In November of 2016, the Journal of Medicinal Food reported on a study showing people diagnosed with diabetes and/or heart problems, as well as healthy people, have distinctly different types of bacteria predominating in their intestines. Scientists at the University of Agronomic Science and Veterinary Medicine and the University of Bucharest in Romania analyzed the different bacteria taken from the intestines of the three groups…
1. The diabetic group showed higher levels of aerobic bacteria and coliforms, and low levels of bifidobacteria. Clostridia was present in large numbers, and there were different numbers of each species of bacteria throughout the intestines of the diabetic group.
2. The heart and blood vessel disease group showed a more nearly normal bacterial content, with a higher number of beneficial bacteria than were seen in the people in the diabetes group.
Some bacteria make lactic acid, or lactate, which changes the acid balance in the colon. The three groups showed different levels of the molecule, suggesting acid levels could play a part in colonic health.
Another molecule, ammonium, linked with colon cancer, was found in high concentrations in gram-positive bacteria, a type of bacteria found in quantity in Type 2 diabetics. Could this be the reason for the high risk of some types of cancer in diabetes?
The researchers concluded these discoveries could lead to important treatments for the two serious diseases.
The types of bacteria usually found in the colon are as follows…
1. Aerobic bacteria are those that use oxygen to “breathe.” Anaerobic bacteria do not use oxygen.
2. Clostridia are commonly found in the gut of many species, including humans. There is some research showing this particular bacteria might help protect against the development of food allergies. Clostridia can cause illness if it overgrows.
3. Bifidobacteria are classed as being helpful bacteria because they produce an acid that blocks harmful bacteria.
4. Coliforms include E. coli, harmless strains which are typically found in the human gut. Rare strains can cause severe disease. Other species include Klebsiella, Enterobacter, and Citrobacter.
5. Lactate-forming bacteria are often given as probiotics and can be found in yogurt. There is some concern about the overgrowth of these bacteria causing lactic acidosis.
6. Gram-positive bacteria refers to the gram-stain test, used to help identify the species. Bacteria can be either gram-positive or gram-negative depending upon their cell wall compositions. Ammonium is usually found in the small intestine and is harmless in small quantities.