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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2018, Article ID 1890978, 7 pages
Review Article

The Relationship between Frequently Used Glucose-Lowering Agents and Gut Microbiota in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Zhuo Li; ac.oohay@ouhz_elbon and Guixia Wang; nc.ude.ulj@861gnawg

Received 26 October 2017; Revised 16 February 2018; Accepted 18 March 2018; Published 7 May 2018

Academic Editor: Peter Bolli

Copyright © 2018 You Lv et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Metabolic diseases, especially diabetes mellitus, have become global health issues. The etiology of diabetes mellitus can be attributed to genetic and/or environmental factors. Current evidence suggests the association of gut microbiota with metabolic diseases. However, the effects of glucose-lowering agents on gut microbiota are poorly understood. Several studies revealed that these agents affect the composition and diversity of gut microbiota and consequently improve glucose metabolism and energy balance. Possible underlying mechanisms include affecting gene expression, lowering levels of inflammatory cytokines, and regulating the production of short-chain fatty acids. In addition, gut microbiota may alleviate adverse effects caused by glucose-lowering agents, and this can be especially beneficial in diabetic patients who experience severe gastrointestinal side effects and have to discontinue these agents. In conclusion, gut microbiota may provide a novel viewpoint for the treatment of patients with diabetes mellitus.