Medical Technology

Gut Microbiome Linked With Type 2 Diabetes

Key Takeaways

  • Four species of the Lachnospiraceae family of bacteria that are found in the gut microbiome among healthy Finnish adults were associated with the occurrence of type 2 diabetes in a long-term follow-up.

  • Researchers discovered the linkage in two genetically separate regions of Finland.

  • This groundbreaking discovery requires validation in different groups.

Why This Matters

  • The results of the study suggest that the makeup of the gut microbiome can affect the relationships between diet and metabolic diseases and type 2 diabetes.

  • The authors did not know of any similar , prospective, long-term studies of the relationship between type 2 diabetes and gut microbiome.

  • These findings are a significant step towards improving the prediction of incident type 2 diabetes risk and identifying effective treatments via modification of the gut microbiome.

Study Design

  • Analysis of 5572 Finnish residents who participated in the FINRISK study when they were between 24-74 years old.

  • Participants were required to submit a stool sample prior to the time of. The stool samples were then analysed for microbiome content.

  • Researchers monitored the incidence of type 2 diabetes during an average follow-up of 15.8 years.

Key Results

  • During follow-up, 432 people (8 percent) were diagnosed with incident type 2 diabetes.

  • 15 of the 119 taxa that were found in the specimens had positive connections to incident type 2, diabetes, while three showed negative associations when they were analyzed for other risk factors.

  • The majority of positively associated taxa came from the family Lachnospiraceae and others were from the Genus Clostridium. Two of the three negatively associated taxa were from the genus Alistipes.

  • Overall, the researchers identified four species belonging to the family Lachnospiraceae that demonstrated an extensive association with a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes in two geographically and genetically distinct regions of Finland.

  • All four of the diabetes-associated taxa have been linked to other metabolic diseases and risk factors, including obesity and fat-liver disease.


  • To analyze the microbiome contents the study employed the technique known as MEtagenomics with a shallow shotgun. This method restricts the study to describing associations between taxa and the onset of diseases.

  • This level of genetic sequencing is too deep to permit more detailed and comprehensive genomic assessments.


  • The study was supported primarily by grants from a variety of Finnish non-commercial organizations. Illumina and Janssen provided funding for the US microbiome research center.

  • One author has received honoraria from Servier, and another has received an honorarium from Sanofi, as well as research assistance from Bayer.

This is a brief summary of an unpublished research paper by a group of investigators located in Finland. It is available on MedRxiv and provided by Medscape. This study has not been peer examined. includes the complete report of this study.

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