• Figure 1

    Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) generated by the gut microbiota include propionate, acetate, and butyrate, which are essential nutrients for intestinal epithelial cells. SCFAs modulate host energy and glucose metabolism through effects on appetite, energy expenditure, and insulin secretion. Reprinted with permission from Lau WL, Vaziri ND. Gut microbial short-chain fatty acids and the risk of diabetes [Editorial]. Nat Rev Nephrol 2019; 15:389–390.

  • Figure 2

    The gut microbiota affect the acquisition of host nutrients, use of energy, and metabolic pathways, including hepatic lipogenesis and insulin secretion. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are important as a nutrient source for intestinal cells and for maintenance of gut epithelial integrity, and they have systemic benefits, as noted in Figure 1. A shift toward protein and amino acid catabolism (rather than carbohydrate fermentation) produces bacteria-derived toxins such as indoxyl sulfate and trimethylamine N-oxide.

Gut Microbiota and Diabetes An Evolving Relationship

Wei Ling Lau Wei Ling Lau, MD, FASN, is affiliated with the Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Orange, CA

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