A new line of probiotics could treat obesity and diabetes

A study led by scientists from the Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili (IISPV)-CERCA (Reus Tarragona), could open a new therapeutic pathway for the treatment of inflammatory diseases Y metabolic such as obesity or diabetes type 2. Research indicates that the administration of a specific bacteria, which act as probioticscould lower the levels of succinate in the blood and thus improve the health of people suffering from these diseases.

The work has been carried out in collaboration with institutions and companies from Spain, France and Italy and is published in the magazine microbiome.

succinate is a metabolite with multiple functions produced in a natural by the cells of our body and intestinal bacteria, or microbiota. In metabolic and inflammatory diseases such as obesity and diabetes, where there is an alteration of the intestinal microbiota, the production levels of this metabolite are elevatedwhich is directly related to the characteristic swelling in this type of patients.

Previous studies have shown that elevated levels of this metabolite in the blood are indicative of an increased risk of developing diseases metabolic. “In previous works we showed that these patients had more succinate-producing bacteria and fewer succinate-consuming, but we had not been able to prove a direct causal relationship”, explains Sonia Fernández-Veledo, co-director of the research team at the IISPV. In this research and through the use of obese animal modelswe demonstrated for the first time that the intestinal microbiota is the origin of the elevated levels of succinate in obesity and diabetes“, Add.

Mechanism of action

“Is new line of probiotics is based on the use of succinate-consuming bacteria, which would reduce inflammation and, consequently, would improve glycemic levels and sensitivity to insulintwo aspects that are altered in people with diabetes”, continues the researcher.

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) incidence of obesity in the world population has tripled in the last 50 years. This disease constitutes risk factor most important for the development of diabetes, since 80% of people who suffer from it are obese. For its part, the WHO considers diabetes the ninth leading cause of death in the world.

Although it is known that many of the probiotics that are currently used in the market are beneficial, many times it is not really known how they act and, therefore, their effect cannot be objectively determined. Thanks to our study, we now know the mechanism of action of this new line of probiotics“, Explain isabel huberfirst author of the article.

“The result of the activity of these bacteria, moreover, it is easily measurable in bloodwhich allows monitor its effectiveness in real time”, adds the researcher.

The objective of the research team is that these probiotics can commercialize in the future and help people with metabolic and inflammatory disorders −obesity or diabetes, but also other diseases, such as Crohn’s or the one of nonalcoholic fatty liver− can find a new, more effective way for their treatment.


Huber-Ruano et al. “Orally administered Odoribacter laneus improves glucose control and inflammatory profile in obese mice by depleting circulating succinate”. (2022) microbiome

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