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Probiotic from Kimchi May Offer Blood Sugar Support

Kimchi is a traditional Korean food made by fermenting vegetables with lactic acid bacteria derived from raw ingredients like cabbage, garlic, ginger and red pepper. A new study suggests that supplementation with a probiotic derived from Korean kimchi, Lactobacillus plantarum HAC01, may help support blood sugar health in prediabetics.

Forty adults with impaired glucose tolerance participated in the study. They were given 4 billion CFUs of Lactobacillus plantarum HAC01 or a placebo daily for 8 weeks. Several indicators of blood sugar health and gut microbiota composition were evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study. 

Participants who received the Lactobacillus plantarum HAC01 saw a significant reduction in 2-hour postprandial (post-meal)  glucose levels and HbA1c levels. HbA1c measures the average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. Fasting blood sugar levels and certain other measures of blood sugar health were not altered.  No changes were seen in gut microbiota composition.

The study was conducted by researchers from Chonbuk National University Hospital. It was published online ahead of print on July 8, 2021, in the journal Nutrients.

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