Alzheimer's Disease and Diabetes: Role of Diet, Microbiota and Inflammation in Preclinical Models

Biomolecules. 2021 Feb 10;11(2):262. doi: 10.3390/biom11020262.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. Epidemiological studies show the association between AD and type 2 diabetes (T2DM), although the mechanisms are not fully understood. Dietary habits and lifestyle, that are risk factors in both diseases, strongly modulate gut microbiota composition. Also, the brain-gut axis plays a relevant role in AD, diabetes and inflammation, through products of bacterial metabolism, like short-chain fatty acids. We provide a comprehensive review of current literature on the relation between dysbiosis, altered inflammatory cytokines profile and microglia in preclinical models of AD, T2DM and models that reproduce both diseases as commonly observed in the clinic. Increased proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β and TNF-α, are widely detected. Microbiome analysis shows alterations in Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes or Firmicutes phyla, among others. Altered α- and β-diversity is observed in mice depending on genotype, gender and age; therefore, alterations in bacteria taxa highly depend on the models and approaches. We also review the use of pre- and probiotic supplements, that by favoring a healthy microbiome ameliorate AD and T2DM pathologies. Whereas extensive studies have been carried out, further research would be necessary to fully understand the relation between diet, microbiome and inflammation in AD and T2DM.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; diet; inflammation; microbiota; microglia; type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't