Main points and summary
- Individuals with metabolic problems (elevated blood sugar, insulin resistance, obesity) are caught in the middle of a major shift in the scientific understanding of what induces these problems. Modern medicine treats diabesity either by a medical model (drugs) or bariatric surgery (gastric band or bypass) when it is now recognized that alterations in the composition of bacteria in the lower intestine (gut) initiate these problems. Patients may have to venture on their own to put corrective measures into practice.
- Inclusion of more indigestible carbohydrates in the American diet is the most practical remedy but the public is likely to get confused over advice to limit processed carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta, cereal) vs. increased consumption of bran, pectin and other indigestible carbohydrates. It is unlikely the American public will go back to eating unprocessed foods. Convenience and prepared foods reign.
- A particular bacterium, Akkermansia muciniphila (AKK), is responsible for the production of butyrate, the major source of cell energy in the gut. The provision of butyrate completely eradicates measures of metabolic illness in laboratory animals but may only produce a transient effect in humans. The use of other indigestible fibers (bran, pectin, polyphenols) is likely to be the most efficacious. Indigestible starch is another preferential option.
- Weight reduction can be achieved by these measures via promotion of satiation that results in eating less food and by burning more calories.
How does diabetes get started?
In 2007 researchers in France were the first to report gut bacteria initiates to the onset of adult diabetes and the inability to utilize insulin.[i] Insulin is a hormone secreted…