Systemic Review Reveals Diabetes/Probiotics Link

Probiotics decrease serum cholesterol levels, prevent insulin resistance

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The term probiotic refers to dietary supplements and foods that contain “beneficial” or “friendly” bacteria. The organisms themselves are also called probiotics. Image:


Probiotics play a huge role in digestion and help boost immune response
Many of us are ignorant about the importance and benefits of probiotics. Probiotics, or good gut bacteria, should ideally comprise at least 80% of the total gut bacteria.

If you are diabetic, adding probiotics, as either food or supplements, can change things dramatically. Of course, you also need to eat the right diet to feed the right bacteria after that. There is strong scientific evidence supporting the fact that consuming probiotics helps decrease the serum cholesterol level and improves insulin sensitivity.

While probiotic supplements are highly recommended for type 2 diabetes patients, some of the best probiotics for diabetes also come from natural foods such as Kefir, Yogurt, Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Natto.

According to research conducted at Loughborough University, probiotics prevent insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is often caused by consuming foods that contain trans fats, for a long time. The study found that a high trans-fat and processed food diet can reduce insulin sensitivity by as much as 27%, in healthy adults. Supplementation with probiotics helped normalize insulin functioning.

Below are highlighted excerpts from the study originally published July 2015:
“Probiotic consumption may improve glycemic control modestly. Modification of gut microbiota by probiotic supplementation may be a method for preventing and control hyperglycemia in clinical practice.”

…Abnormal glucose metabolism is causally related to a greater risk of several chronic disorders, including diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular diseases. Blood glucose can be controlled through diet and lifestyle modification to prevent diabetes or related complications and evidence suggests that dietary constituents and supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, dairy products, pistachio and coffee can improve glycemic control or reduce an individual’s risk of diabetes.

…Interestingly, research shows that gut microbiota are involved in diabetes and metabolic disorders, revealing that diabetic patients have altered gut microbiota compared to non-diabetic counterparts.

…Seventeen clinical trials involving 1,105 participants (551 probiotics, 554 control) were included and these trials were parallel RCTs that were similar with regard to baseline characteristics, indicating successful randomization. Sixteen studies were double-blind design; and one was a single-blind design.

…Probiotic species and dose used varied between studies. Eight studies used a single species of probiotics, whereas the others used a combination of equal or more than 2 species. All studies reported good compliance with no side effects from consuming probiotics, except for 2 studies that reported subject flatulence, loose stools or constipation

…All studies reported changes in fasting blood glucose (FBG). Of the seventeen trials, four studies reported a significant reduction of FBG after probiotic intervention, with mean differences ranging from -0.15 to -1.51 mmol/L

…Overall, probiotics significantly reduced FBG by 0.31 mmol/L, insulin by 1.17 µU/mL and improved HOMA-IR by 0.48, indicating a modest effect of probiotics on glycemic control; however, even small glucose reductions may provide health benefits. Abnormal glucose metabolism carries crucial risks for many metabolic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS), and cardiovascular disease.

…probiotics had a greater effect on FBG in people with diabetes and there were only trends of glucose-lowing effect in those without diabetes, supporting the notion that probiotics supplementation may generate a greater benefit in individuals with higher FBG levels.

…Also, low-grade chronic inflammation is observed in diabetic and obese individuals and the immune system is crucial for regulation of glucose

…Thus, our meta-analysis revealed a moderate beneficial effect of probiotics on glycemic control along with lower insulin and HOMA-IR, data that are consistent with a recent meta-analysis suggesting that yogurt intake was associated with an 18% lower risk of T2DM. Modification of gut microbiota by probiotic supplementation may be a method for preventing and control hyperglycemia in clinical practice.

This study supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, (81300689, 81403215). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.”

(sources: courtesy of Public Library of Science, and [This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not constitute medical or other professional advice.]

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