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High-fibre diet can help manage Type 2 diabetes

Raghu Kshitiz



High-fibre diet can help manage Type 2 diabetes. Representational Image

NEW YORK — Consuming more of dietary fibres that promote a type of gut bacteria, leading to better blood glucose control, may help in the fight against Type 2 diabetes, researchers have discovered.

The findings, published Friday in the journal Science, showed that a diversified high fibre diet can promote 15 strains of gut bacteria which produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) provide energy to gut cells, reduce inflammation and help regulate hunger.

The six-year long study, led by Rutgers University, shows that these dietary fibers may rebalance the gut microbiota, the ecosystem of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract that help digest food.

“Our study lays the foundation and opens the possibility that fibers targeting this group of gut bacteria could eventually become a major part of your diet and your treatment,” said lead author Liping Zhao, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, in a press release.

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In research based in China, Zhao and scientists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Yan Lam, a research assistant professor in Zhao’s lab at Rutgers, studied patients with type 2 diabetes in two groups.

In a 27-person treatment group, participants were was given a large amount of many types of dietary fibers, along with a similar diet for energy and major nutrients.

A control group of 16, meanwhile, received standard patient education and dietary recommendations. Both groups also took the drug acarbose to help control blood glucose.

After 12 weeks, patients on the high-fibre diet had greater reduction in a three-month average of blood glucose levels.In addition, their fasting blood glucose levels dropped faster and they lost more weight than the standard care group.

Only 15 of the 141 identifiable strains of short-chain fatty acid-producing gut bacteria are likely to be the key drivers of better health, researchers say, but they became the dominant strains in the gut after boosting short-chain fatty acids butyrate and acetate. They also led to increased insulin production and better blood glucose control.

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Many bacteria break down carbohydrates, such as dietary fibers, and produce short-chain fatty acids that nourish cells lining the gut. In turn, they reduce inflammation and help control appetite.

But in diabetes and other diseases, there a shortage of bacteria’s short-chain fatty acids.

Researchers say they plan further studies to determine if greater changes to the gut microbiota could do more to help treat type 2 diabetes.

With Agency Inputs

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Urinary, respiratory tract infections may double stroke risk

IANS Indo Asian News Service




Urinary, respiratory tract infections may double stroke risk. Representational Image

NEW YORK — People who are suffering from urinary or respiratory tract infections may face nearly double the risk of heart attacks and strokes than obesity, researchers have warned.

The study — led by a researcher of Indian origin — found that if the frequency of these common infections causing hospitalisation continues for a longer period it may even lead to death.

Patients diagnosed with any one of these common infections were three times more likely to die than those without prior infection after developing heart disease, and almost twice as likely to die if they had a stroke.

“Our figures suggest that those who are admitted to hospital with a respiratory or urinary tract infection are 40 per cent more likely to suffer a subsequent heart attack, and 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke, than patients who have had no such infection, and are considerably less likely to survive from these conditions,” Rahul Potluri, researcher at Britain’s Aston University, said in a statement.

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The effects of the common infections were of similar magnitude among the people suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol, researchers said.

“It is notable that infection appears to confer as much, if not more, of a risk for future heart disease and stroke as very well established risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes,” Potluri added.

Researchers conducted the study over 34,027 patients who had been admitted with a urinary or respiratory tract infection with an age and sex-matched control group without infection.

Factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, obesity and tobacco use, as well as medical conditions including excess cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation were also taken into account.

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