Diabetes and Probiotics

A reader asked me to research this area. I have recalled coming across articles A quick check on PubMed found 298 articles. I suspect many of these articles may also impact sugar cravings.

“In clinical trials, the use of probiotics in glycemic control presented conflicting results, and only few studies have attempted to evaluate factors that justify metabolic changes, such as markers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and incretins” [2015] “Our meta-analysis suggests that probiotic supplementation might improve, at least to some extent, metabolic control in subjects with type 2 diabetes” [2015]

  • “a strong association between one dominant bacterial species, Bacteroides dorei, and type 1 diabetes was discovered…This dysbiosis may cause a lack of butyrate production by gut bacteria, which, in turn, leads to the development of a permeable gut followed by autoimmunity.”[2015]
  • Eating a yoghurt a day is linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes [2014].
  • “Lactobacillus acidophilus La-5 and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis BB-12… improved the glycemic control in T2D subjects, however, the intake of fermented milk seems to be involved with others metabolic changes, such as decrease in inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and resistin) and increase in the acetic acid” [2015]
    • “The total cholesterol:HDL-C ratio and LDL-C:HDL-C ratio as atherogenic indices significantly decreased in the probiotic group” [2011]
  • Showed “the efficacy and safety of probiotics administration in preventing conversion of impaired glucose tolerance to diabetes”
    • Bifidobacterium longum [National Center for Medical Culture Collections (CMCC): P0001], Lactobacillus acidophilus [CMCC: P0002] and Enterococcus faecalis [2015]
  • ‘Lactobacillus salivarius UCC118… had no impact on glycemic control” [2015] [2014]
  • “VLS#3 probiotics to NOD mice but found that VSL#3 colonized the intestine poorly and did not delay diabetes.” [2015]
  • Intake of Lactobacillus reuteri improves incretin and insulin secretion in glucose-tolerant humans: a proof of concept[2015].

A summary of studies is given in this 2014 full text article.

Bottom Line

There are few clinical studies with probiotics and diabetes. A mixture of Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus  and Enterococcus faecalis has great promise in preventing the transition. Clostridium butyricum may have potential because of low butyrate production being associated with the transition to diabetes [ There have been no studies done yet].

There is work going on with engineered probiotics to treat diabetes, based on Lactobacillus gasseri . [2015] ETA for availability End of 2017.