Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden and Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden examined the bacterial genes of 145 women with diabetes and compared them to those of healthy women. Specifically, the metagenome -- a combination of both bacterial genes and the genes that reside in our own cells -- was observed. The women with type 2 diabetes had different gut microbiota than the healthy women in the study.
Analyzing gut microbiota is the basis for a new model used to differentiate between healthy patients and those who have type 2 diabetes. The newer model using microbiota seems to do a better job of identifying patients with type 2 diabetes than the more traditional predictive models such as waist-hip ratio and body-mass index. Professor Fredrik Backhed of the University of Gothenburg said that if it is possible to "find out whether the composition of the gut microbiota promotes the onset of age-related diabetes, this would indicate new opportunities to prevent the disease."
Fredrik H. Karlsson, Valentina Tremaroli, Intawat Nookaew, Göran Bergström, Carl Johan Behre, Björn Fagerberg, Jens Nielsen, Fredrik Bäckhed. Gut metagenome in European women with normal, impaired and diabetic glucose control. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature12198