A study published in Diabetologia has identified a characteristic aberrant intestinal microbiota signature in individuals with prediabetes, as compared with those with normal glucose regulation.

Researchers studied 134 adults from Denmark who had prediabetes, were overweight, and exhibited dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and low-level inflammation. Prediabetes was defined as a combination of fasting plasma glucose between 6.1 and 7.0 mmol/L as well as other clinical indicators. Researchers matched them with a control group of 134 adults of corresponding sex and age who exhibited normal glucose regulation. An examination of gut microbiota revealed a difference between the 2 groups of 36 operational taxonomic units and 5 types of bacteria.

There was a lower abundance of Clostridium (P =.0497) and increased abundances of Dorea (Ruminococcus) (P =.0005), Sutterella (P =.0001), and Streptococcus (P =.0004) in individuals with prediabetes. Of the operational taxonomic units, the most significant decreases in abundance in patients with prediabetes were in Clostridiales (P =.002) and Akkermansia muciniphila (P =.0004). Researchers also transferred fecal matter from some participants with prediabetes and drug-naive type 2 diabetes to mice, which did not hamper their glucose regulation.

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These findings suggest that “individuals with prediabetes have aberrant intestinal microbiota characterised by a decreased abundance of the genus Clostridium and the mucin-degrading bacterium A. muciniphila. Our findings are comparable to observations in overt chronic diseases characterised by low-grade inflammation.”


Allin KH, Tremaroli V, Caesar R, et al. Aberrant intestinal microbiota in individuals with prediabetes. Diabetologia. 2018; 61(4):810-820.