Human gut microbes have an impact on host serum metabolome and insulin sensitivity

We continue to learn, more and more every week/month, how important the gut microbiome is, with regard to human health and fighting disease. Insulin resistance is a forerunner state of ischemic cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes (T2D). In the attached report, in study of 277 non-diabetic Danish individuals, authors show how the human gut microbiome has an impact on the serum metabolome and is associated with insulin resistance.

The serum metabolome of insulin-resistant individuals is characterized by increased levels of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are correlated with a gut microbiome that has an enriched biosynthetic potential for BCAAs, and which is deprived of genes encoding bacterial inward transporters for these amino acids. Prevotella copri and Bacteroides vulgatus are identified as the main species driving the association between biosynthesis of BCAAs and insulin resistance. In mice, authors demonstrate that P. copri can induce insulin resistance, aggravate glucose intolerance, and augment circulating levels of BCAAs. These amazing findings suggest that microbial targets may have the potential to diminish insulin resistance and reduce the incidence of common metabolic and cardiovascular disorders.

Nature  21 July 2o16; 535: 376–381

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