The Gut Microbiome: Connecting Diet, Glucose Homeostasis, and Disease

Elizabeth J. Howard, Tony K.T. Lam, Frank A. Duca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Type 2 diabetes rates continue to rise unabated, underscoring the need to better understand the etiology and potential therapeutic options available for this disease. The gut microbiome plays a role in glucose homeostasis, and diabetes is associated with alterations in the gut microbiome. Given that consumption of a Western diet is associated with increased metabolic disease, and that a Western diet alters the gut microbiome, it is plausible that changes in the gut microbiota mediate the dysregulation in glucose homeostasis. In this review, we highlight a few of the most significant mechanisms by which the gut microbiome can influence glucose regulation, including changes in gut permeability, gut-brain signaling, and production of bacteria-derived metabolites like short-chain fatty acids and bile acids. A better understanding of these pathways could lead to the development of novel therapeutics to target the gut microbiome in order to restore glucose homeostasis in metabolic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-481
Number of pages13
JournalAnnual review of medicine
StatePublished - 2022


  • Bile acids
  • Diabetes
  • Gut microbiota
  • High-fat diet
  • Short-chain fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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