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This Probiotic May Boost Insulin Release

Previous animal studies have found that taking probiotics may modify gut microbiota and alter insulin resistance. A recent human study suggests that consumption of the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri may boost insulin release in healthy people.

Participants in the study included 11 lean and 10 obese glucose tolerant people with an average age of 50. Over the course of four weeks, they were given either a L. reuteri supplement containing 20 billion colony forming units or a placebo daily.

At the conclusion of the study, the probiotic group had a 49% increase in insulin secretion. They also had a 76% increase in glucose-stimulated glucagon-like peptides-1 (GLP-1) and a 43% increase in glucose-stimulated glucagon-like peptides-2 (GLP-2). GLP-1 plays a key role in insulin secretion and beta-cell function in the pancreas. GLP-2 has been found to enhance intestinal function.

Additionally, the researchers found that the probiotic group had a 55% increase in C-peptide secretion. C-peptide is a protein that joins the A and B chains of insulin. Because it is secreted at the same time as insulin, it’s considered to be a good biomarker of insulin secretion.

The study was conducted by researchers from Heinrich-Heine University in Germany. It was published online ahead of print on June 17, 2015, in Diabetes Care.

Lactobacillus reuteri is a specific strain of probiotic that previous studies have linked with improved symptoms of diarrhea, improved symptoms of urinary tract infections and a lower risk of ulcers.

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