This article summarizes the state of the science on the role of the gut microbiota (GM) in diabetes from a recent international expert forum organized by Diabetes, Diabetes Care, and Diabetologia, which was held at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes 2023 Annual Meeting in Hamburg, Germany. Forum participants included clinicians and basic scientists who are leading investigators in the field of the intestinal microbiome and metabolism. Their conclusions were as follows: 1) the GM may be involved in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes, as microbially produced metabolites associate both positively and negatively with the disease, and mechanistic links of GM functions (e.g., genes for butyrate production) with glucose metabolism have recently emerged through the use of Mendelian randomization in humans; 2) the highly individualized nature of the GM poses a major research obstacle, and large cohorts and a deep-sequencing metagenomic approach are required for robust assessments of associations and causation; 3) because single–time point sampling misses intraindividual GM dynamics, future studies with repeated measures within individuals are needed; and 4) much future research will be required to determine the applicability of this expanding knowledge to diabetes diagnosis and treatment, and novel technologies and improved computational tools will be important to achieve this goal.

This article is being simultaneously published in Diabetes (https://doi.org/10.2337/dbi24-0028), Diabetes Care (https://doi.org/10.2337/dci24-0052) and Diabetologia (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-024-06198-1) by the ADA and the EASD.

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