Increased intestinal permeability to oral chromium (51Cr) -EDTA in human Type 2 diabetes




In animal models of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, permeability of the intestine is increased because of impairment of tight junction proteins, allowing translocation of bacterial endotoxin and resulting in low-grade systemic inflammation. This has yet to be demonstrated in humans. The objective of this study was the demonstration of increased intestinal permeability in human Type 2 diabetes.


We examined intestinal permeability using chromium (51Cr)-EDTA urinary recovery in twenty well-controlled men with Type 2 diabetes compared with control subjects matched for age, gender and BMI.


Intestinal permeability was significantly increased (P = 0.002) in the diabetic group and was correlated to increased levels of systemic inflammatory markers high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (r = 0.694, P = 0.001), interleukin 6 (r = 0.548, P = 0.012) and tumour necrosis factor alpha (r = 0.564, P = 0.010).


This is the first demonstration that increased intestinal permeability may be a feature of human Type 2 diabetes.