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Intestinal microbial metabolites in human metabolism and type 2 diabetes – published online 03/09/2020

Hilde Herrema, Jan Hendrik Niess

High-throughput technologies have helped to characterise the microbiome in individuals with the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Emerging evidence suggests that it is not only the microorganisms and their structural components that contribute to the development of these conditions, but also the metabolites that they produce.  In this issue, Herrema and Niess (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-020-05268-4) discuss recent advances in our understanding of how gut bacterial metabolites are sensed by individuals with the metabolic syndrome, potentially contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes. They explain how the gut microbiome, in response to dietary components, produces bacterial metabolites which influence processes implicated in the development of type 2 diabetes, including the intestinal immune system and the entero-endocrine system. Further studies on the impact of dietary components on gut bacterial metabolite production, as well as research into the receptors that recognise bacterial metabolites, promise to reveal new pathways that could be targeted for the treatment of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. The figure from this review is available as a downloadable slide.

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