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Gut Microbe Composition Differs in Young Diabetes Patients

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Bacteria in the guts of youth with type 1 diabetes appear less balanced than bacteria in children without diabetes, Dutch researchers reported in the June 12 issue of Diabetologia.

The researchers examined the gut microbe composition in European children, ages 1 to 5 years old, who were recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The researchers looked at DNA in fecal samples collected from 28 children with type 1 diabetes and 27 children without the disease.

Children with diabetes who were younger than 3 years old had higher levels of certain bacteria, but lower levels of other types thought to be beneficial. The findings suggest dietary changes might ultimately reduce the risk of developing type 1 diabetes in children with genetic risk for the disease, according to the researchers.

"We think a diet high in fruits and vegetables is best as these are rich in fiber/complex carbohydrates, which are important because butyrate-producing species are dependent upon them indirectly via cross-feeding relations with fiber degraders," the authors said, according to a journal news release. "Simple sugars, on the other hand, cause an overabundance of species which are very proficient in quickly utilizing sugars -- Streptococci for example -- thus outcompeting or limiting the amount of species which are beneficial for human health. Excessive protein and animal fat consumption might similarly indirectly negatively affect butyrate production as they stimulate non-butyrate-producing species which are very good in utilizing this type of food source (such as Bacteroides)."

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