Probiotic Carbohydrates Reduce Intestinal Permeability and Inflammation in Metabolic Diseases

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The epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus is dramatically increasing. Environmental factors, such as sedentary life-style, hypercaloric, fat-rich diet and genetic susceptibility are considered major determinants of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Obesity and peripheral insulin resistance are hallmarks and major risk factors for development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cardiovascular complications (eg, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease) of both metabolic disorders are associated with chronic subclinical inflammation.

Comment: In summary, the study by Cani et al rediscovers prebiotic nutrients as an alternative approach to causally target type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. A low degree of inflammation appears to be a common phenomenon of both metabolic disorders. Nutrients that modify bacterial flora of the intestine are able to alleviate the systematic inflammation processes, thereby enhancing peripheral insulin action and preventing further body weight gain. Whether the principle of diet-induced anti-inflammation and modification of gut microbiota in human obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus is of value needs to be further validated in preclinical and large-scale clinical trials.

Cani PD, Possemiers S, Van de Viele T, et al.. Changes in gut microbiota control inflammation in obese mice through a mechanism involving GLP-2-driven improvement of gut permeability. Gut 2009;58:1091–1103. View Abstract  View Full Paper

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