The real cause of type-2 diabetes isn’t sugar or fat
November 05, 2012
Volume 2 | Issue 87
You may have heard that the primary cause of type-2 diabetes is either too much sugar (including refined carbs) or too much fat in your diet. But there’s a problem. There are many people who eat a lot of these foods and never get type-2 diabetes. And there are people who get the disease and don’t eat a lot of sugar or fat. So what else could be causing this disease?
Researchers recently looked at the intestinal bacteria of 345 people from China. Of these, 171 had type-2 diabetes. The team of researchers wanted to see if they could identify clear biological indicators in the bacteria that point to type-2 diabetes.
The results of the study strongly indicated the bacteria in your gut are the primary determining factor on whether you will develop this disease or not. If you have too much “bad” bacteria in your gut, you’re far more likely to develop the disease. Other studies have linked an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria to other diseases as well.
This study is incredibly important. And it makes perfect sense. Sugar and fat feed “bad” bacteria. So it explains why people who eat a lot of these foods are more likely to develop type-2 diabetes. But it also explains the anomalies I mentioned at the outset. Some people are able to maintain a healthy level of “good” bacteria even though they eat a good bit of sugar and fat. And others may develop an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria even though they don’t eat these foods.
While most people think of diabetes as a disease of gluttony and slothfulness, there are plenty of obese people who have normal blood sugar levels. And there are skinny people who develop type-2 diabetes. This study explains why. How can obese people maintain healthy gut flora? It could be genetic. Or it could be that they eat enough foods that keep their bacteria levels healthy. Or they may take lots of probiotics.
Why do skinny people get type-2 diabetes? Again, it could be genetic. Or it could be caused by too many doses of antibiotics. Antibiotics can wipe out good and bad bacteria, leaving your gut ripe for a rebound of bad bacteria.
Regardless, this study is extremely important for two reasons. First, it identified the real cause of type-2 diabetes. And, second, it tells us how to avoid the disease.
No, it doesn’t mean you can eat all the sugar and fat you want as long as you keep your “good” bacteria levels up. If you do this, you’re asking for trouble. Instead, this study shows that eating foods that encourage good bacteria should be the focus of your diet. That means vegetables and fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, miso, nattokinase, and wine. (I think the health benefits of wine have more to do with gut bacteria than just about anything else, including resveratrol – and I’m a huge resveratrol fan.)
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In addition to eating lots of veggies and fermented foods, taking a probiotic every day could be the most important health-protecting action you can take. A powerful probiotic, such as Advanced Probiotic Formula, can significantly increase the number of good bacteria in your gut – and protect you from type-2 diabetes, as well as other bacterial-related illnesses.
Finally, avoid antibiotics as much as you can. In a future alert, I’ll show you many natural alternatives to antibiotics that will kill bad bacteria, but not the good.
Your Insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.