June 19, 2024

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Probiotics Found to Reduce Insulin Resistance and Prevent Diabetes

Probiotics Found to Reduce Insulin Resistance and Prevent Diabetes


Probiotics Found to Reduce Insulin Resistance and Prevent Diabetes, Reveals Study.

Scientists led by Hiroshi Ono at the Institute for Molecular Science’s Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS) in Japan have discovered a gut bacterium that may play a role in improving insulin resistance, thereby preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes.

This research, published today (August 30th) in the journal “Nature,” involved genetic and metabolic analysis of the human fecal microbiome, followed by confirmatory experiments on obese mice.



Understanding Insulin Resistance:

Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar. Under normal circumstances, insulin helps glucose enter muscles and the liver for energy utilization.

When a person experiences insulin resistance, it means insulin can’t perform its role, resulting in more glucose remaining in the bloodstream, and the pancreas producing more insulin.

Insulin resistance can lead to obesity, prediabetes, and the onset of type 2 diabetes.


Probiotics Found to Reduce Insulin Resistance and Prevent Diabetes



Research Findings:

The study revealed that individuals with a predominance of clostridium bacteria in their gut often had higher levels of insulin resistance and higher levels of monosaccharides in their feces.

In contrast, those with more bacteroides bacteria tended to have lower insulin resistance and lower monosaccharide levels in their feces.


The Role of Gut Bacteria:

The human gut is home to trillions of bacteria, many of which break down carbohydrates we consume that would otherwise remain undigested.

While this phenomenon has long been associated with obesity and prediabetes, the exact details were unclear due to the diversity of bacterial species and a lack of metabolic data.

Hiroshi Ono and his team at the Institute for Molecular Science tackled this issue through comprehensive research and identified a bacterium that may help alleviate insulin resistance.


Key Findings:

Initially, they studied metabolites detectable in the feces of over 300 adults during routine check-ups and compared this metabolic profile to their levels of insulin resistance. “We found that higher insulin resistance was associated with an excess of carbohydrates in the feces, especially monosaccharides like glucose, fructose, lactose, and mannose,” stated Ono.


They then described the characteristics of the gut microbiota of the study participants and their relationship with insulin resistance and fecal carbohydrates.

Individuals with higher insulin tolerance had more bacteria from the Lachnospiraceae family, particularly clostridium bacteria.

Furthermore, the microbiota containing clostridium bacteria were associated with excess fecal carbohydrates.

Therefore, microbiota primarily composed of clostridium bacteria were linked to insulin resistance and excess monosaccharides in feces.

In contrast, participants with more bacteroides bacteria in their gut had lower insulin resistance and monosaccharide levels compared to other bacterial types.


Mouse Experiments:

The research team then investigated the direct impact of these bacteria on cultures and the metabolism of mice.

In cultures, the monosaccharides consumed by bacteroides were the same types found in the feces of individuals with high insulin resistance, with Alistipes indistinctus bacteria consuming the most monosaccharides.

The team observed the effects of different bacteria on blood sugar levels in obese mice.

They found that A. indistinctus, a member of the Bacteroides genus, reduced blood sugar, decreased insulin resistance, and the amount of carbohydrates available to the mice.


Implications and Future Outlook:

These findings align with results from human patient studies and hold significant implications for diagnosis and treatment. As explained by Ono, “The presence of clostridium bacteria in the gut may serve as a valuable biomarker for prediabetes due to its association with insulin resistance.

Similarly, the use of probiotics containing these bacteria could potentially improve glucose intolerance in prediabetic patients.”


While most over-the-counter probiotics currently do not contain the bacteria identified in this study, Ono urges caution in their use. “These findings need validation in clinical trials with human subjects before we can recommend any probiotics as a treatment for insulin resistance.”





Probiotics Found to Reduce Insulin Resistance and Prevent Diabetes

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