Date Presented

Spring 5-4-2023

Document Type




First Advisor

Jamie Brooks, PhD

Second Advisor

David O. Freier, MA, PhD

Third Advisor

Price Blair, PhD


Diabetes is one of the leading health threats to Western society. While several treatmentoptions and preventative measures exist for diabetes, physicians routinely recommend exercise to improve glucose metabolism in diabetics. However, many patients still struggle with both excessglucose production and inefficient glucose uptake, despite adherence to an exercise regimen.This phenomenon, known as exercise resistance, means that exercise is either ineffective orharmful for diabetics. While some diabetics may not respond well to exercise due tomitochondrial limitations, other factors, such as gut microbiome dysbiosis and lactic acidosis,could be contributors. Lactate-metabolizing gut bacteria, like Veillonella atypica, couldameliorate exercise’s negative effects in diabetics byimproving dysbiosis and lactic acidosis. V.atypica is traditionally classified as a strict anaerobe that could metabolize lactate into usableshort-chain fatty acids (SCFA) to improve diabetic exercise resistance symptoms. However,many characteristics of V. atypica have only been supported by genomic studies, so this project’sgoal was to begin to characterize the metabolic features of V. atypica in the laboratory. In thisstudy, fluid thioglycollate tests supported literature that V. atypica was an obligate anaerobe.Growth on Brain heart infusion (BHI) versus BHI plus lactate (BHIL) media showed that V.atypica could grow with or without lactate at 25°C and 37°C; however, V. atypica grew better inthe presence of lactate at 37°C. GC-MS analysis detected high quantities of potentially beneficial SCFAs, acetic and propionic acids, from metabolism of V. atypica, particularly inBHIL media. These data could contribute to the potential development of a well-tested, clinically-safe, V. atypica-based probiotic to amend exercise resistance in diabetics.