An approach to tackling type 2 diabetes is being trialled in Wales which involves delivering gut bacteria via the nose.
Scientists from Swansea University believe that readjusting the bacteria in the intestines of people who are obese could lead to them experiencing weight loss, and even come off type 2 diabetes medication.
The process will involve turning carefully filtered bacteria from faeces into a liquid and using a tube to inject it into the nose. The refinement process removes any nasty parts from the process. Nasal delivery of gut bacteria in this way has been performed for other treatments in the past.
The study calls for 30 individuals who are obese with type 2 diabetes and 30 healthy donors. Participants aged between 18-70 who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the last two years and who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of between 30-40 are now being recruited.
The pilot is being funded by a £40,000 grant awarded to the team by the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.
Professor Dean Harris, Singleton Hospital consultant colorectal surgeo, said: “We began doing clinical trials looking at manipulating the bacteria and organisms that live in people’s gut in 2015.
“Initially we looked at patients with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. We’ve been changing what the organisms are in their bowel and we’ve seen great results.
“Two-thirds of patients have improvements in their symptoms without needing any medication with this therapy, and there’s great interest in applying the technique into other disease areas.”
Prof Harris added that previous research conducted in the Netherlands has shown that this treatment approach could potentially counteract other serious health conditions. However, only one equivalent study has been conducted in the Netherlands and it involved a small number of people.
Editor’s note: Research is continually exploring alternative new ways of treating type 2 diabetes, but arguably the most effective is shown to be eating a healthy real-food diet and getting regularly exercise. Visit our Low Carb Program for information on how making lifestyle changes can help with weight loss, improved blood glucose levels and ultimately putting type 2 diabetes into remission.

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