Lipids & The Gut

Lipids & The Gut

By: Cassidy Myhre

It is understood that lipid products derived from the gut microbiota are capable of interacting with cells from the immune system, therefore having an immunomodulatory effect on the pathogenesis of immune diseases, such as Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).

Recent research shows that there is a dysregulation in the gut microenvironment in individuals with T1D: 

  • In the presence of dysbiosis, the increase of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) can cause damage to the intestinal barrier and a pro-inflammatory environment.
  • During eubiosis, the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) is fundamental to  the integrity of the intestinal barrier, as well as immunogenic tolerance and appetite/satiety perception. 
  • Dysregulation of the gut microbiota can be reversed via dietary changes or the use of prebiotics, probiotics and symbiotics. 

Additionally, studies have found that other therapeutic remedies, including the drug Metformin, can modify the composition of the gut microbiota and promote changes in the biosynthesis of LPS and SCFA metabolism. Some changes include:

  • Modifications in the gut microbiota, promoting changes in microbial functions, such as LPS biosynthesis, SCFA metabolism and biliary acid metabolism
  • Increases in the levels of Akkermansia muciniphila and Bifidobacterium adolescentis, correlated with an improvement in HbA1c levels.
  • Significant increase in fecal levels of propionate and butyrate, contributing to the antidiabetic effect of the drug.
  • Increased GLP-1 and serum biliary acids, especially colic acid and its conjugates.

Evidence from this research confirms the vital role of the gut microbiota in the pathophysiology of many metabolic disorders, like T1D. These discoveries have provided efficient strategies in preventing dysfunctions occuring in the gut environment, however additional research still needs to be done to understand the complexity of the effects on the gut microbiota.

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