June 19, 2015
The Diabetes Epidemic and How Gut Inflammation is Playing a Key Role
*This blog post was originally posted as a guest post on dLife on June 18, 2015
By Meaghan Lee-Erlandsen and Dr. Nora Khaldi
One may expect that diabetes goes hand in hand with inflammation as many diabetics suffer from gut inflammation. However, what is unexpected regarding this relationship between diabetes and inflammation is that inflammation may actually be a possible cause or play a major role in the development of diabetes.
We recently read a Cell Metabolism article by twin brothers, Drs. Dan and Shawn Winer, and their co-authors at the University of Toronto, which explains that inflammation may be a key player in the development of type 2 diabetes. The authors were kind enough to explain their findings further:
Obesity and insulin resistance are major global health concerns. When people become obese, their body’s tissues fail to respond well to insulin, a process called insulin resistance, which can lead to high blood sugar triggering type 2 diabetes, though the underlying causes are not well known. Our recent work has shown that the gut immune system is an important new player in controlling this process. Mice fed a high fat, high calorie diet were found to have an increase in the pro-inflammatory immune cells in the gut. Similar results were seen in a small cohort of 14 humans, half who were obese. This change in gut resident immune cells in mice was associated with worsened leakiness of bacterial products from the bowel into the blood, as well as abnormal immunity to food proteins, and exacerbated effects on inflammation in nearby fat tissue. These changes contribute to insulin resistance, which impacts blood sugar. Most excitingly, this cascade could be targeted and reversed with existing drugs like 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA), which dampen down inflammatory changes in the gut. Such gut specific anti-inflammatory agents could represent a new class of potentially minimal side effect anti-diabetes medications that locally targets the immune system that lives in the gut.
As the authors mention above, ant-inflammatory treatments may help prevent chronic gut inflammation and thus may reduce the risk of developing diabetes. However, the real problem is that the long-term use of inflammation treatments such as 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) can have serious side effects on gut health and well-being. There is thus an urgency to find new ways to treat and maintain healthy levels of inflammation within the body. Indeed, we at Nuritas™ are currently developing new peptide-based ingredients that will meet this huge demand and help in reducing this global epidemic.
For further information on this groundbreaking publication, please visit:
Summary of Luck H et al, Cell Metabolism, 2015 provided by Drs. Dan and Shawn Winer