Gut Microbiota: Diabetes Type 1Research Paper

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¶ … Microbiota Can Alter Immune Disease of Diabetes Type I

If the microbiota in one's gastrointestinal system can be altered, then autoimmune diabetes type 1 can be prevented and treated.

Research has shown that microbiota in the gut impacts the development and progression of Type 1 Diabetes. This study is comprised by an analysis and review of literature in this area of inquiry. The hypothesis in this present study is that alteration of gut microbiota can serve in both preventing and treating the development of Type 1 Diabetes. METHODS. This study conducts an examination of articles published in the PubMed database that report findings related to gut microbiota and the development of Type 1 Diabetes in humans or animals and reports studies conducted that reflect treatment or prevention of Type 1 Diabetes in animals and humans that is centered on the alteration of gut microbiota through various means include such as a gluten-free diet as well as other various measures in the studies reviewed in the literature review in this study. RESULTS. Results reported in this study give a strong level of indication that supports the hypothesis in this study which is that the alternation of gut microbiota in the animal or human can serve in the prevention and treatment of Type 1 Diabetes. DISCUSSION. The studies examined in the literature review in this present study clearly indicate that alteration of the gut microbiota in the animal and human can serve to both prevent and treat Diabetes Type 1. It is also noted that more study is needed in this specific area of inquiry. Particularly notable is that in animals, specifically rats that live in cleaner colonies have more incidence of 'bad' microbiota in their intestines and in humans who live in societies with higher hygiene requirements there is more incidence of 'bat' microbiota in their intestines.


Studies have for many years now produced evidence that microbiota in the gastrointestinal system of the human result in the individual developing Type 1 Diabetes. The condition that results is referred to as 'Leaky Gut' which occurs when there are too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria in the individuals gastrointestinal system. The work of Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu (2008) reports that it is held that type 1 diabetes derives from a "complex interplay between varying degrees of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors." (p. 1) However, the work of Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu (2008) report information that illustrates" another complex interplay potentially associated with this disease involving facets related to the gut, one where individual factors that, upon their interaction with each another, form a 'perfect storm' critical to the development of type 1 diabetes." (p. 1) It is held that there are three factors inclusive of: (1) an aberrant intestinal microbiota; (2) A "leaky" intestinal mucosal barrier, and (3) altered intestinal immune responsiveness.(Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu, A008, p. 1) It is reported that in studies that have examined the "microecology of the gastrointestinal tract have identified specific microorganisms whose presence appears related (either quantitatively or qualitatively) to disease; in type 1 diabetes, a role for microflora in the pathogenesis of disease has recently been suggested." (Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu, 2008, p. 1) Increases in the permeability of the intestines has been witnessed in type 1 diabetes animal models in addition to having been witnessed in humans who are at high levels of risk for diabetes type 1 and it is reported that a major causitive factor is the failure of the individual's body to formulate tolerance and the outcome is "in the autoimmunity that underlies type 1 diabetes." (Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu, 2008, p. 1) The intestinal mucosa is reported to form the body's largest surface area and to be in continual exposure to "a vast array of microbes, food antigens, and toxins. The intestinal epithelium must discriminate between pathogenic and nonpathogenic organisms as well as food antigens. It must "tolerate" the commensal flora that maintain mucosal homeostasis by controlling inflammatory responses as well as sensing danger signals of potentially harmful pathogens. It is becoming increasingly clear that the nexus of intestinal microbiota composition, the intestinal barrier, and the mucosal immune system plays pivotal roles in the development of a variety of allergic and autoimmune diseases." (Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu, 2008. p. 1) The purpose of this study is to examine whether when the microbiota in the individual's gastrointestinal system when altered can service in treating and preventing autoimmune diabetes type 1.


Literature Search Strategy. For this investigation a systematic literature search was conducted. The outcome of interest was the treatment and prevention of autoimmune diabetes type 1 through alteration of the microbiota in the gastrointestinal system of the individual. The search consisted of identifying published reports on treatment and prevention of diabetes type 1 through alteration of the microbiota in the gastrointestinal immune system of the individual. The literature search was initiated through identification of articles in which diabetes type 1 was the principal condition. The search was further narrowed by the use of other terms which selected for dietary treatment and prevention. Diabetes Type 1 was required in the title while the other terms used for study designs were: Treatment and Prevention. The PubMed database was utilized to identify the studies.

Study selection. The methodology of this study is qualitative in nature in the form of a review of the literature in relation to microbiota formation and alteration in the human gastrointestinal system. The terms used to search the PubMed, Medline and EBSCO database search use the primary search term of 'Diabetes Type 1' with additional terms including: (1) microbiota; (2) treatment; and (3) prevention. The PubMed database returned 11 studies and the six most relevant studies chosen for the literature review.


The work of Vaarala, Atkinson and Neu (2008) report in type 1 diabetes that there is evidence for "a synergism between aberrant intestinal microbiota, a "leaky" intestinal mucosal barrier, and altered mucosal immunity contributing to the disorder's pathogenesis has begun to evolve." (Vaarala, Atkinson and Neu, 2008. p. 1) It is held that these findings have important conclusion for type 1 diabetes pathogenesis and in additional identify possible targets for intervention in type 1 diabetes cases that is reported to be inclusive of "a nondiabetogenic microbiota, tightening of interepithelial junctions, as well as prevention of propagation of inflammation and autoimmunity by nutritional or pharmacologic means" (Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu, 2008, p. 1) It is reported that commensal intestinal microbiota and their presence in infants is important for physiologic processes stated to include: "growth, angiogenesis, optimization of nutrition, and stimulation of various arms of the innate and adaptive immune systems" which makes it somewhat of a surprise that intestinal microbiota effects on type 1 diabetes development has not been fully investigated. (Hooper, 2004; Hooper and Gordon, 2001; Stappenbeck, Hooper and Gordon, 2002; and Mazmanian, Tzianabos and Kaspaer, 2001, Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu, 2008, paraphrased) Additionally stated is that there are more than 500 species of microbe located in the human gastrointestinal tract of the individual and that their " interaction with the mucosal immune system, especially in the first years of life, may have life-long effects. As but one example, differences in the composition of intestinal microflora between healthy and allergic infants in countries with a high and low prevalence of allergies have been noted and precede clinical symptoms." (Pohjavuori, et al., 2004 in: Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu, 2008, p. 1)

It is reported that successful use of probiotics as immunomodulators "in the prevention and treatment in children (Pohjavuori, et al., 2004b and Marschan, et al. 2008) has shown findings that indicate that "commensal bacteria are not innocent bystanders in humans but active players in the shaping of the immunological network of the host. Hence, new approaches for evaluating the interactions between the intestinal microbiota and barrier and innate immunity are needed'. (Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu, 2008, p. 1) Stated as the molecular techniques found to best are those that "enable detection of uncultivatable species and that are amenable to statistical microecologic analyses." (Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu, 2008, p. 1) . According to Tannock (2007) one method is the targeting of "16Ss RNA gene sequences, as they contain signatures of phylogenetic groups and sometimes even species." (Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu, 2008, p. 1)

Yet another technique reported in the "Gut Journal' relates the U.S. Of the application of "PCR with denaturing or temperature gradient gel electrophoresis, fluorescent in situ hybridization and shotgun sequencing DNA and whole metagenomic approaches." (Vaarala, Atkinson, and Neu, 2008, p.1) These types of techniques "offer promise for future efforts seeking to establish a causal link between the intestinal microbiota and type 1 diabetes, as well as to the identification of aberrant microbiota that could be targeted for disease prevention strategies." (Vaarala, Atkinson and Neu, 2008, p. 1) Stated as other techniques is the application of PCR in combination with "denaturing or temperature gradiel gel electrophresis, fluorescent in situ hybridazation and shotgun sequencing DNA and whole metagenomic approaches." (Tringe, et… [END OF PREVIEW]

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