Findings suggest probiotics may be able to treat both types of diabetes.
Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce sufficient amounts of insulin or its cells do not respond properly to the hormone, Medical News Today explained
. Probiotics are the “friendly” bacteria found in the body.
One study found that an engineered strain of Lactobacillus probiotics managed to reduce blood glucose levels by up to 30 percent in diabetic mice, Medical News Today reported. The bacteria secreted a hormone that, once exposed to food, secretes insulin. Acting like pancreatic cells, the microorganisms’ production of insulin helps regulate glucose levels in the blood.
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The drug used in the study contained live microbes from the human gut, and their secretions could shift control of glucose levels from the pancreas to the intestines, the Daily Mail reported
Mice without diabetes showed no effect when taking the probiotics, Medical News Today noted.
Another study with humans showed that although patients who received probiotics showed an increase in insulin resistance, it stayed lower than that of those who took a placebo, Natural News reported
. The probiotics group's fasting plasma glucose also rose less and remained lower than the placebo group's.
The Daily Mail reported that the next steps for researchers is to go further than seeing about using probiotics for treatment: Some think it may be able to cure diabetes. By increasing the dosage, scientists said they hope the bacteria could reverse the condition.
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Studies also show that gut flora may have an effect on the development of type 1 diabetes. In a study on infants, the children who were found positive for the illness had 25 percent fewer types of bacteria in the gut, according to the Diabetes Research Connection
. They had more kinds of germs that have been found to cause gut inflammation, as well.
In addition to results suggesting the healthful effects probiotics may have on diabetes patients, Natural News noted probiotics have few if any risks and side effects and promote good digestion.
Scientists predict that as more research is done on the connection between diabetes and probiotics, patients may be able to take a pill daily to keep the disease in check, according to Medical News Today.
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