The effects of probiotic and synbiotic supplementation on inflammation, oxidative stress, and circulating adiponectin and leptin concentration in subjects with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus: a GRADE-assessed systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression of randomized clinical trials.

European journal of nutrition. 2023;62(2):543-561

Plain language summary

When acute, inflammation is a necessary function of the immune system allowing the body to recognise and remove foreign stimuli. However, when chronic inflammation occurs, it can contribute to and exacerbate diseases such as type 2 diabetes (T2D). The gut microbiota and the use of probiotics has been shown to modulate processes within the body and decrease chronic inflammation, however research has not consistently shown this and an inverse relationship has been shown in some studies. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to determine the effect of probiotics and synbiotics on inflammation in individuals with prediabetes and T2D. A total of 32 randomised control trials were included in the meta-analysis and showed that certain, but not all inflammatory markers were reduced. Antioxidants were increased. The effect was especially pronounced in individuals with T2D as opposed to prediabetes. It was concluded that probiotics or synbiotics could be useful for individuals with T2D to reduce inflammation and reduce the risk for other associated diseases such as heart disease.


PURPOSE Probiotics or synbiotics consumption have been suggested to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) through a decline in inflammation and oxidative stress, however, the results from studies are conflicting. This study filled this knowledge gap by evaluating randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating probiotics or synbiotics intake on adipokines, inflammation, and oxidative stress in patients with prediabetes and type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). METHODS We systematically did search up to March 2022 in PubMed/Medline, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, and Cochrane library. A random-effect model was applied to estimate the weighted mean difference (WMD) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for each outcome. RESULTS A total of 32 RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. This intervention led to a significant decrease in levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) (WMD - 0.62 mg/l; 95% CI - 0.80, - 0.44; p < 0.001), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) (WMD - 0.27 pg/ml; 95% CI - 0.44, - 0.10; p = 0.002) and malondialdehyde (MDA) (WMD - 0.51 µmol/l; 95% CI - 0.73, - 0.30; p < 0.001), and also a significant increase in levels of glutathione (GSH) (WMD 69.80 µmol/l; 95% CI 33.65, 105.95; p < 0.001), total antioxidant capacity (TAC) (WMD 73.59 mmol/l; 95% CI 33.24, 113.95; p < 0.001) and nitric oxide (NO) (WMD 7.49 µmol/l; 95% CI 3.12, 11.86; p = 0.001), without significant alterations in interleukin-6 (IL-6) and adipokines levels. CONCLUSION A consumption of probiotics or synbiotics could be a useful intervention to improve cardiometabolic outcomes through a reduced inflammation and oxidative stress in patients with prediabetes and T2DM.

Lifestyle medicine

Patient Centred Factors : Mediators/Inflammation
Environmental Inputs : Microorganisms
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Nutrition
Functional Laboratory Testing : Not applicable
Bioactive Substances : Probiotics ; Synbiotics

Methodological quality

Jadad score : Not applicable
Allocation concealment : Not applicable


Nutrition Evidence keywords : Gut microbiota