A molecule from gut bacteria reduces effect of diabetes medication

11 November 2020

The work demonstrates the robustness of the translational research carried out at the Wallenberg Lab. There, observations of patients can be explained in molecular terms, which can give rise to new therapies, Fredrik Bäckhed concludes.

Metformin is the primary treatment option for type 2 diabetes, but there are major variations in how individuals respond to this drug. In some people, it lowers blood glucose (sugar) and delays the course of the disease, while in others its effects are less favourable.

An article published in the journal Cell Metabolism now clarifies one underlying factor that explains why metformin action can be blocked. This blocking is preceded by processes in the gut bacteria — the intestinal microbiota — in which the molecule imidazole propionate is produced.

Press relase from the University of Gothenburg:

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