In a recent study, researchers found that a diet yielding high amounts of the short-chain fatty acids acetate and butyrate provided a beneficial effect on the immune system and protected against type 1 or juvenile diabetes.
Autoimmune type 1 diabetes occurs when immune cells called autoreactive T cells attack and destroy the cells that produce insulin — the hormone that regulates our blood sugar levels.
The specialized diet developed uses starches — found in many foods including fruit and vegetables — that resist digestion and pass through to the colon or large bowel where they are broken down by microbiota (gut bacteria).
This process produces acetate and butyrate which, when combined, provided complete protection against type 1 diabetes.
“The Western diet affects our gut microbiota and the production of these short-chain fatty acids,” researcher Dr Eliana Mariño said.
“Our research found that eating a diet which encourages the gut bacteria that produce high levels of acetate or butyrate improves the integrity of the gut lining, which reduces pro-inflammatory factors and promote immune tolerance,” Dr Mariño said.
“We found this had an enormous impact on the development of type 1 diabetes,” she said. The findings are published in the journal Nature Immunology.
“The materials we used are something you can digest that is composed of natural products — resistant starches are a normal part of our diet.”
“The diets we used are highly efficient at releasing beneficial metabolites. I would describe them as an extreme superfood.”
Researchers said that the diet was not just about eating vegetables or high-fiber foods but involved special food and a special process, and would need to be managed by nutritionists, dietitians and clinicians.
The researchers are hoping to gain funding to take the findings into type 1 diabetes into clinical research.
Link original: https://knowridge.com/2017/04/medicinal-food-diet-counters-onset-of-type-1-diabetes/