Probiotics could reduce type 2 diabetes risk

In recent years, scientists have increasingly looked to probiotics to help treat conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and gingivitis. Now, a team of Irish researchers has found that specially engineered bacteria may be able to reduce the prevalence of obesity and the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Researchers from University College Cork reported their findings in the journal Microbiology. They said that after feeding a group of mice a specially engineered strain of Lactobacillus, the composition of the mice's body fat changed dramatically.

The Lactobacillus was designed to produce a molecule called coagulated linoleic acid (CLA). This type of fatty acid has been shown to reduce body fat. However, there are few food sources of it and it does not occur naturally in the human body.

"CLA has already been shown to alleviate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that often accompanies obesity," said Catherine Stanton, who led the study. "The work shows that there is potential to influence this through diet-microbe-host interactions in the gut."

If human studies show these probiotics to eliminate excess body fat, it could drastically cut the risk of type 2 diabetes.
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