The microbial ecosystem, microbiota, of the human gut consists of trillions of bacteria and recent data have demonstrated that an altered gut microbiota can be associated with several diseases, ranging from obesity and cardiometabolic diseases to behavioral abnormalities.
Over the past 15 years, researchers have put extensive work into understanding how the gut microbiota is connected to cardiometabolic diseases like diabetes type 2. One important question to answer is if the microbiota contributes to the disease or whether the altered microbiota is the result of the disease or treatments of the disease.
In a recent study, researchers from the University of Gothenburg have used two populations including almost 1500 individuals to show that the gut microbiota is altered in prediabetes and diabetes, independent of diabetes medication. In the publication in Cell Metabolism, the authors show that the overall gut microbiota shifts in parallel with glycemic status in the investigated cohort, and that these shifts are observed in the absence of diabetes treatment. The variations are strongly associated with insulin resistance, but not fasting glucose.
To conclude, the study suggests that the gut microbiota represents an important modifiable factor to take into consideration when developing precision medicine approaches for the prevention and/or delay of type 2 diabetes.
If you want to learn more about the topic, watch this Mercodia Webinar The Gut Microbiota in Diabetes, where Professor Fredrik Bäckhed from Gothenburg University will discuss these and other findings !