A new international study by researchers at Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute have found that you can prevent type 1 diabetes by consuming more short-chain acids acetate and butyrate.
For more on how these short-chain fatty acids can help prevent the autoimmune disease type 1 diabetes in which your pancreas produce little to no insulin (the hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels), keep reading.
Study finds that short-chain fatty acids acetate and butyrate protect against type 1 diabetes
The researchers behind this study, which attracted considerable interest at the International Congress of Immunology in Melbourne last year, published their findings in the journal Nature Immunology
The specialised diet the researchers developed used starches – found in many foods such as fruits and vegetables – that resist digestion and pass through the large bowel or colon, where gut bacteria (microbiota) breaks them down. Researchers noted that this process of fermentation produces acetate and butyrate and when these two short-chain fatty acids are combined, they can provide complete protection against type 1 diabetes
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“The Western diet affects our gut microbiota and the production of these short-chain fatty acids,” Dr Eliana Mariño, one of the researchers, reported.
“Our research found that eating a diet which encourages the gut bacteria that produce high levels of acetate or butyrate improves the integrity of the gut lining, which reduces pro-inflammatory factors and promote immune tolerance. We found this had an enormous impact on the development of type 1 diabetes,” she added.
Professor says these findings suggest that non-pharmaceutical approaches can treat and prevent type 1 diabetes
The researcher who initiated the study, Professor Charles Mackay, says these findings suggest that non-pharmaceutical approaches like special diets and gut bacteria can treat an prevent type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases.
“The findings illustrate the dawn of a new era in treating human disease with medicinal foods,” Professor Mackay reported.
“The materials we used are something you can digest that is composed of natural products – resistant starches are a normal part of our diet. The diets we used are highly efficient at releasing beneficial metabolites. I would describe them as an extreme superfood
,” he added.
Professor Mackay cleared up that the diet didn’t only include eating vegetables and high-fibre foods, but also special foods and a special process. Therefore, such a diet needs to be managed by a dietician, clinician or nutritionist.