Could the bacteria in your gut determine whether or not you develop Type 2 diabetes? It's possible, at least according to new research published this week in the online edition of Nature.

For the study, Chinese researchers looked at the natural balance of "gut flora"- or bacteria present in the intestines to determine if there were differences in the bacteria present in patients with diabetes and without. They analyzed almost 350 patients and identified more than 60,000 markers, or indicators, associated with type 2 diabetes. Specifically, they found that participants with type 2 diabetes had too much of what they considered "harmful" bacteria, and not enough "helpful" microbes.

So does this gut flora combination cause type 2 diabetes or is it in turn caused by diabetes? That's the million dollar question and one that researchers hope to figure out soon so that they can better understand the role that these microbes play in the development and/or treatment of type 2 diabetes.

via U.S. News Health and World Report

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