A new study demonstrates that a high concentration of indolepropionic acid can protect against type 2 diabetes. Fiber-rich diets can boost the production of indolepropionic acid which is a metabolite produced by gut bacteria.
Researchers studied the metabolic profiles of 200 participants who were overweight and had problems with glucose tolerance. The participants were divided into two groups: those who had developed type 2 diabetes within first five years and others who did not develop type 2 diabetes within 15 years duration.
The two groups were evaluated by non-targeted metabolomics analysis. Unlike pre-defined markers, this non-targeted approach let the researchers to determine the concentration of various metabolites.
Indolepropionic Acid and Insulin Production
Results showed that a high concentration of indolepropionic acid in the serum was responsible for protection against diabetes. This metabolite enhances secretion of insulin by beta cells of the pancreas which provides the productive effect against diabetes.
Researchers also found that many new lipid metabolites was related to improved insulin resistance and decreased risk of diabetes. The concentrations of these metabolites were also connected with dietary fat. When the saturated fat in the diet is less, the concentration of these metabolites is higher. Like high concentrations of indolepropionic acid, these lipid metabolites also found to be protective against low-level inflammation.
Previous studies also have related gut bacteria with the risk of diabetes in overweight individuals. Our results indicate that indolepropionic acid can be one factor that intervenes with the gut bacteria and a protective effect of diet, explains Kati Hanhineva, Academy Research Fellow at the University of Eastern Finland.
Identifying gut bacteria involves a complex process; that is why the finding the metabolites produced by gut bacteria can be a more possible way for assessing the function of gut bacteria in the pathogenesis of diabetes.
Written by Lax Mariappan Msc