There are trillions of various bacteria in the human body. Under normal circumstances, these intestinal bacteria coexist peacefully with us, and once they lose their balance, they may cause disease. These bacteria that live in our intestines are called “intestinal flora”, and they may be inextricably linked to obesity and diabetes.
What is intestinal flora
There are a large number of microorganisms in the human intestine, which are composed of more than 3,500 kinds of bacteria. The number of intestinal flora cells is about 10 times the number of human cells, and the weight of bacteria is about 1.5 kg. The number of genes carried by such a large number of bacteria is 100 times that of the human body. The sum of the genome information of the intestinal flora is called the intestinal metagenomics, which is the second human genome that controls the health of the human body. Together with the human body’s own genome, it affects the body’s physiological metabolism. Lederberg, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, proposed that humans are “super organisms” composed of human eukaryotic cells and symbiotic microbial communities. They believe that there is a complex interaction process between the human body and its flora.
The intestinal flora has been formed since the human body was born and has become an inseparable “environmental factor” of the human body. It is called a “new system” or “new organ” acquired by the human body, which affects the body’s nutrition, metabolism and Physiological functions such as immunity. The main functions of the normal intestinal flora include: nutrition and substance metabolism, participating in the process of food digestion and absorption; forming a biological barrier structure in the intestinal mucosal epithelium to play a biological antagonistic effect; enhancing the host’s immune function; synthesizing beneficial vitamins. The intestinal flora is a dynamically changing system, affected by many factors such as diet structure. Because it has an irreplaceable role in regulating the normal physiological metabolism of the human body, once the structure of the intestinal flora is changed or imbalanced, it may cause metabolic disorders in the body. At present, more and more studies have shown that the intestinal flora may be closely related to the occurrence and development of metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Using the intestinal flora as an entry point to explore the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases, especially diabetes, has become a new hot spot in international research.
Diet changes intestinal flora
With the rapid growth of the social economy, the human diet has changed from low-fat and low-sugar plant foods to high-fat and high-sugar animal foods, and the intestinal flora that coexist with the human body has also changed with the times. Studies have found that unreasonable diet will destroy the structure of the intestinal flora, increase the harmful bacteria that produce toxins, and reduce the beneficial bacteria that protect our health. Toxins produced by harmful bacteria enter the blood circulation, causing the body to produce chronic inflammation. When the human intestinal flora is imbalanced, a series of phenomena such as insulin resistance will appear, which may lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes. When the structure of the human intestinal flora returns to normal, chronic disease indicators such as obesity and diabetes will slowly return to normal.
How to prevent and treat diabetes
After people take in glucose, they must first enter the intestine, be absorbed by the intestinal epithelial cells, and then enter other parts of the body. The probiotics in the intestines like to use glucose and swallow it effortlessly. If there are a large number of probiotics in the body, and they are all actively consuming glucose, the amount of glucose delivered to the body will decrease, and the direct result is that the glucose in the blood will decrease.
Probiotics are defined as microorganisms that can survive through dietary supplementation. When ingested in sufficient quantities, they can exert beneficial effects on the host. Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are the most commonly used probiotics in traditional nutritional intervention. Probiotic intervention has been proven to relieve lactose intolerance, strengthen the baby’s immunity, and reduce the risk of rotavirus diarrhea. In addition, supplementation of probiotics can improve the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in animal models.
Balanced diet, conditioning flora
Restoring and maintaining a balanced intestinal flora is very important for human health. Increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in the intestines and improving the status of the intestinal flora through a reasonable diet and consciously supplementing with probiotics is of far-reaching significance to health. We can change the intestinal flora through foods that are “same as medicine and food”. For example, by eating some foods rich in dietary fiber, and bitter foods and plants such as bitter gourd and berberine to suppress harmful bacteria, and support beneficial bacteria.
Yogurt is a healthy food in people’s minds, and research on its health effects has been endless. Recently, another large-scale study showed that moderate consumption of yogurt is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. A serving of yogurt per day (approximately 244 grams) can reduce the risk of diabetes by approximately 18%, and different types of yogurt with different fat content have such effects. Researchers believe that in addition to the benefits of calcium, magnesium and other elements, the probiotics in yogurt can help improve the intestinal environment, reduce inflammation and regulate hormones related to appetite control, which may reduce the risk of diabetes The reason for the risk. However, the researchers also emphasized that this effect of yogurt should not be exaggerated. They only recommend that yogurt be included in healthy diet choices, not as a panacea to prevent diabetes. Reasonable diet and weight control are the most important.
Little probiotics hit diabetes
A small probiotic tablet can reorganize the body and “cure” all types of diabetes. Researchers have discovered that this active probiotic tablet from the human intestine has been proven to have the effect of lowering blood sugar. The researchers transformed a strain of lactic acid bacteria in the human intestine into a peptide that can secrete insulin-like mechanisms, and treated diabetic rats with this probiotic tablet for 90 days. Blood glucose monitoring showed that compared with rats that did not take probiotic tablets, the blood glucose level of the treatment group dropped by 30%. Another more exciting discovery is that the cells in the upper small intestine of the diabetic rats in the treatment group turned to play a role similar to pancreatic islet cells. The next step is to investigate whether treatment with higher doses of probiotic tablets can completely change the blood sugar control mechanism. If successful, future diabetic patients only need to take a probiotic tablet every morning to control their blood sugar.
We believe that one day, the intestinal flora will appear in front of people as “anti-sugar biological weapons”, and we believe that there will be new breakthroughs in the treatment of diabetes in the future.