The effect of an anthocyanin on the gut permeability of a Type 2 Diabetic Drosophila melanogaster

(1) Academy of Science, Academies of Loudoun, Leesburg, VA
Cover photo for The effect of an anthocyanin on the gut permeability of a Type 2 Diabetic <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i>
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Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) affected slightly less than half a billion patients globally in 2019 and is expected to affect 700 million by 2045. T2DM is characterized by the body's inability to respond to the body’s circulating insulin, a phenomenon known as insulin resistance. A symptom of T2DM is increased gut permeability, which can lead to an increase in the toxins that enter the gut and bloodstream, resulting in complications such as nerve damage, heart disease, and kidney damage. The current treatment for T2DM, Metformin, can exacerbate gut permeability. One potential alternative to combat Metformin’s negative effects is anthocyanins, like purple sweet potato extract (PSPE), which are water soluble plant pigments with antidiabetic effects like increased insulin secretion. Once anthocyanins reach the large intestine and are transformed by the gut microbiota, they form into metabolites, chemical compounds responsible for metabolism, resulting in decreased gut permeability. Therefore, we hypothesized that anthocyanins can be used as potential chemical mediators that decrease gut permeability. Our research aimed to find whether metabolites of purple sweet potato extract (PSPE) are associated with decreased gut permeability using a type 2 diabetic Drosophila melanogaster model. To determine the gut permeability, we used the Surf Assay and observed that the PSPE treatment drastically reduced gut permeability of the flies. Our research provides valuable knowledge about the relationship between PSPE, gut permeability, and T2DM, which may positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

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