The composition and function of bacteria in the human intestine – the so-called gut microbiome – changes as the day progresses. This was established by researchers based in Freising at ZIEL - Institute for Food & Health of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) with one of the largest studies related to microbiomes and diabetes comprising more than 4000 participants. These daily variations in the gut microbiome cease to exist in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
The microbial composition of the intestines is complex and varies widely from one individual to another. Many factors such as environmental factors, lifestyle, genetics or illnesses affect the intestinal ecosystem of helpful gut bacteria.
Dirk Haller, Professor for Nutrition and Immunology at TUM, and his team have examined the importance of daytime-dependent fluctuations of the gut microbiome in relation to type 2 diabetes; they present their study encompassing more than 4000 people and it is the first study in this field based on a large prospective human cohort.
The relationship between gut bacteria and medical conditions
”In order to see whether changes in the gut microbiome allow conclusions about medical conditions, so-called prospective cohort studies are required,” explained Prof. Haller.
In these prospective cohort studies, a cross section of the population is being observed; however, none of the participants showed any signs of disease. This population is being re-examined over time. This way, researchers can find out whether a certain observation may be typical for future occurrences of diseases.
Diagnosis and outlook of type 2 diabetes may be improved
“When certain gut bacteria do not follow a day-night rhythm, so if their number and function does not change over the course of the day, this can be an indicator for a potential type 2 diabetes disease. Knowing this can improve diagnosis and outlook of type 2 diabetes,” said Chronobiologist Dr. Silke Kiessling, another contributor to the study.
These arrhythmic bacteria – those that are not changing between day and night – are a marker for potential disease. Researchers refer to this as a risk signature. “Mathematical models also show that this microbial risk signature consisting of arrhythmic bacteria helps diagnosing diabetes,” explained Sandra Reitmeier, first author on the study.
Primarily, the scientists analyzed data from an existing independent cohort by Helmholtz Zentrum München. The diabetes-related results were validated using additional cohorts from Germany. “By comparing our data to cohorts in England, we could confirm that there is – among other things – a strong regional factor affecting the microbial ecosystem. Therefore, there is a demand for finding locally specified arrhythmic risk signatures,” elaborated Haller.
Nutritionist Haller emphasizes that “apart from bacteria and their variations over the course of the day, other parameters such as the body mass index play a role in being able to better predict a person’s future medical conditions.”
Intestinal bacteria’s day and night rhythm as starting point for further research
Registering the time of day when taking human fecal samples for research purposes can heavily influence disease diagnostics. “Documenting these timestamps is essential for improving risk markers,” Prof. Haller emphasizes.
This research substantiates the hypothesis that changes in the microbiome have an effect of nutrition-related diseases. How gut bacteria changing (or not changing) during the day affect other microbiome-associated diseases such as Crohn’s disease or intestinal cancer may be subject to further scientific examination.
The results of this study are of particular importance for further work in the Collaborative Research Center of “Microbiome Signatures” (https://www.sfb1371.tum.de/), as cohort studies offer valuable possibilities of comparing data of healthy and ill subjects, particularly in the context of clinical studies.
The study was conducted by the Chair of Nutrition and Immunology, as well as ZIEL - Institute for Food & Health at TUM, Helmholtz Zentrum München, University College Cork, Kiel University, the University of London and King’s College London.
Data from the following cohorts was examined: the KORA cohort by Helmholtz Zentrum München (https://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/kora/for-scientists/overview-kora-cohort/in...), the FoCuS cohort by Kiel University (https://www.endokrinologie.uni-kiel.de/forschung/focus/ - in German) and the enable-cluster cohort at TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan (https://www.enable-cluster.de/en/).
The scientific paper was created within the Collaborative Research Center “Microbiome Signatures” funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG German Research Foundation SFB1371; https://www.sfb1371.tum.de/) and was co-funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF / JPI DINAMIC).
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dirk Haller
Chair of Nutrition and Immunology
Tel.: +49 (0) 8161-71 2026
Fax: +49 (0) 8161-71 2824
Reitmeier, Sandra, Kiessling, Silke, et al., Haller, Dirk. (2020): "Arrhythmic gut microbiome signatures predict risk of Type 2 Diabetes" in: Cell Host & Microbe. DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2020.06.004
https://www.tum.de/nc/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36118/ (Press release)
https://mediatum.ub.tum.de/1552269 (images for journalists)
Dr. Ulrich Marsch | Technische Universität München
Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel
06.08.2020 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Tellurium makes the difference
06.08.2020 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences