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Bugs bite diabetes

A new Taiwanese study suggests that probiotics may be a particularly potent therapy for treating type 2 diabetes.

Good bacteria may be a good defense against diabetes. A new study suggests that probiotics may be a particularly potent therapy for treating type 2 diabetes. The study can be found in Nutrition & Metabolism.

Despite it's secondary name, type 2 diabetes is the number one form of diabetes in America, according to the American Diabetes Association. In people with this disease two (not very good) things may happen. Either their bodies do not produce enough insulin, or, their cells ignore the insulin. The body needs insulin to use glucose as energy. When the glucose builds up in the blood instead of being converted to energy the cells begin to starve for it and, over time, high blood glucose levels may damage eyes, kidney, nerves and the heart. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders as well as in older people.

The new Taiwanese study investigated the effects of a new probiotic strain researchers developed, called Lr263, on high-fructose fed rats. The rodents enjoyed their high-fructose, high-bacteria diet (which, frankly, sounds more appetizing than the Paleo Diet), for 14 weeks. They found that the bacteria decreased insulin resistance, delaying the development of type 2 diabetes.

“Our study provided evidence clarifying the effectiveness of Lr263 on reducing insulin resistance as well as hepatic steatosis formation in high-fructose-fed rats and suggested that Lr263 may be a promising therapeutic agent in treating type 2 diabetes,” wrote the article's author, Feng-Ching Hsieh, Department of Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan.

Want to know what's next with probiotics? From regulations to ingredient science to innovative product launches and a forecast for the next two years, check out the Nutrition Business Journal / Engredea Monograph edition on probiotics.


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