Metformin and the Gut Microbiome

Diabetes affects the way the body metabolizes glucose (sugar). More specifically, it’s when the body does not use or produce insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas to metabolize sugar, properly.  Type 1 diabetics cannot produce enough insulin while type 2 diabetics are unable to use it properly. People with high glucose levels in their liver, who are overweight, and have pancreatic problems (among others) are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. 


According to the World Health Organization’s 2016 Global Reports on Diabetes,


“An estimated 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980. The global prevalence (age-standardized) of diabetes has nearly doubled since 1980, rising from 4.7% to 8.5% in the adult population” ( WHO, 2016, p. 6)¹


With diabetes rates continuing to rise, it is not surprising that studies are constantly being done to help alleviate symptoms and prevent the disease. A recent explosion of information has begun to emerge about the relationship between humans and the bacteria living in our digestive tract. Amazingly, this information is now being applied to diabetes! 

A 2017 study, published in Nature Medicine, took an in-depth look at Metformin, a type 2 Diabetes medication, and its relationship to the human gut microbiome. It did so through a double-blind experiment that analyzed fecal samples from those taking the drug versus the placebo. They found, by transferring the samples to germ-free mice, that “glucose tolerance was improved in mice that received metformin-altered microbiota” (Wu et. al, 2017, abstract)2.


The human gut microbiome may become an important key to developing cures and treatments for a variety of illnesses. For now, however, diabetes continues to be a prevailing disease. Along with the negative side-effects associated with diabetes, it can also be a catalyst for other severe problems- like kidney problems.


If you have diabetes, the best ways to mitigate damage done to the kidneys is by controlling your blood pressure, correcting urinary tract infections, and avoiding medications that may do more harm to the kidneys. Another option is the dietary supplement Renadyl™, a patented and proprietary probiotic that regulates the bloodstream concentrations of nitrogenous waste metabolites and supports healthy gut flora*. With multiple publications and 3 clinical trials3, Renadyl™ is a wonderful choice for those at high risk of developing kidney problems.*


Works Cited 

1World Health Organization. (2016). Global Report on Diabetes [Press release]. Retrieved from

2Wu, H., Esteve, E., Tremaroli, V., Khan, M. T., Caesar, R., Mannerås-Holm, L., . . . Bäckhed, F. (2017, May 22). Metformin alters the gut microbiome of individuals with treatment-naive type 2 diabetes, contributing to the therapeutic effects of the drug. Retrieved from

3Kibow® Biotech Journal Publications

Start typing and press Enter to search