Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2017 Jul;23(7):850-858.
doi: 10.1038/nm.4345. Epub 2017 May 22.

Metformin Alters the Gut Microbiome of Individuals With Treatment-Naive Type 2 Diabetes, Contributing to the Therapeutic Effects of the Drug

Affiliations
Randomized Controlled Trial

Metformin Alters the Gut Microbiome of Individuals With Treatment-Naive Type 2 Diabetes, Contributing to the Therapeutic Effects of the Drug

Hao Wu et al. Nat Med. .

Abstract

Metformin is widely used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D), but its mechanism of action is poorly defined. Recent evidence implicates the gut microbiota as a site of metformin action. In a double-blind study, we randomized individuals with treatment-naive T2D to placebo or metformin for 4 months and showed that metformin had strong effects on the gut microbiome. These results were verified in a subset of the placebo group that switched to metformin 6 months after the start of the trial. Transfer of fecal samples (obtained before and 4 months after treatment) from metformin-treated donors to germ-free mice showed that glucose tolerance was improved in mice that received metformin-altered microbiota. By directly investigating metformin-microbiota interactions in a gut simulator, we showed that metformin affected pathways with common biological functions in species from two different phyla, and many of the metformin-regulated genes in these species encoded metalloproteins or metal transporters. Our findings provide support for the notion that altered gut microbiota mediates some of metformin's antidiabetic effects.

Comment in

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 190 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Jan;42(Database issue):D553-9 - PubMed
    1. Sci Rep. 2015 Sep 23;5:14405 - PubMed
    1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jan 16;104(3):979-84 - PubMed
    1. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Aug;76(15):5237-46 - PubMed
    1. Cell. 2016 Nov 17;167(5):1339-1353.e21 - PubMed

Publication types

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback