Accumulating evidence implicates gut microbiota as promising targets for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). With a randomized clinical trial, we tested the hypothesis that alteration of gut microbiota may be involved in the alleviation of T2DM with hyperlipidemia by metformin and a specifically designed herbal formula (AMC). Four hundred fifty patients with T2DM and hyperlipidemia were randomly assigned to either the metformin- or AMC-treated group. After 12 weeks of treatment, 100 patients were randomly selected from each group and assessed for clinical improvement. The effects of the two drugs on the intestinal microbiota were evaluated by analyzing the V3 and V4 regions of the 16S rRNA gene by Illumina sequencing and multivariate statistical methods. Both metformin and AMC significantly alleviated hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia and shifted gut microbiota structure in diabetic patients. They significantly increased a coabundant group represented by Blautia spp., which significantly correlated with the improvements in glucose and lipid homeostasis. However, AMC showed better efficacies in improving homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and plasma triglyceride and also exerted a larger effect on gut microbiota. Furthermore, only AMC increased the coabundant group represented by Faecalibacterium spp., which was previously reported to be associated with the alleviation of T2DM in a randomized clinical trial. Metformin and the Chinese herbal formula may ameliorate type 2 diabetes with hyperlipidemia via enriching beneficial bacteria, such as Blautia and Faecalibacterium spp. IMPORTANCE Metabolic diseases such as T2DM and obesity have become a worldwide public health threat. Accumulating evidence indicates that gut microbiota can causatively arouse metabolic diseases, and thus the gut microbiota serves as a promising target for disease control. In this study, we evaluated the role of gut microbiota during improvements in hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia by two drugs: metformin and a specifically designed Chinese herbal formula (AMC) for diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia. Both drugs significantly ameliorated blood glucose and lipid levels and shifted the gut microbiota. Blautia spp. were identified as being associated with improvements in glucose and lipid homeostasis for both drugs. AMC exerted larger effects on the gut microbiota together with better efficacies in improving HOMA-IR and plasma triglyceride levels, which were associated with the enrichment of Faecalibacterium spp. In brief, these data suggest that gut microbiota might be involved in the alleviation of diabetes with hyperlipidemia by metformin and the AMC herbal formula.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical trial
- Gut microbiota
- Traditional Chinese medicine
- Type 2 diabetes