The most successful treatment for type 2 diabetes may work by changing the makeup of gut bacteria.
Metformin is commonly prescribed to help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar. It is also being tested as an anti-ageing treatment.
The pair and their colleagues recruited 40 volunteers who were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Each person was randomly assigned to take metformin or a placebo for four months. All of them were placed on a low-calorie diet.
During the study period, the collection of gut bacteria changed much more dramatically in those taking metformin. In particular, the drug seemed to encourage the growth of strains of bacteria called Akkermansia and Bifidobacterium.
The results suggest that metformin at least partly works by encouraging the growth of gut bacteria such as Akkermansia, which can influence blood sugar levels…Bäckhed hopes that some people with diabetes might get similar benefits by modifying their diets to change the makeup of their gut bacteria – for example by encouraging the growth of Akkermansia and Bifidobacterium.
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