medwireNews: A pilot study indicates that a probiotic supplementation containing mostly anaerobic bacteria may have a role in controlling glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
The researchers designed a probiotic specifically for people with type 2 diabetes, containing the complex oligosaccharide-consuming species Akkermansia muciniphila and Bifidobacterium infantis, and the butyrate producers Anaerobutyricum hallii, Clostridium beijerinckii, and C. butyricum, plus dietary fiber.
The microbiomes of people with type 2 diabetes often lack these species, they explain, yet previous trials of probiotics “have used commercially available species that are not known to be absent or decreased in type 2 diabetes.”
As reported in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, 21 people with type 2 diabetes took this probiotic in the form of three capsules, two times a day, within 30 minutes of their morning and evening meals, while 16 people took placebo capsules. The study participants were approximately 50 years old, on average, and about 57% were women.
The primary endpoint was the change in glucose area under the curve during a standard 3-hour meal tolerance test. Between baseline and 12 weeks this increased by 21.2 mg/dL per 180 minutes in the placebo group, but decreased by 14.9 mg/dL per 180 minutes in the probiotic group. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant.
Orville Kolterman (Pendulum Therapeutics, Inc, San Francisco, California, USA) and co-researchers note that there was no significant difference in the change in fasting plasma glucose between the two groups during the trial. This suggests that the improvements in glucose tolerance “appear to be driven by a reduction in the plasma glucose concentrations during the postprandial period.”
The team also notes that bodyweight and insulin resistance remained stable during the trial, so neither weight loss nor changes in insulin sensitivity contributed to the effects of the probiotic.
There was a third group of 21 people who received a slightly different formulation, but this did not have a significant effect on the primary endpoint. The formulation differed in that it lacked A. muciniphila and A. hallii, and the team says “[i]t therefore seems likely that one or both of [these strains] are necessary for the observed effect on glycemic control, but understanding whether they are sufficient for the effect will require additional study.”
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