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Microbiota and metabolites in metabolic diseases

In 2018, more than 4,000 publications were dedicated to the study of the gut microbiota, and an important proportion investigated cardiometabolic disorders associated with overweight and obesity. Novel mechanisms and strategies have emerged, some of which were focused not only on specific bacteria or nutrients, but also on new metabolites.

Key advances

  • Faecal salinity shapes the microbiota by reducing the abundance of Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia7.

  • Imidazole propionate is increased in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM); this compound directly contributes to the development of insulin resistance6.

  • Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia muciniphila have been inversely associated with low-grade inflammation, insulin resistance and T2DM8.

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Fig. 1: Novel mechanisms linking microbiota-derived molecules and metabolism.


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P.D.C. is a senior research associate at FRS-FNRS (Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique). P.D.C. is a recipient of grants from FNRS, FRFS-WELBIO, under grant: WELBIO-CR-2017-C02, The Excellence Of Science (EOS 30770923), the Funds Baillet Latour (Grant for Medical Research 2015), POC ERC grant 2016 (European Research Council, Microbes4U_713547) and ERC Starting Grant 2013 (Starting grant 336452-ENIGMO).

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Correspondence to Patrice D. Cani.

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Competing interests

P.D.C. is the inventor on patent applications dealing with the use of A. muciniphila and its components in the treatment of obesity and related disorders. P.D.C. is co-founder of A-Mansia biotech SA.

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Cani, P.D. Microbiota and metabolites in metabolic diseases. Nat Rev Endocrinol 15, 69–70 (2019).

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