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Advances in Complementary & Alternative medicine

Managing the F:B Ratio in DM; A Review of the Role of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in Diabetes Mellitus

Submission: January 29, 2019;Published: February 04, 2019

DOI: 10.31031/ACAM.2018.03.000579

ISSN: 2637-7802
Volume4 Issue1


Globally, the incidence of diabetes continues to rise and significant resources are spent on its prevention and treatment. However, the pathogenesis of this disease has yet to be fully understood or explained. Current research indicates that diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, is highly correlated to an abnormal intestinal microbiota. Bacteria in the gut are essential for numerous metabolic processes including the production of hormones and neurotransmitters and the biosynthesis of vitamins and amino acids. Several studies have shown that gut bacteria play a significant role in controlling type 2 diabetes. The following research aims to show how gut bacteria can be manipulated to improve outcomes in managing diabetes mellitus. This review of research was conducted to determine the role of the gut bacteria in modulating metabolic health and insulin resistance. Various articles, journals, and books were reviewed, and a meta-analysis of the results conducted. From this review of literature, it was noted that alteration of gut bacteria to a more natural balance might reduce oxidative stress on the pancreas and enhance cell permeability glucose uptake. However, an inimical alteration in gut bacteria can spur the overgrowth of certain bacterial species that contribute to diabetes. Thus, it is advised to consume requisite dietary fibers to maintain or restore the gut microbiome in promoting healthy body weight and blood glucose level.


Diabetes mellitus (DM) affects approximately 150 million people worldwide according to the data from the World Health Organization (WHO) [1]. The number of people affected by DM is likely to double by 2025 due to population growth, an unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and aging. Currently, DM is primarily managed with pharmacological agents (such as insulin) or insulin secretagogues (such as metformin). Nonpharmacologic management is also used, eg., dietary regulation, exercise, and psychological counseling. It has been shown that only 40% of DM patients respond satisfactorily to glucose control using secretagogues or insulin injections [2]. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), countries allocate vast sums of money and dedicate massive amounts of resources to help manage DM resulting in an overwhelming burden to families and state governments [1]. As such, there is a desperate need to explore and develop less expensive alternative treatment options with fewer side effects (as compared to conventional and readily available medicines) particularly for countries with limited resources.

Keywords: Alternative treatment; Bacteroidetes; Diabetes mellitus; Firmicutes; Gut bacteria; Insulin; Microbiome; Oxidative stress; Pancreas

Abbreviations: DM: Diabetes Mellitus; IFN-γ: Interferon-Gamma; IL-1: Interleukin-1; IL-2: Interleukin-2; T2DM: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus; WHO: World Health Organization

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