Erythrocyte n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Gut Microbiota, and Incident Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Cohort Study.
Diabetes care 2020 ; 43: 2435-2443.
DOI : 10.2337/dc20-0631
PubMed ID : 32723842
PMCID : PMC7510039
To examine the association of erythrocyte n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) biomarkers with incident type 2 diabetes and explore the potential role of gut microbiota in the association.
We evaluated 2,731 participants without type 2 diabetes recruited between 2008 and 2013 in the Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study (Guangzhou, China). Case subjects with type 2 diabetes were identified with clinical and biochemical information collected at follow-up visits. Using stool samples collected during the follow-up in the subset ( = 1,591), 16S rRNA profiling was conducted. Using multivariable-adjusted Poisson or linear regression, we examined associations of erythrocyte n-6 PUFA biomarkers with incident type 2 diabetes and diversity and composition of gut microbiota.
Over 6.2 years of follow-up, 276 case subjects with type 2 diabetes were identified (risk 0.10). Higher levels of erythrocyte γ-linolenic acid (GLA), but not linoleic or arachidonic acid, were associated with higher type 2 diabetes incidence. Comparing the top to the bottom quartile groups of GLA levels, relative risk was 1.72 (95% CI 1.21, 2.44) adjusted for potential confounders. Baseline GLA was inversely associated with gut microbial richness and diversity (α-diversity, both < 0.05) during follow-up and significantly associated with microbiota β-diversity ( = 0.002). α-Diversity acted as a potential mediator in the association between GLA and type 2 diabetes ( < 0.05). Seven genera (, , , , , , and ) were enriched in quartile 1 of GLA and in participants without type 2 diabetes.
Relative concentrations of erythrocyte GLA were positively associated with incident type 2 diabetes in a Chinese population and also with gut microbial profiles. These results highlight that gut microbiota may play an important role linking n-6 PUFA metabolism and type 2 diabetes etiology.