Science

Probiotics identified to treat obesity and diabetes

The journal Microbiome has published a study by the DIAMET group, made up of researchers from the Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili (IISPV)-CERCA, the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) and the Diabetes Network Biomedical Research Center and Associated Metabolic Diseases (CIBERDEM). The study has discovered a new type of probiotics that can help treat inflammatory and metabolic diseases such as obesity or diabetes.

The information obtained by the DIAMET group, backed by Fundació ”la Caixa”, leads them to consider that the metabolic health of people affected by these diseases could improve considerably by lowering the levels of succinate in their blood through the administration of specific bacteria that They act as probiotics.

Succinate is produced naturally by the cells of our body and the intestinal bacteria or microbiota. Once the intestinal microbiota is altered, it is when episodes of inflammation begin to flourish that are related to obesity or diabetes. “In previous research by our group, we basically showed that these patients had more succinate-producing bacteria and less succinate-consuming bacteria, but we had not been able to prove a direct causal relationship. In this research and through the use of microbiota-free obese animal models, we demonstrate that the intestinal microbiota is the origin of the increased levels of succinate in obesity and diabetes”, explains researcher Sonia Fernández-Veledo.

Probiotics are a type of food or supplement that includes live microorganisms whose function is focused on maintaining or improving the good bacteria in the body. This type of food supplements could reduce the number of people with obesity on a global scale, data that has multiplied by three in the last 50 years, according to the World Health Organization.

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The discovery of this type of probiotics has shown that their effectiveness can also be monitored, since “thanks to this study, we now know their mechanism of action, and, on the other hand, the result of the activity of these bacteria is easily measurable in blood as indicated in the research”, declares researcher Isabel Huber.

From the DIAMET group they hope that their discovery will be commercialized to help people with this type of disorder.

Likewise, they are already working on other lines of research, through the spin-off Succipro, to try to discover therapies that reduce succinate and help treat this type of inflammatory and metabolic diseases in people.

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