Is Cleanliness No Longer Next to Godliness?

“Friendly” bacteria protect against type 1 diabetes

This press release is an announcement submitted by EurekAlert, and was not written by Diabetes Health.

The environment helps develop robust immune system responses. For instance, people in less developed parts of the world have a low rate of allergy, but when they move to developed countries, that rate increases dramatically.

Sep 29, 2008

Researchers at Yale University and the University of Chicago have shown that mice exposed to common stomach bacteria are protected against the development of type 1. Their findings, published in the journal Nature, uphold the so-called "hygiene hypothesis" - the theory that a lack of exposure to parasites, bacteria, and viruses in the developed world may lead to increased risk of allergies, asthma, and other disorders of the immune system. The results also suggest that exposure to some forms of bacteria might actually help prevent the onset of type 1.

In the past decade, it has become evident that the environment plays a role in the development of robust immune system responses. For instance, people in less developed parts of the world have a low rate of allergy, but when they move to developed countries, that rate increases dramatically. 

Scientists have noted the same phenomenon in their labs. Non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice develop the disease at different rates after natural breeding, depending upon the environment where they are kept. Previous research has shown that NOD mice exposed to killed (i.e., non-active) strains of tuberculosis or other disease-causing bacteria are protected against the development of type 1. This suggests that the rapid "innate" immune response that normally protects us from infections can influence the onset of type 1.

In the Nature paper, teams led by Li Wen at Yale and Alexander V. Chervonsky at the University of Chicago showed that NOD mice deficient in innate immunity were protected from diabetes in normal conditions. However, if they were raised in a germ-free environment, lacking "friendly'' gut bacteria, the mice developed severe diabetes. NOD mice exposed to harmless bacteria normally found in the human intestine were significantly less likely to develop diabetes, they reported.

"Understanding how gut bacteria work on the immune system to influence whether diabetes and other autoimmune diseases occurs is very important," Li said. "This understanding may allow us to design ways to target the immune system through altering the balance of friendly gut bacteria and protect against diabetes."

Source: EurekAlert

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Posted by Anonymous on 29 September 2008

Perhaps understanding how gut bacteria works on the immune system to influence whether diabetes and other autoimmune diseases that occur may be very important however this is a waste of time and money.

How about research to find the CURE to this damned disease. Thus far As a Type 1 I am very disappointed and immensely frustrated with medical science.
People are getting paid to do what???
Study the gut instead of the pancreas?? How about Islet cell's from Pig's and/or stem cell research????
Is this where my tax paying dollars are going??

This is another proof how Pharmaceuticals are still gaining momentum.

I guess I still have to take my 3x a day insulin injections and continue pricking my finger 6x a day to resolve those blasted high's and low's (Sigh!)...

With a potential Depression coming our way
I suppose research will be on hold indefinately. I guess they will find a cure for heart burn??

If Nick Jonus is reading this please use your influence to push for a cure just as Mary Tyler Moore has. Now is the time.

Posted by Anonymous on 30 September 2008

If I could rate the above comment, I'd give it 5 stars

Posted by jprice60 on 30 September 2008

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I agree that we need to find a cure, but it would also be in our best interest to prevent this disease in the first place. I have had type 1 for almost 4 years and continue to treat it with diet, etc. Diabetes runs through the veins in my family. It had to start somewhere! I would put my primary focus on finding a cure and then prevention.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 October 2008

To jprice 60. It is highly unlikely that you have Type 1 diabetes as you seem to be only treating it with 'diet etc'. Type 1 diabetes consumes ones life. Injecting insulin up to 4 times per day, monitoring up to 6 times per day , plus having to take everything that one does into consideration including all the acts of daily living. So I agree with 'Anonymous'....put the resources into finding A CURE for Type 1. At the same timen put in the extra effort on prevention of Type 2. Make people with a family history or at risk of T2D more responsible for what they do..... ie do they exercise, is their diet high energy dense junk foods and possibly regulate the food manufacturers so what they produce is healthy and nutritionally balanced

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