Probiotics, Prebiotics­ And Now, Postbiotics Could Aid Blood Sugar Control

| May 8, 2017

Probiotics – supplements of live, beneficial bacteria that help to boost or balance your natural “microbiome” – have become a big success story. They not only help improve digestion and gut health but can also regulate the immune system and support physical and mental health in numerous ways. They may even help to prevent type 1 diabetes in children, as I wrote here.

Not long after probiotics came on the scene, we started to hear about prebiotics, the food-plant compounds that we can’t digest, but which are eagerly gobbled up by our friendly bacteria. As I explained in previous posts, here and here, supporting a healthy microbiome by using probiotics and prebiotics could help you to better control blood sugar levels and prevent obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Now, there’s another name to remember – postbiotics. This is the name given to useful things that the beneficial bacteria produce, including by-products of their metabolism and components of their cell walls that are left over after the bacteria die. In fact, postbiotics are the real reason why the microbiome is so important for our health.

Researchers at McMaster University in Canada have found that a bacterial cell wall compound called muramyl dipeptide can increase insulin absorption and lower blood sugar levels, in obese laboratory mice.1 They believe it could provide a safe way for overweight people with metabolic syndrome to avoid developing type 2 diabetes and are planning to carry out human clinical trials.

This could be an exciting new area of research that will prove to be of real benefit to millions of people. Or it could turn out to be a new growth area for Big Pharma, producing postbiotic lookalike drugs – which later may be discovered to have some nasty side effects. Only time will tell.

For now, I suggest that you continue to get your postbiotics the old-fashioned way by taking a probiotic supplement and eating the prebiotic-rich foods listed here. The microbiome is just one of several factors that can influence glucose metabolism. Another is relatively small variations in temperature, as I report in my next blog post.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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1. Cavallari JF, Fullerton MD, Duggan BM et al. Muramyl dipeptide-based postbiotics mitigate obesity-induced insulin resistance via IRF4. Cell Metab. 2017 Apr 6 (Online ahead of print).

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Category: Natural Diabetes Alternatives

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