How Prebiotics Can Help with Diabetes

How Prebiotics Can Help With Diabetes

As more scientific studies are completed, we are developing a better understanding of the gut’s role in overall health. In particular, we know the microbiome of the gut is different in people with diabetes. Read on to learn more about the differences and how prebiotics can help with diabetes.

The Diabetic Gut

In December 2006, Nature published a paper that showed the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of obese people are different than thin people. The authors of the paper revealed that the gut microbiome has a direct influence on the amount of calories absorbed into an individual’s bloodstream.

Even more interesting, there’s a difference between the gut microbiome of obese people and people with diabetes. There are three different microbiota in large intestines: diabetic, obese and healthy. Chances are, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, the microbiome of your gut is not helping your situation.

Can I Reverse My Diabetic Gut?

The same scientific study revealed that changing the microbiota can potentially reverse the disease. In experiments using diabetic mice, tweaking their gut bacteria balance had a positive effect on their blood sugar levels, as well as their metabolites. They even pinpointed a key player in diabetes: a bacteria called Verrucomicrobiae. It’s shown to have a direct correlation with Type 2 diabetes.

Can Probiotics Reverse My Diabetic Gut?

When people think about gut health, probiotics usually come to mind. Thanks to effective marketing, the general public knows that yogurts contain healthy bacteria that can improve digestion. However, there are a few drawbacks with probiotics:

  • They are easily destroyed — Probiotics are bacteria. This means they are susceptible to temperature changes and acids. When consumed, probiotics may be destroyed in the stomach.
  • No one knows which probiotics are needed — The probiotics found in yogurt are a best guess. No one knows which good bacteria his or her gut needs. The probiotics you’re consuming in yogurt may not be the healthy bacteria your particular stomach needs to improve its bacterial balance.
  • They are typically contained in high-sugar, lactose products — Yogurt is dairy-based, which isn’t an option for individuals with lactose intolerance or sensitivity. Yogurts are typically also a high-sugar food, which isn’t the ideal choice for people trying to maintain a healthy diet.

In reality, when you’re trying to improve the bacterial balance in your gut, probiotics can only do so much.

What’s a Better Way to Improve My Gut Microbiome?

While probiotics can potentially add more healthy bacteria to your gut microbiome, there’s a more effective way to establish a better balance: consuming prebiotics. Prebiotics, unlike probiotics, are not bacteria. They are fertilizers that help your good bacteria flourish.

Prebiotics have many benefits over probiotics:

  • They are not destroyed in the gut — Unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not affected by temperature changes or stomach acids.
  • They are effective at improving and correcting the gut bacteria balance — While you hope the bacteria in yogurt is the bacteria your stomach needs, prebiotics effectively grow your specific good bacteria.
  • They are naturally gluten-free and sugar-free — You can get the prebiotics you need to reverse your diabetic gut without compromising your diet.

Prebiotics, such as fructo-saccharide and inulin, are found in plant-based sources, including garlic, bananas and chicory root. While you may have to consume more of these foods than you’d like in order to reap the benefits of prebiotics, there are all-natural supplements like Prebiotin you can take to easily incorporate the right amount of prebiotics into your diet. This means you don’t have to compromise your diet to get the prebiotics you need — prebiotics are a great way to improve your gut microbiome and reduce the effects of your diabetes.

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