By Maria Cohut
New research — using mouse models and fecal samples collected from humans — looks into the mechanisms that promote insulin resistance via the gut environment. The type of diet a person eats may be key, the researchers suggest.
Developing insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes, which is a metabolic condition that affects millions of people worldwide.
Researchers from the University of Toronto in Canada believe the answer may lie in the mechanisms that consuming a high fat diet sets in motion.
"During high fat diet feeding and obesity, a significant shift occurs in the microbial populations within the gut, known as dysbiosis, which interacts with the intestinal immune system," the researchers explain in their new study paper, published in Nature Communications.
The team decided to try and find out exactly how a high fat diet might alter gut immunity and, thus, bacterial balance, leading to insulin resistance.
"A link between the gut microbiota and the intestinal immune system is the immune derived molecule immunoglobulin A (IgA)," the researchers note in their paper. They add that this molecule is an antibody produced by B cells, a type of immune cells.
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