TYPE 2 DIABETES – a condition which is a affecting a growing number of Brits – could be prevented with a diet high in fibre, experts have revealed.
A high concentration of a substance called indolepropionic acid which is produced by bacteria in the intestine protects against type 2 diabetes, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland has revealed.
Indolepropionic acid is produced by intestinal bacteria, and its production is boosted by a fibre-rich diet – which includes nuts, cereals and beans.
According to the researchers, the discovery provides additional insight into the role of intestinal bacteria when looking at diet and metabolism.
The study was carried out by experts at the University of Eastern Finland together with a large number of partners from Finnish and Swedish research institutes.
The study compared two groups participating in the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study, DPS.
At the onset of the study, all participants were overweight and had impaired glucose tolerance.
The researchers investigated 200 participants with impaired glucose tolerance, who either developed type 2 diabetes within the first five years, or did not convert to type 2 diabetes within a 15-year follow-up.
The greatest differences in the metabolic profiles of those who developed type 2 diabetes and those who didn’t were observed in the concentrations of indolepropionic acid.
A high concentration of indolepropionic acid in the serum was discovered to protect against diabetes.
A diet rich in whole grain products and dietary fibre increased the indolepropionic acid concentration.
“Earlier studies, too, have linked intestinal bacteria with the risk of disease in overweight people,” said Kati Hanhineva, Academy Research Fellow from the University of Eastern Finland.
“Our findings suggest that indolepropionic acid may be one factor that mediates the protective effect of diet and intestinal bacteria.”
Experts said the most important lifestyle changes included weight loss, more exercise and dietary adjustments to include more whole grain products, fruits and vegetables.
Every week 4,500 people are diagnosed with diabetes across the UK.
The condition, which can be caused by being overweight and poor diet can cause blindness, limbs to be amputated and even kidney failure.
The findings were published in Scientific Reports.
Originally written by OLIVIA LERCHE, published at Express.co.uk
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