have noticed is that the doctors are all to keen to prescribe antibiotics for minor infections which once ingested first kill the bacteria in gut and then kill the bacteria in the blood/other places. The kill is for all the (either gram positive or gram negative bacteria), regardless whether they are useful or harmful.
We also eradicated all the parasites we had in our intestines, maybe all of them were not bad, and our bodies had evolved to use the parasite's to have symbiotic relationship with our systems rather than misunderstood currently by scientists that all organisms in our intestines are parasites.
Before people jump on me and say that you need to have a entire zoo of animals in my rear, I'm saying that only worms/parasites which were NOT that harmful can be introduced back with much benefit to our bodies.
Recently i have heard on talk shows on NPR that lot of experiments have been recently conducted with regards to benefits not not have a sterile/clean intestines.

Re:Hygenic Food (1)

ZiggieTheGreat (934388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654166)

In other words --

kids, go outside and eat dirt like when I was a kid!

This isn't news to some (4, Interesting)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654048)

I've read about similar results from fecal transplants to replace colon flora. If I understand it correctly, there are actually doctors that will "reset" your colon flora by giving you a high dose of antibiotics and then basically stick someone else's poop up your butt. I'm sure it's more scientific than that, but it supposedly repopulates your colon with different flora and the people that have undergone the procedure swear it made them lose weight or recover from other problems, etc.

Wired wrote about it too, but I haven't read that specific article yet: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/12/fecal-transplants-work/ [wired.com]

Autism seems to be linked to gut bacteria too (1)

gwn (594936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654152)

CBC TV in Canada aired a show focusing on Autism and links to gut bacteria. http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Shows/The_Nature_of_Things [www.cbc.ca] The episode is titled The Autism Enigma.

Well worth watching.

Considering that the bacteria in our bodies outnumber our own cells (numerically) it should not be a surprise that when they get messed with we get messed up.

Fecal Transplants - Gross But Awesome (1)

LordNicholas (2174126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654172)

Studies into the gut flora and how it impacts various aspects of our health is an exploding field. Diabetes, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohen's Disease, and c. Diff are all conditions that studies like this one are increasingly linking to imbalances in the gut flora.

Amazingly, actually fixing the imbalance seems to be both attainable and relatively easy in some cases- but the current strategies are... a little gross:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fecal_bacteriotherapy [wikipedia.org]

Basically you get poo from a healthy donor (usually a family member) with a "balanced" flora, screen for parasites, mix up a poo-enema, and squirt it up your butt. Seriously. In theory, the influx of properly balanced bacterial colonies replaces the depleted strains. At the moment this is not an FDA-approved therapy (obviously), and doctors in the US won't touch this except for a few small trials for specific illnesses, but some doctors in Australia have been experimenting with this for c. Diff with some impressive results (http://www.cdd.com.au/). This has the potential to be an extremely easy "fix" for variety of diseases that could significantly improve quality of life for many, many people; as a sufferer of Ulcerative Colitis myself, I'd be more than happy to squirt some poo up my butt instead of taking a cocktail of drugs with all kinds of unpleasant side effects for the rest of my life.

Sadly, the gross factor is probably turning off a lot of serious research. It'll be interesting to see if any of the US drug manufacturers can put this into a pill form, thus becoming incentivized to fund all the trials necessary.

Re:Fecal Transplants - Gross But Awesome (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654506)

Why couldn't they just identify the bacteria in the healthy poo and give you a pill, yogurt, drink of it?

Re:Fecal Transplants - Gross But Awesome (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654654)

Because, contrary to TV Commercial and people selling you any woo think to get your money, yogurt doesn't really help the gut.

Also, Fecal bacteriotherapy , is, complete crap. Pun intended. Their is no good evidence it works.

The gross factor does not turn off research. The fact that it keeps showing to be worthless is why ti doesn't get much research anymore.

Harbinger (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654298)

Eventually, pharmacology will focus on the use of indigenous microorganisms for treatment of most human ailments. It may not seem obvious now, but once the patents start churning out, it will become as plain as the snot-filled, puss-covered nose on your face.

Re:Harbinger (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654612)

" use of indigenous microorganisms for treatment of most human ailments."
complete nonsense.
IN some cases? maybe. But it will be a few, at best. Stop looking for a silver bullet.

Similar to other serious bacteriological (2)

spads (1095039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654502)

conditions like ulcerative colitis, I don't think this is due to the accidental depletion of normal GI flora, such that it could be remedied by re-application. It is due to life-style issues which are non-conducive to those organisms. Just because we are willing to submit ourselves to some of the things we do, doesn't mean that certain critical passengers will be willing to. We need to pursue critical life-sustaining activities and quality rather than so-often depending in medical miracles, which are often temporary band aids at best.

well the bacteria in your gut (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654598)

does out number you. Seriously.

I almost believe we evolved to carry bacteria around~

You are doing it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655038)

The headlines should say "Gut Bacteria can control TYPE 2 diabetes" Bug difference. As type 1 diabetics do not produce any of their own insulin, it does not matter whether they are insulin resistant or not because they have to inject insulin anyways.

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