Influence of diet on gut microbiota, inflammation and type 2 diabetes mellitus. First experience with macrobiotic Ma-Pi 2 diet

Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2014 Mar;30 Suppl 1:48-54. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.2518.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a complex disorder influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Recent studies have suggested that an imbalance of the intestinal microbiota may be involved in the development of several human diseases, including obesity and T2DM. The main regulators of the intestinal microbiota are age, ethnicity, the immune system and diet. A high-fat diet may induce dysbiosis, which can result in a low-grade inflammatory state, obesity and other metabolic disorders. Adding prebiotics to the diet may reduce inflammation, endotoxaemia and cytokine levels as well as improving insulin resistance and glucose tolerance. The administration of prebiotics such as fermentable dietary fibres, promotes glucagon-like peptide 1 and peptide YY (anorexigenic) and decreases ghrelin (orexigenic). In a recent 21-day, intervention study in patients with T2DM, the effect of using the macrobiotic Ma-Pi 2 diet was investigated. Results suggested that it could induce a significant improvement in fasting blood glucose, plasma lipid fractions, plasma insulin and homeostasis. It is therefore possible that a diet rich in prebiotics and probiotics can play a role in T2DM management, probably due to positive intestinal microbiota modulation. However, this must be demonstrated by larger studies including randomized controlled trials that measure indicators of inflammation.

Keywords: Ma-Pi 2 macrobiotic diet; prebiotic; probiotic; type 2 diabetes; whole-grain cereals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diet
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Diet, Macrobiotic*
  • Dysbiosis / physiopathology
  • Endotoxemia / complications
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Microbiota
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Prebiotics / microbiology
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use


  • Prebiotics