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Unique Inflamed Gut Linked to Type 1 Diabetes

Researchers' Findings Raise Hopes for Treatment

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Researchers in Milan, Italy, have found that individuals with Type 1 diabetes display a unique inflammatory signature and microbiome in their digestive tract. The study examined biopsies from 54 patients that underwent endoscopies at the city’s San Raffaele Hospital between 2009 and 2015. The samples came from each patient’s duodenum, the upper part of the small intestine, and allowed scientists to directly assess the bacteria in the digestive tract, rather than relying on stool samples.

The results of the samples were compared to gut bacteria from a control group of healthy individuals without Type 1 diabetes and others with celiac disease. Researchers found that the diabetes group showed more signs of gut inflammation than the other groups, and it was linked to 10 specific genes, also marking them as having a unique combination of bacteria.

“By exploring this, we may be able to find new ways to treat the disease by targeting the unique gastrointestinal characteristics of individuals with Type 1 diabetes,” explains the study’s senior author, Dr. Lorenzo Piemonti, with the hospital’s Diabetes Research Institute.


This article appears in the July 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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