Gut-microbial metabolites, probiotics and their roles in type 2 diabetes

Lixiang Zhai, Jiayan Wu, Yan Y. Lam, Hiu Yee Kwan, Zhaoxiang Bian*, Hoi Leong Xavier Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a worldwide prevalent metabolic disorder defined by high blood glucose levels due to insulin resistance (IR) and impaired insulin secretion. Understanding the mechanism of insulin action is of great importance to the continuing development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of T2D. Disturbances of gut microbiota have been widely found in T2D patients and contribute to the development of IR. In the present article, we reviewed the pathological role of gut microbial metabolites including gaseous products, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) products, aromatic amino acids (AAAs) products, bile acids (BA) products, choline products and bacterial toxins in regulating insulin sensitivity in T2D. Following that, we summarized probiotics-based therapeutic strategy for the treatment of T2D with a focus on modulating gut microbiota in both animal and human studies. These results indicate that gut-microbial metabolites are involved in the pathogenesis of T2D and supplementation of probiotics could be beneficial to alleviate IR in T2D via modulation of gut microbiota.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12846
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number23
Early online date27 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Gut microbiota
  • Insulin resistance
  • Insulin signaling
  • Microbial metabolites
  • Probiotics
  • Type 2 diabetes


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