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Probiotics and Prebiotics May Lower Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Diabetics

People with type-2 diabetes are highly susceptible to elevated systemic inflammation and oxidative stress. A recent study suggests that taking a synbiotic supplement, which is a combination of prebiotics and probiotics, may lower levels of a marker of inflammation called C-reactive protein (CRP) and raise levels of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, in diabetics.

Participants in the study included 62 diabetic individuals between the ages of 35 and 70. Over the course of six weeks half of the group consumed a synbiotic food that included heat-resistant L. sporogenes and 0.04 g inulin while the other half consumed a control food without the probiotic and prebiotic inulin.

Following the six week period, all the participants underwent a two week washout period and then completed the other intervention.

At the conclusion of the trial, participants in the synbiotic group had a 20% decrease in insulin levels compared to an 8.5% increase in the control group. The researchers also noted that CRP levels had decreased by 48% in the symbiotic group, while the control group had a 5% increase.

There were also significantly lower triglyceride levels in the synbiotic group, as well as higher HDL (or “good”) cholesterol, glutathione, and uric acid levels.

Researchers from Kashan University for Medical Sciences conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on June 10, 2013, in Clinical Nutrition.

Prebiotics help your body produce good bacteria called probiotics by serving as food for the friendly bacteria. Having a varied composition of bacteria in your digestive system is essential for good gut health. Previous studies have linked healthy gut bacteria with strengthening the immune system, better gum health, weight loss, and reducing the risk of chronic disease.

Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods, such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. You may also consider taking a high quality supplement but make sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture which can easily kill probiotics.

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