It’s not just about a few extra kilos. Being overweight or obese puts people at serious risk of many other diseases. One of the most dangerous is type 2 diabetes and its precursor, prediabetes. These can cause high blood sugar levels, usually after meals. This can damage your organs and dramatically increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. But most people won’t know they have it — because there's often no clear symptoms.Watch the video
Over time, we've seen how hard it is for patients who lose weight to keep the weight off. Even more puzzling, some individuals with prediabetes who did change their diet and lost weight, didn't improve their condition.
Dr Dorit Samocha-Bonet knew that if she wanted to solve these mysteries and help her patients, she had to go back to the research and find a fresh approach. When she heard about exciting research into the extraordinary effect of our gut microbiota on blood sugar levels after meals, she sensed she had a way forward.
She decided to take this research further and find out whether changing the gut microbiota with a personalised diet might increase the effectiveness of a common diabetes drug, metformin. Dr Samocha-Bonet believes it may unlock some of the mysteries around why some patients get better results than others.
Changing the gut microbiota with a personalised diet might increase the effectiveness of a common diabetes drug, metformin.
Our ultimate goal is to give clinicians and patients the diagnostic tools to deliver more personalised treatments – potentially preventing years of suffering for millions of people.
We know prediabetes can be reversed if it’s caught early and treated effectively.
That means that, with groundbreaking research like ours, we may be able to stop thousands, if not millions of Australians from progressing onto full-blown type 2 diabetes, which causes dramatic increases in the risk of heart attacks and strokes, kidney damage and blindness, among other complications.