Gut Bacteria May Prevent Type 1 Diabetes.
Researchers have found an unlikely way to block development of type 1 diabetes in females — exposing them to bacteria from the gastrointestinal tracts of males. But turning that finding into an effective treatment is uncertain and a long way off since the females and males in question were mice, not men or women.
The findings, published Thursday in Science, suggest that exposure to normal GI tract bacteria early in life may also protect against other autoimmune diseases, such multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, lupus, and even allergies and asthma. Overall, they add to a growing body of research that suggests humans may benefit from bacteria, the so-called “hygiene hypothesis.”