Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Insulin resistance


Obesity and type 2 diabetes are characterized by altered gut microbiota, inflammation, and gut barrier disruption. Microbial composition and the mechanisms of interaction with the host that affect gut barrier function during obesity and type 2 diabetes have not been elucidated. We recently isolated Akkermansia muciniphila, which is a mucin-degrading bacterium that resides in the mucus layer. The presence of this bacterium inversely correlates with body weight in rodents and humans. However, the precise physiological roles played by this bacterium during obesity and metabolic disorders are unknown. This study demonstrated that the abundance of A. muciniphila decreased in obese and type 2 diabetic mice. We also observed that prebiotic feeding normalized A. muciniphila abundance, which correlated with an improved metabolic profile. In addition, we demonstrated that A. muciniphila treatment reversed high-fat diet-induced metabolic disorders, including fat-mass gain, metabolic endotoxemia, adipose tissue inflammation, and insulin resistance. A. muciniphila administration increased the intestinal levels of endocannabinoids that control inflammation, the gut barrier, and gut peptide secretion. Finally, we demonstrated that all these effects required viable A. muciniphila because treatment with heat-killed cells did not improve the metabolic profile or the mucus layer thickness. In summary, this study provides substantial insight into the intricate mechanisms of bacterial (i.e., A. muciniphila) regulation of the cross-talk between the host and gut microbiota. These results also provide a rationale for the development of a treatment that uses this human mucus colonizer for the prevention or treatment of obesity and its associated metabolic disorders.

Concepts: Bacteria, Gut flora, Nutrition, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Insulin resistance


To investigate whether a whole grain diet alters the gut microbiome and insulin sensitivity, as well as biomarkers of metabolic health and gut functionality.

Concepts: Nutrition, Insulin, Obesity, Insulin resistance, Carbohydrate, Whole grain


 To assess the risks of amputation, blindness, severe kidney failure, hyperglycaemia, and hypoglycaemia in patients with type 2 diabetes associated with prescribed diabetes drugs, particularly newer agents including gliptins or glitazones (thiazolidinediones).

Concepts: Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Insulin resistance, Anti-diabetic drug, Sulfonylurea, Pioglitazone, Thiazolidinedione, Rosiglitazone


 To assess diagnostic accuracy of screening tests for pre-diabetes and efficacy of interventions (lifestyle or metformin) in preventing onset of type 2 diabetes in people with pre-diabetes.

Concepts: Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Evaluation, Obesity, Diabetes, Insulin resistance, Sulfonylurea, Prevention


Self-monitoring of blood glucose among people with type 2 diabetes not treated with insulin does not appear to be effective in improving glycemic control. We investigated whether health professional review of telemetrically transmitted self-monitored glucose results in improved glycemic control in people with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.

Concepts: Nutrition, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Randomized controlled trial, Diabetes, Insulin resistance, Carbohydrate


The study investigated cross-sectional associations of total amount and patterns of sedentary behaviour with glucose metabolism status and the metabolic syndrome.

Concepts: Nutrition, Hypertension, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Blood sugar, Insulin resistance


BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies suggest that excessive sitting time is associated with increased health risk, independent of the performance of exercise. We hypothesized that a daily bout of exercise cannot compensate the negative effects of inactivity during the rest of the day on insulin sensitivity and plasma lipids. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Eighteen healthy subjects, age 21±2 year, BMI 22.6±2.6 kgm(-2) followed randomly three physical activity regimes for four days. Participants were instructed to sit 14 hr/day (sitting regime); to sit 13 hr/day and to substitute 1 hr of sitting with vigorous exercise 1 hr (exercise regime); to substitute 6 hrs sitting with 4 hr walking and 2 hr standing (minimal intensity physical activity (PA) regime). The sitting and exercise regime had comparable numbers of sitting hours; the exercise and minimal intensity PA regime had the same daily energy expenditure. PA was assessed continuously by an activity monitor (ActivPAL) and a diary. Measurements of insulin sensitivity (oral glucose tolerance test, OGTT) and plasma lipids were performed in the fasting state, the morning after the 4 days of each regime. In the sitting regime, daily energy expenditure was about 500 kcal lower than in both other regimes. Area under the curve for insulin during OGTT was significantly lower after the minimal intensity PA regime compared to both sitting and exercise regimes 6727.3±4329.4 vs 7752.0±3014.4 and 8320.4±5383.7 mU•min/ml, respectively. Triglycerides, non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B plasma levels improved significantly in the minimal intensity PA regime compared to sitting and showed non-significant trends for improvement compared to exercise. CONCLUSIONS: One hour of daily physical exercise cannot compensate the negative effects of inactivity on insulin level and plasma lipids if the rest of the day is spent sitting. Reducing inactivity by increasing the time spent walking/standing is more effective than one hour of physical exercise, when energy expenditure is kept constant.

Concepts: Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Overweight, Glucose tolerance test, Impaired fasting glycaemia, Insulin resistance, Impaired glucose tolerance


Although loss of functional β-cell mass is a hallmark of diabetes, no treatment approaches that halt this process are currently available. We recently identified thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) as an attractive target in this regard. Glucose and diabetes upregulate β-cell TXNIP expression, and TXNIP overexpression induces β-cell apoptosis. In contrast, genetic ablation of TXNIP promotes endogenous β-cell survival and prevents streptozotocin (STZ)- and obesity-induced diabetes. Finding an oral medication that could inhibit β-cell TXNIP expression would therefore represent a major breakthrough. We were surprised to discover that calcium channel blockers inhibited TXNIP expression in INS-1 cells and human islets and that orally administered verapamil reduced TXNIP expression and β-cell apoptosis, enhanced endogenous insulin levels, and rescued mice from STZ-induced diabetes. Verapamil also promoted β-cell survival and improved glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in BTBR ob/ob mice. Our data further suggest that this verapamil-mediated TXNIP repression is conferred by reduction of intracellular calcium, inhibition of calcineurin signaling, and nuclear exclusion and decreased binding of carbohydrate response element-binding protein to the E-box repeat in the TXNIP promoter. Thus, for the first time, we have identified an oral medication that can inhibit proapoptotic β-cell TXNIP expression, enhance β-cell survival and function, and prevent and even improve overt diabetes.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Glucose, Insulin resistance, Calcium channel blocker


Experimental evidence suggests that higher levels of urea may increase insulin resistance and suppress insulin secretion. However, whether higher levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) are associated with increased risk of incident diabetes mellitus in humans is not known. To study this, we built a national cohort of 1,337,452 United States Veterans without diabetes to characterize the association of BUN and risk of incident diabetes. Over a median follow-up of 4.93 years, there were 172,913 cases of incident diabetes. In joint risk models of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and BUN. there was no association between eGFR and the risk of incident diabetes in those with a BUN of 25 mg/dl or less. However, the risk was significantly increased in those with a BUN over 25 mg/dl at all eGFR levels, even in those with an eGFR of 60 ml/min/1.73m2 or more (hazard ratio 1.27; confidence interval 1.24-1.31). The risk of incident diabetes was highest in those with BUN over 25 mg/dL and an eGFR under 15 ml/min/1.73m2 (1.68; 1.51-1.87). Spline analyses of the relationship between BUN and risk of incident diabetes showed that risk was progressively higher as BUN increased. In models where eGFR was included as a continuous covariate, compared to a BUN of 25 mg/dl or less, a BUN over 25 mg/dl was associated with increased risk of incident diabetes (1.23; 1.21-1.25). Every 10 ml/min/1.73m2 decrease in eGFR was not associated with risk of incident diabetes (1.00; 1.00-1.01). Two-stage residual inclusion analyses showed that, independent of the impact of eGFR, every 10 mg/dL increase in BUN concentration was associated with increased risk of incident diabetes (1.15; 1.14-1.16). Thus, higher levels of BUN are associated with increased risk of incident diabetes mellitus.

Concepts: Nephrology, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Renal function, Blood urea nitrogen, Insulin resistance, Urea


Wide-scale profiling technologies including metabolomics broaden the possibility of novel discoveries related to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes (T2D). By applying non-targeted metabolomics approach, we investigated here whether serum metabolite profile predicts T2D in a well-characterized study population with impaired glucose tolerance by examining two groups of individuals who took part in the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS); those who either early developed T2D (n = 96) or did not convert to T2D within the 15-year follow-up (n = 104). Several novel metabolites were associated with lower likelihood of developing T2D, including indole and lipid related metabolites. Higher indolepropionic acid was associated with reduced likelihood of T2D in the DPS. Interestingly, in those who remained free of T2D, indolepropionic acid and various lipid species were associated with better insulin secretion and sensitivity, respectively. Furthermore, these metabolites were negatively correlated with low-grade inflammation. We replicated the association between indolepropionic acid and T2D risk in one Finnish and one Swedish population. We suggest that indolepropionic acid, a gut microbiota-produced metabolite, is a potential biomarker for the development of T2D that may mediate its protective effect by preservation of β-cell function. Novel lipid metabolites associated with T2D may exert their effects partly through enhancing insulin sensitivity.

Concepts: Metabolism, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Glucose tolerance test, Insulin resistance, Metabolic syndrome