Gut bacteria can influence how cells react to insulin, and can thus contribute to type 2 diabetes, a new study published in the Journal of Cell reveal this. Gut microbiota or gut flora of people with treatment-naïve type 2 diabetes can be linked to a different metabolism of the amino acid histidine, that are derived from the diet. Microbiota is a complex community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts of humans.

In recent years, the gut microbiota is associated with several health conditions. However, few studies have examined how an altered gut microbiota directly affects diabetics. It, in turn, leads to the formation of imidazole propionate, a substance that impairs the cells’ ability to respond to insulin.

‘This substance does not cause all type 2 diabetes, but our working hypothesis is that there are subpopulations of patients who might benefit from changing their diet or altering their gut microbiota to reduce the levels of imidazole propionate,’ says Fredrik Backhed, Professor of Molecular Medicine.

The results of the research highlight, reducing the amount of bacterial-produced imidazole propionate can become a new way of treating patients with type 2 diabetes.