There are an estimated 415 million people in the world today who struggle with type 2 diabetes.
The numbers are so high that there are a number of researchers who believe the disease is pandemic.
To help treat type 2 diabetes physicians provide a wide range of treatments. The most popular treatment for type 2 diabetes is medication.
Every year people spend billions of dollars on diabetes drugs. And while the drugs can sometimes be effective, researchers are learning that if a patient’s gut bacteria aren’t balanced, it may affect how well the drugs work.
A Healthy Gut May Be Needed For Diabetes Drugs To WorkA team of researchers at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, sought to investigate why diabetes drugs worked for some people, but not others.
Their theory was the health of a person’s gut microbiome might have something to do with how successful drugs were at modifying a person’s type 2 diabetes.
In previous studies, the team led by Hariom Yadav, Ph.D, identified an imbalance of gut as being a possible factor in the development of type 2 diabetes.
With that understanding and the knowledge that some diabetes drugs don’t work all that well when taken orally, but perform well intravenously, they sought to determine the relationship between gut bacteria and drug efficacy.
"Yadav and colleagues reviewed over 100 studies of rodents and humans and published their results in the journal EBioMedicine.
The research focused on how the microbiome either boosted or inhibited the effectiveness of the drugs. It found that modulating the gut microbiome with drugs could help boost, change, or reverse the efficacy of drugs for type 2 diabetes.
The study's lead researcher sums up by saying:
"We believe that differences in an individual's microbiome help explain why drugs will show a 90 or 50 percent optimum efficacy, but never 100 percent."
"Our review showed that the metabolic capacity of a patient's microbiome could influence the absorption and function of these drugs by making them pharmacologically active, inactive, or even toxic."
While the researchers admit there needs to be more study regarding improving gut bacteria and drug efficacy, they strongly believe there is some interconnectedness.
"This field is only a decade old, and the possibility of developing treatments derived from bacteria related to or involved in specific diseases is tantalizing," Yadav adds.But, this research certainly does reinforce the claim that improving the gut microbiome with drugs or supplements like probiotics could have dramatic effects on your health.