The gut microbiota forms a molecule that can contribute to diabetes progression

18 November 2020

It is the bacterial changes in the gut that increase the levels of imidazole propionate, the molecule that makes the body's cells resistant to insulin in type 2 diabetes. This result emerges from a European study, that confirms previous studies from the University of Gothenburg.

Previous research led by Fredrik Bäckhed, Professor of molecular medicine at the University of Gothenburg, demonstrated that diabetes can be linked to a change in the composition of intestinal bacteria, which increases the production of molecules that may contribute to the disease.

His group has shown that the altered intestinal microbiota leads to altered metabolism of the amino acid histidine, which in turn leads to increased production of imidazole propionate, the molecule that prevents the blood sugar-lowering effects of insulin.

An article published in the journal Nature Communications now confirms the initial findings in a large European study with 1,990 subjects, which shows that patients with type 2 diabetes from Denmark, France and Germany also had increased levels of imidazole propionate in their blood.

Read the press release from Gothenburg University:

To the publication in Nature Communications: 
Imidazole propionate is increased in diabetes and associated with dietary patterns and altered microbial ecology

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