New research from Finland suggests that higher blood levels of indolepropionic acid – a product of gut bacteria that is increased by a fiber-rich diet – may help to protect against type 2 diabetes.

The study suggests that having high blood levels of indolepropionic acid, which is a byproduct of gut bacteria, may protect against type 2 diabetes.

Writing about the discovery in the journal Scientific Reports, the team – led by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio – suggests that it increases our understanding of the important part played by gut bacteria in the relationship between diet, metabolism, and health.

Diabetes is a disease in which the blood contains too much sugar, or glucose – a vital source of energy for the body’s cells.

If uncontrolled, high blood sugar can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and amputation of lower limbs.

Levels of blood sugar are regulated by the hormone insulin, which is made in the pancreas.

The type of diabetes that develops depends on whether the high blood glucose results from lack of insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the body’s inability to use insulin (type 2 diabetes).