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Lactobacillus seems to trigger insulin production, research finds

A German clinical study found that Lactobacillus reuteri improves gut microbiota, causing an increase in insulin production in 20 non-diabetic test subjects.

A German Diabetes Center clinical study found that daily ingestion of Nutraceutix's L. reuteri probiotic enriches human gut microbiota and triggers the body to make more insulin, thus reducing blood glucose.

The study involved daily administration of Nutraceutix's L. reuteri strain in tablets using the patented BIO-tract delivery technology that protects live probiotics from stomach-acid damage on their way to the intestinal tract. The study was funded, in part, by Nutraceutix.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study compared secretion of insulin, C-peptide and proglucagon-derived peptides and pancreatic beta-cell function in 20 glucose-stimulated, non-diabetic participants to measure the effect on incretin, the group of hormones that stimulates insulin production.

Participants took L. reuteri tablets or placebo tablets daily over a four-week period. People taking the L. reuteri had increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion by 49 percent, C-peptide secretion by 55 percent, GLP-1 release by 76 percent, GLP-2 release by 43 percent, and altered beta-cell function relative to people taking the placebo.

In a related 2012 presentation before the American Diabetes Association, the study's primary researcher concluded, "Probiotic treatment may improve incretin-mediated beta-cell function" which could be beneficial for managing blood glucose. Click here for a webcast of the presentation. 

Detailed gut microbiota composition analysis of the study participants was done before and after the study. After the study, all those taking L. reuteri BIO-tract tablets had detectable L. reuteri in their stool samples, while those tested from the placebo group did not. No participants reported adverse effects.

The study article, along with supplementary data, was published online at the American Diabetes Association  Diabetes Care website in June.

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