When it comes to regulating blood sugar in the body, we instinctively think of the foods we’re eating and how they can help keep us on track. While it’s true that dietary changes are one of the first actions taken when looking to maintain healthy blood glucose and feel healthier, intriguing research is asserting that taking probiotics can also help keep blood sugar levels in check.
A world beneath the microscope
To understand how good bacteria influences glucose levels and benefits you in numerous other ways, you must first look at where the bacteria resides: your microbiome.
Home to trillions of bacteria, your microbiome hosts the delicate balance of microorganisms that comprise 90% of your body. And a great majority of these microbes live within the gut environment.
The intestinal tract contains a vast array of metabolites that are naturally produced by your resident gut microbes. Metabolites are little molecules from our bacteria that interact with the cells in your body, and their job is to detect and send chemical messages to your other organs to keep you functioning healthfully. It’s quite the intricate communication system!
The bacteria that live within your gut produce proteins that have an assertive influence on these chemical detectors. When the gut microbiome is out of balance, your microbes might not be optimally collaborating with your cells - which can cause all sorts of issues, including the fluctuation of glucose levels and energy homeostasis.
What causes our microbiomes to be thrown off-kilter? Factors like age, chronic stress, a diet high in processed foods, exposure to antibiotics, and excessive hygiene practices in our western culture can deplete our good flora, creating a microbial imbalance in our gut. Often, if the good bacteria are wiped out, it opens the door for the bad guys to gain traction and may affect how our body functions and how we feel.
Fortunately for us, it looks like taking a probiotic can help replenish what may have been lost, restoring balance to our microbiomes and allowing the biochemical signals to work on our behalf as nature intended.
Probiotics and insulin
Why do glucose levels matter? Simply put, glucose is the sugar that comes from foods like carbohydrates that are released throughout your bloodstream during digestion. Insulin, released from the pancreas, helps break down these sugars and move them from your blood into your cells, energizing your body and keeping you feeling your best.
Newly released evidence is now showing that a specific profusion of probiotic bacteria in the gut can help you maintain optimal blood glucose levels. The key players are probiotic strains from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera.
Last year, a German Diabetes Center clinical study found that taking the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri promoted optimal glucose and insulin levels in participants.1
Another fascinating study conducted by the faculty of Health and Nutrition at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran evaluated how the probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis impact oxidative stress and glucose levels. After just six weeks of consuming a probiotic yogurt containing these two key strains, the 64 study participants experienced significant results.2
This is an exciting prospect for those who are looking to maintain their blood glucose levels. If simply eating yogurt fortified with specific probiotics can make a difference, a concentrated probiotic supplement containing these key strains could offer ever more support.
Begin with the best supplement
Yogurt is a good place to start when it comes to probiotics, but bacteria tend to die off quickly in the yogurt we typically buy at the store - plus they’re often loaded with sugars. A premium probiotic supplement ensures a much greater number of these good bacteria remain viable and make it to your GI tract where they can assist in supporting and maintaining a normalized level of glucose in the body.
If you’re on the hunt for ways to support your blood glucose, focusing on the state of your gut health can also maximize the rest of your efforts. Probiotics have even been shown to help you better absorb the nutrients from your food and balance your immune system, which will further contribute to helping you feel your best each day.
While there are many dietary recommendations available for those looking to maintain glucose levels, foods high in prebiotics can help feed the good bacteria naturally present in your GI tract and those consumed through foods or supplements. Prebiotic and probiotic foods can be highly beneficial to your gut health, but it can be difficult to ingest the right amount of bacteria from your diet alone, (since our modern culture has a way of consistently wiping out the good guys).
Hyperbiotics Glucose Support can kickstart your microbiome and help ensure your body is getting all the goodness that it needs. Hyperbiotics formulas are ideal because we include a large variety of strains to help cover the different niches within your gut environment. Our glucose formula includes strains studied for their positive role in supporting normalized glucose levels—Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium lactis—plus Banaba Leaf Extract and Vitamin D3 for targeted support.
In one randomized trial, daily intake of L. reuteri (the same strain used in Glucose Support) promoted optimal glucose and insulin levels. Twenty-one participants who ingested L. reuteri every day for 4 weeks saw a significant 49% increase in insulin secretion1!
With a natural, effective probiotic as part of your overall health strategy, your microbiome will be dancing with gut bugs, which can optimize your blood sugar along with the health of many other functions in the body.
1. Simon, M., Strassburger, K., Nowotny, B., Kolb, H., Nowotny, P., Burkart, V., . . . Roden, M. (2015). Intake of Lactobacillus reuteri Improves Incretin and Insulin Secretion in Glucose-Tolerant Humans: A Proof of Concept. Diabetes Care,38(10), 1827-1834. doi:10.2337/dc14-2690
2. Ejtahed, H. S., Mohtadi-Nia, J., Homayouni-Rad, A., Niafar, M., Asghari-Jafarabadi, M., & Mofid, V. (2012). Probiotic yogurt improves antioxidant status in type 2 diabetic patients. Nutrition,28(5), 539-543. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2011.08.013
Julie Hays is the Communications Director here at Hyperbiotics. Health writer and mama of two little girls, Julie's on a mission to empower others to live lives free of the microbial depletion many of us face today. For more ideas on how you can maximize wellness and benefit from the power of probiotics, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.
Subscribe to our newsletter and always be the first to hear about what is happening.
© 2017 Hyperbiotics.