Preliminary results from a clinical trial that aims to demonstrate the role of good gut health in preventing and treating type 1 diabetes has delivered some promising outcomes.
Researchers believe that gut bacteria plays an important role in helping digest food, regular blood glucose and develop immune cells.
The JDRF-funded study, headed up by Associate Professor Dr Emma Hamilton Williams from the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute in collaboration with researchers from Monash University, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and Universite libre de Bruxelles, aims to demonstrate how diet affects both the gut health of people with type 1 diabetes and their blood glucose management.
Previous findings from a 2017 study have shown that altering gut microbiota in mice through a specially designed fibre-based diet led to a 90 per cent reduction of developing type 1 diabetes.
“We have pioneered the use of metaproteomics to understand host-microbiota interactions in type 1 diabetes,” Dr Hamilton-Williams said.
“We hope to use this approach to uncover novel biomarkers associated with intestinal inflammation in type 1 diabetes and are now using this method to monitor therapeutic response in a gut microbiota targeted clinical trial.”
Dr Hamilton-Williams said the study used network analysis to show that gut bacteria in people with recent-onset type 1 diabetes doesn’t interact with intestinal proteins linked with the gut mucous barrier in the same way as “healthy subjects”.
“We showed that genetic susceptibility to type 1 diabetes is one of the causes of a disturbed gut microbiota in disease via altered intestinal immunity,” she says.
“However, immunotherapy could restore the gut to a normal state and remodel the microbiota.”
Source: JRDF/University of Queensland