Metformin Alters Gut Bacteria

Source: Environmental, Science and Technology

Metformin is considered as first line of medication for Type 2 Diabetes. Metformin promotes weight loss, lowers increased glucose levels and prevents heart related complications in Diabetes. Research studies have tried to study the mechanism of action of metformin in managing high blood sugar levels.

A recent study published in the journal Nature Medicine has indicated that metformin improves microbes present in the gut resulting in improved glucose metabolism. Administration of metformin not only lowers glucose levels but also it improves bile juices, incretin hormone function and improves insulin secretion. This in turn leads to better blood sugar control.

It is known that there are two types of bacteria – good bacteria and bad bacteria. Akkermansia and bifidobacterium are two types of good bacteria present in our stomach and play an important part in our gastrointestinal function. These bacteria, when present in a healthy number, regulate metabolism, manage lipid levels and mange fat in the abdomen. Type 2 Diabetes can occur as a result of several factors such as obesity, increased lipid levels, inflammation and insulin resistance. The study conducted on diet-induced obese mice showed that metformin promotes the functioning of akkermansia and bifidobacterium in improving their metabolism.

Metformin promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut and helps reduce abdominal obesity and increased lipid levels. This in turn provides better glycaemic control in people with Type 2 Diabetes. This study has shown that people with Type 2 Diabetes who are prescribed metformin have improved metabolism and lowered insulin resistance. Administration of metformin also lowers the risk of inflammation and improved glucose control. Where these findings support metformin as an effective medication for treating various metabolic complications associated with Diabetes, regular exercise and a customised diet plan are also recommended to better manage Diabetes.

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