Prediabetes Patients Have Fewer Gut Bugs

The title of this post represents the findings of a recently published study funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs that examined the composition of bacterial gut flora in correlation with prediabetic symptoms. Elena Barengolts, MD, at the University of Illinois College of Medicine presented her findings at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.

MedPageToday summarized her press conference announcement in the following manner:

“There were significant differences in bacterial composition between the first and second groups (P=0.03) at the phylum level. Bacteroidetes was higher and Firmicutes was lower with worse glycemic control in the second group. The Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes ratio was 1.9 versus 0.9 in group 1 and 2 (P=0.01) and 1.9 versus 1.1 in group 1 and 3 (P=0.04).”

Though this investigation focused on 116 veteran African American males between ages 45-75 (average age of 60) divided into four groups, the findings were statistically significant (P≦0.05). Given the small size of the cohort their findings should be taken seriously warranting further investigations of more diverse age, sex and genetic background.  Lifestyle considerations were not screened/selected for this study.

Medpage quotes the author with two significant conclusions for adherents of  naturopathic medicine:

“Diet, especially the consumption of probiotics and prebiotics, may lead to healthier bacteria profiles, Barengolts said.”


“While changes in microbiota have been described in obesity and diabetes, little is known about microbiota composition in various dysglycemic states,” said the researchers. “[But] there is emerging evidence that intestinal microbiota is a contributor to the metabolic/glycemic phenotype.”

This article affirms an emerging mainstream research emphasis on understanding the relationships between the composition and nature of human gut ecology the global rise noninfectious diseases.

Thanks to Parker Brown Staff Writer at MedPage Today

Article Source Reference: Ciubotaru I, et al “Significant differences in fecal microbiota are associated with various stages of glucose tolerance in African-American male veterans” ENDO 2015; Abstract FRI-597.



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