The researchers discovered that supplementing with a multi-strain probiotic for six months had numerous dramatic benefits for people with type 2 diabetes, including:
- An almost 70 percent drop in endotoxin levels
- A 38 percent reduction in glucose levels
- A 38 percent reduction in insulin
- A 48 percent drop in triglycerides, and 19 percent drop in total cholesterol levels
- A 53 percent drop in CRP levels
The researchers concluded that a multi-strain probiotic supplementation significantly reduces inflammation and improves metabolic health and should be considered a promising complementary treatment for people with type 2 diabetes.
These results support the findings of a 2017 study showing that supplementing with probiotics resulted in significant lowering of hemoglobin A1C – a measurement of blood sugar levels over several months – as well as fasting insulin levels, improving the prognosis and management for people with type 2 diabetes.
Fiber and prebiotics for type 2 diabetes
A 2018 study out of Rutgers University found that a diet high in prebiotic-rich high-fiber foods and supplements has significant benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. Increasing prebiotic intake helps promote specific types of beneficial bacteria to help rebalance your gut. These good bacteria then help to lower inflammation, improve management of blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, and promote more significant weight loss.
Your next steps
If you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, what can you do with this new information?
1. Consider taking a probiotic supplement.
The Diabetes Council recommends that your probiotic supplement be a controlled or sustained-release formulation that includes different strains of bacteria, but should at least contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
Other studies have shown that different probiotic strains, including Firmicutes, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Saccharomyces, Bacillus indicus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus licheniformis, and Bacillus clausii are helpful for people with type 2 diabetes.
Some experts believe that the because many bacteria are unable to survive transit to the gut via food or most probiotic supplements, a spore-based capsule form of probiotic is best. You can learn more about traditional and spore-based probiotic supplements in this helpful article here at HealthCentral.
2. Consider increasing your intake of prebiotics
You can increase your consumption of prebiotic-rich foods by eating more foods like rice bran, chicory root, dandelion leaves, Jerusalem artichokes, bananas, barley, and konjac root. You can also get prebiotics from supplements. The Diabetes Council recommends that they contain inulin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and galactooligosaccharides (GOS).
3. Talk to your doctor
Research supports benefits of probiotics and prebiotics, but their use is not yet a standard recommendation. Talk to your health care provider before taking supplements. Some probiotics may be dangerous to people with a defective immune system.