June 28, 2018

Probiotics for Diabetes

Probiotic supplements and foods can boost the number of good bacteria in your system. These bacteria and yeasts can have significant health benefits - and they might even have a positive effect on diabetes management! In this article, the team

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Probiotics & Diabetes

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The term “bacteria” may conjure up images of creepy crawlies scurrying about the inner workings of your body. As many as 39 trillion of these organisms live in the average human body – that’s more than the number of cells you have! But while bacteria can be harmful, there are also helpful bacteria that facilitate health and help prevent diseases.

Probiotic supplements and foods can boost the number of good bacteria in your system. These bacteria and yeasts can have significant health benefits – and they might even have a positive effect on diabetes management! In this article, the team at US MED will take you on a deep dive into the world of probiotics.

The Gut Microbiome And Type 2 Diabetes

Microorganisms in the human digestive tract are collectively known as the microbiome or “gut flora.” The microbiome consists of viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria. As mentioned before, some of these microorganisms can be unfavorable, but many can help ward off disease or illness.

Everyone’s microbiome is different due to various factors. A person’s DNA, date of birth, whether they were breastfed or formula-fed, their environment, and their diet can all influence the different types of microorganisms found in their microbiome. The more variety in a person’s gut, the better their chances of having good digestion, sufficient mineral absorption, and a healthier immune system.

The balance of the microbiome can also be affected by illnesses and antibiotics that eliminate good and bad bacteria. An unhealthy balance of gut flora can lead to digestive issues, weight gain, skin disorders, infections, colds, and even mental health issues.

What Are Probiotics?

One of the best methods to improve your microbiome is to take probiotic supplements. These supplements contain live bacteria in one or more strains. Strains comProbiotic Nutrition Labelsmonly found in these supplements include Bacillus coagulans, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacteria, and Lactobacillus. You may want to discuss the use of probiotic supplements with your doctor before taking these supplements. That’s especially true if you have bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine, excess yeast growth, or immune system problems.

Of course, supplements aren’t the only way to get probiotics! These bacteria are also commonly found in fermented foods and certain cheeses. Along with this, exposure to dirt through activities like gardening and camping can positively affect your microbiome.

What Are Prebiotics?

Though their name is similar to probiotics, prebiotics are a different thing entirely. These consist of fibers and other substances in the human diet that your digestive system can’t break down on its own. Instead, the good bacteria in your microbiome consume these substances.

Prebiotic supplements are available, but you may not need to take them. After all, prebiotics are in foods you likely eat every day, including legumes, fruits, and vegetables! By consuming balanced amounts of probiotics and prebiotics, you can enjoy multiple health benefits.

How The Gut Microbiome Affects Diabetes

Though additional research is needed, probiotics may be able to improve many health issues. In regards to probiotics and diabetes, one study found that probiotics and a healthy diet lowered participants’ A1C by 8.9% after three months. In comparison, participants solely following a healthy diet lowered their A1C by 3.4%.

Along with this, research suggests probiotics may decrease glucose and insulin levels in people with diabetes. Studies of animals found that probiotic bacteria strains helped to boost glucose tolerance and hyperglycemia. Human studies have also been encouraging but have usually been limited to fewer than 20 participants. As a result, it’s still challenging to determine what factors contributed to the improved glycemic control in these studies.

What Are The Best Probiotic Supplements For People Who Have Type 2 Diabetes?

Since the research is still ongoing, US MED cannot currently encourage people to take probiotics for diabetes specifically. Still, there is conclusive evidence that probiotics can assist your overall health. Notably, a healthy microbiome promotes heart health, which is of utmost importance for people with diabetes.

Because of these health benefits, you may be interested in taking probiotic supplements. Before doing so, you should ask your healthcare team about this possibility. Are you wondering what to do after you have the all-clear for probiotic supplements? The best probiotics for diabetes include multiple probiotic strains, a minimum of 30 billion Colony Forming Units, and the “USP Verified” seal. To see if and how these supplements are affecting your blood glucose levels, be sure to check your blood sugar regularly.

Are There Probiotic And Prebiotic Foods For Type 2 Diabetes?

In addition to supplements, there are all sorts of foods that can naturally introduce good bacteria to your gut flora and help them stay healthy. We’ll explore two categories more closely: fermented foods and foods with prebiotic fiber.

Fermented Foods

Along with plain yogurt, fermented foods are one of the best dietary choices for getting probiotics. In particular, keep an eye out for:

Pickles and pickled vegetables

However, make sure the fermented foods you’re eating aren’t pasteurized! This technique kills bacteria so that you won’t get the health benefits associated with probiotics.

Prebiotic Foods

Meanwhile, it’s a good idea to eat foods high in prebiotics to keep the good bacteria in your gut well-fed. Many common foods include this type of fiber.

Jerusalem artichokes

Keep Your Blood Sugar Under Control – With Or Without Probiotics

Though the jury’s still out on how probiotics can affect diabetes management, the early signs are good – and they can improve your health in other ways, too. With the information we’ve put together here, you’ll have no trouble adding probiotic supplements or probiotic/prebiotic foods to your diet!

If you decide to reap the benefits of probiotics, you’ll want to keep an extra-close eye on your glucose levels. The CGM systems sold by US MED can help – we offer systems such as the FreeStyle Libre 14 Day System, the FreeStyle Libre 2, and the Dexcom G6. No matter what system you choose, our company can ship it to you for free and provide any additional supplies you need!

Shirley DeLeon Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist

Medical Review by Shirley DeLeon, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

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