The Gut Bacteria That May Help Combat Type 2 Diabetes

Possible Causes of Diabetes

About 90% of those diagnosed with diabetes are type 2 diabetes (T2D). While it is partly because of genes, it is also because of the unhealthy lifestyle and diet. More evidence suggests that some naturally occurring gut bacteria, specifically Akkermansia muciniphila, and other microbes that convert dietary fiber to butyrate needed for normal blood sugar (or glucose) and insulin levels, are under-represented in people with type 2 diabetes. 

Can Probiotics with Lactic-Producing Species Help Manage Diabetes?

Previous trials had used probiotics with lactic-producing species. In contrast, this present study utilized a probiotic formulation containing key butyrate producers. Accordingly, we selected the following species: Akkermansia muciniphila (AMUC), Anaerobutyricum hallii (EHAL), Clostridium beijerinckii (CBEI), Clostridium butyricum (CBUT), and Bifidobacterium infantis (BINF).

This study aimed to look at whether giving these specific gut bacteria to people with T2D would help improve their blood sugar and insulin levels after eating and thereby may be an effective way to manage diabetes.

The Study Method on Two Different Probiotic Formulations for Type 2 Diabetes

Two original probiotic formulations containing three (WBF-010) or five (WBF-011) distinct strains were manufactured for this study. WBF-10 contains probiotic strains CBEI, CBUT, and BINF, while WBF-11 comprises these three plus AMUC and EHAL. Silicon dioxide and inulin, a dietary fiber, were added to both formulations.

58 adults with T2D treated with diet and exercise alone or in combination with the drugs metformin and sulfonylurea completed the study. They were randomly assigned into three groups — 21 received WBF-010, 21 got WBF-011, and the rest the placebo silicon dioxide. They ingested three capsules twice a day for 12 weeks. After the treatment period, a standard three-hour meal-tolerance test was administered to check glucose levels. They were asked to drink two servings of Boost Plus Nutritional Drink. Blood samples were taken before they drank the liquid and three more times, every 60 minutes, after that. 

The Results

Both formulations were safe and well-tolerated. Subjects who took them improved more than those who took the placebo in terms of glucose level, with the decrease significant in the WBF-011 group.

The Conclusion

Treatment of T2D with drugs metformin and sulfonylurea, supplemented with WBF-011, significantly decreases blood sugar levels after taking meals (or postprandial). The number of participants was small, so more research is needed to confirm this finding.

Reference

Improvements to Postprandial Glucose Control in Subjects with Type 2 Diabetes: A Multicenter, Double blind, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of a Novel Probiotic Formulation

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