Does the Gut Microbiome Play A Role in the Development of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus?

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Amanda Perkins, Pharm-D


Recent evidence suggests that the gut microbiome may favor the occurrence of metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus. Multiple studies over the last decade have demonstrated that the microbial community that colonizes the human gut may also play a role. The human gut flora is a collection of bacteria, archaea and eukarya that colonize the GI tract and has evolved over thousands of years to form a relationship with its human host. gut microbiota is considered healthy until changes and imbalances cause altered health states. The purpose of this paper is to research if the gut microbiome has a role in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This literature review concluded after analyzing the studies mentioned in this paper, the gut microbiome most likely does play a role in the development of T2DM. Significant microbial dysbiosis occurs in T2DM patients compared to non-diabetics. Gut biomarkers can be used to identify pre-diabetics or diabetic patients in a clinical setting. Manipulation of the gut via probiotics can possibly prevent and even treat T2DM. Butyrate, GLP-1, and SCFA producing bacteria seem to be altered in the gut of T2DM patients which may be modifying insulin secretion and blood glucose levels. However, more research and larger clinical trials are needed to be certain. Using terms related to gut microbiome and diabetes, this paper relied heavily on the PubMed search engine for relevant, peer-reviewed, research articles. Most of the articles used are no more than 10 years old.

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