Gut health and diabetes

Research shows a number of clear and important correlations between gut microbiome, gut bacteria, glucose metabolism, and the prevalence of metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes.

For example, studies reveal the immune system uses gut bacteria to control glucose metabolism; as a result, the incorrect function of this interaction can lead to type 2 diabetes. Elsewhere, gut microbiota can also play a key role in the ongoing treatment of diabetes. A recent Swedish study indicates that the clinical effect of the common diabetes medication, metformin—which controls blood glucose—is achieved through modulation of the gut microbiota.

Explore the research articles listed below to learn more about these insights and uncover further links between gut microbiome and diabetes.

Science digests and blogs

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Three distinct stages in infant microbiome development identified

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Enlisting gut bacteria and fiber to fight diabetes

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How the gut microbiota contributes to type 2 diabetes: What we already know

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Gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication

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Diabetes linked to bacteria invading the colon

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Sugar substitutes, gut bacteria, and glucose intolerance

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Immune system uses gut bacteria to control glucose metabolism


Aydin Ö, Nieuwdorp M, Gerdes V.
The gut microbiome as a target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Current Diabetes Reports 18, 55 (2018). Doi: 10.1007/s11892-018-1020-6

Brunkwall, L. & Orho-Melander, M.
The gut microbiome as a target for prevention and treatment of hyperglycaemia in type 2 diabetes: from current human evidence to future possibilities.
Diabetologia 60(6): 943-951. (2017). Doi: 10.1007/s00125-017-4278-3

Delzenne, N. M., Cani, P. D., Everard, A., Neyrinck, A. M. & Bindels, L. B.
Gut microorganisms as promising targets for the management of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetologia 58(10): 2206-2217. (2015). Doi: 10.1007/s00125-015-3712-7

Kostic, A. D. et al.
The dynamics of the human Infant gut microbiome in development and in progression towards type 1 diabetes.
Cell host & microbe 17(2): 260-273. (2015). Doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2015.01.001

Mariño, E. et al.
Gut microbial metabolites limit the frequency of autoimmune T cells and protect against type 1 diabetes.
Nat. Immunol. 18: 552-562. (2017). Doi: 10.1038/ni.3713

Paun, A., Yau, C. & Danska, J. S.
The influence of the microbiome on type 1 diabetes.
The Journal of Immunology 198(2): 590-595. (2017). Doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1601519

Pedersen HK et al.
Human gut microbes impact host serum metabolome and insulin sensitivity.
Nature 535(7612): 376-381. (2016). Doi: 10.1038/nature18646

Vatanen T et al.
The human gut microbiome in early-onset type 1 diabetes from the TEDDY study.
Nature 562(7728): 589-594. (2018). Doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0620-2

Zhao L et al.
Gut bacteria selectively promoted by dietary fibers alleviate type 2 diabetes.
Science 359(6380): 1151-1156. (2018). Doi: 10.1126/science.aao5774

Zheng P., Li Z., Zhou Z.
Gut microbiome in type 1 diabetes: a comprehensive review.
Diabetes/metabolism research and reviews 34(7), e3043 (2018). Doi: 10.1002/dmrr.3043