August 21, 2006
Stomach Bacteria Cause Liver Disease And Diabetes?

Stomach bacteria might contribute to the incidence of insulin resistant diabetes and fatty liver disease.

Altering the makeup of bugs in the gut could be a way of tackling insulin resistance and related problems such as non alcoholic fatty liver disease, according to new research published this week.

The study also has implications for the treatment of associated conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

The research shows that the type of microbes found in the guts of mice with a certain genetic makeup causes them to be pre-disposed to insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). On a high fat diet, these microbes transform the nutrient choline, found in food and essential for metabolising fat, into methylamines.

Scientists believe that these methylamines, which can only be produced by the microbes in the gut, lead to insulin resistance. In addition, because choline is needed to transport fat out of the liver, altering choline metabolism leads to fat accumulating in the liver and NAFLD.

This is good news. Why? Bacteria can be defeated. Any time I read about how some disease is caused by chronic infection it makes me more optimistic. We can develop drugs and vaccines that'll stop pathogens. Better that chronic diseases of old age be caused by pathogens than by the body simply wearing out. The pathogens are easier to stop than the wearing out of cells.

Here is part of the abstract from the PNAS paper for this report. Bacteria reduce choline availability while also increasing exposure to harmful methylamines.

Multivariate statistical modeling of the spectra shows that the genetic predisposition of the 129S6 mouse to impaired glucose homeostasis and NAFLD is associated with disruptions of choline metabolism, i.e., low circulating levels of plasma phosphatidylcholine and high urinary excretion of methylamines (dimethylamine, trimethylamine, and trimethylamine-N-oxide), coprocessed by symbiotic gut microbiota and mammalian enzyme systems. Conversion of choline into methylamines by microbiota in strain 129S6 on a high-fat diet reduces the bioavailability of choline and mimics the effect of choline-deficient diets, causing NAFLD. These data also indicate that gut microbiota may play an active role in the development of insulin resistance.

The practical question: Can we use this information now? We need answers to some basic questions: Which human stomach bacteria convert choline to methylamines? Do they all do this? Are antibiotics or the consumption of competing bacteria the best way to shift the balance of bacteria in the stomach away from bacteria that convert choline to methylamine?

Anyone know the answers to these questions?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2006 August 21 09:49 PM  Biotech Pathogen Control

Jody said at August 22, 2006 8:54 AM:

"best way to shit the balance of bacteria"

an apropos typo...

Lou Pagnucco said at August 22, 2006 11:51 AM:


Possibly, this could explain why type-2 diabetics suffer from neurological problems.

charlie said at August 23, 2006 1:55 PM:

Finally some good news! All my relatives have diabetes and I fear for myself.

remo williams said at August 25, 2006 5:05 AM:

Supposedly, broccoli sprouts are a great way to kill a certain kind of bacteria that contributes to stomach cancer (at least one form). I wonder if these sprouts are effective against other bacterias. Fresh broccoli helps but from what I've read broccoli sprouts are far more potent.

James said at May 14, 2008 4:24 PM:

Now I wonder if P73 Oil of wild Oregano which is one of the healing oils on the biblical times, plus a tiny bit of coloidial silver might reduce the Microbes, both have pretty powerful anti microbe action.
This might sound silly on the surface but we are finding out more and more the ancients knew how to cure some diseases. And most of this was done with herbal stuff. Now do not confuse what we call Oregano with P73 oil of WILD Oregano there is no comparison because what we call oregano is actually Mexican Sage Brush.

Dr. Md. Anwar Ul Islam said at May 10, 2009 9:38 PM:

We have a plant juice which is active agaginst diabetic. But when the plant part is kept for few days, few microorganism grow inside plant part. The contaminated plant juice also reduces Blood glucose level of mouse but seriousely affected the liver and within 12 hours the treated mouse died. On the other hand the fresh plant juice treated mouse survive.

We are now searching the cause of such toxicity.

Dr.Md. Anwar Ul Islam
Department of Pharmacy
University of Rajshahi

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