Plain language summary
Type 2 diabetes is a multifaceted disease caused by both genetic and environmental factors such as excessive energy intake and lack of exercise. The gut microbiome has been shown to contribute to many different diseases including diabetes through its effects on the immune system, appetite, and fat storage. Probiotics are living organisms that have health benefits to humans and they have been studied for their effects on individuals with type 2 diabetes. However, the studies that have been performed have shown inconsistent results due to poorly designed trials. This randomised control trial aimed to determine the effects of a probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces species on measures of blood sugar control over a period of 6 months. The results showed that compared to controls, there were significant reductions in measures of blood sugar and total cholesterol. Interestingly the probiotics did not change the diversity of the subjects gut microbiome but did alter their function noting changes in enzymes and metabolites involved in diabetes. It was concluded that over a 6-month period, the supplementation of probiotics containing Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces was of benefit to blood sugar balance and cholesterol levels. This study could be used by healthcare professionals to recommend a specific probiotic to individuals with type 2 diabetes.
The role of probiotic supplementation in type 2 diabetes (T2D) treatment is controversial. The present study aimed to assess the effects of a multi-strain probiotic supplement (LactoLevureR (containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Saccharomyces boulardii)) over 6 months, primarily on glycemic control as well as on lipid levels and alterations in the gut microbiome, among individuals with T2D residing in Greece. A total of 91 adults with T2D (mean age [±SD] 65.12 ± 10.92 years, 62.6% males) were randomized to receive the probiotic supplement or a matching placebo capsule, once daily, for 6 months. Blood chemistries and anthropometric parameters were conducted every 3 months, and stool samples were collected at baseline and at 6 months. Significant reductions in HbA1c, fasting blood glucose, and total cholesterol were observed in participants treated with the probiotic supplement (n = 46) compared to the controls (n = 45), even after adjustment for a greater decrease in adiposity (waist circumference). Although there were no statistically significant differences in the diversity of the gut microbiome (α and β diversity), the administration of probiotics did influence several genera, metabolites, and key enzymes associated with diabetes. Overall, the administration of the multi-strain probiotic LactoLevureR over a 6-month period in individuals with T2D was well-tolerated and had a positive impact on metabolic parameters, alongside improvements in indices of adiposity.