Role of Probiotics in Diabetes: A Review of Their Rationale and Efficacy

Neel Jayesh Shah, *Onkar C. Swami

Unichem Laboratories Ltd, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
*Correspondence to onkar.swami@unichemlabs.com

Disclosure: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.
Received: 23.02.17 Accepted: 07.09.17
Citation: EMJ Diabet. 2017;5[1]:104-110.

Abstract

The commensal bacteria that are present in our body since infancy are known to play a role in metabolism, in health as well as disease. Diabetes is a growing epidemic, and a long-term solution that targets the disease at the molecular level is yet to be developed. In this article, we have reviewed the link between the body’s microbiota and disturbed glucose metabolism, as well as the reasons for bacterial dysbiosis and the mechanisms by which it causes inflammation. The link between dysbiosis and diabetes is convincing, particularly since probiotics have been shown to be of some benefit in normalising disturbed metabolism in diabetes patients. Probiotics have recently been found to have a wide application in diseases such as autoimmune, inflammatory, and allergic conditions. The efficacy of probiotics in diabetes has been proven by their ability to lower fasting glucose and insulin levels in a preclinical setting as well as in human trials. However, there is heterogeneity in these studies, including the species used, probiotic dosage, and the magnitude of efficacy. Based on the robust understanding of the benefits of probiotics in diabetes at the cellular level, in both animal studies and clinical trials, combined with their excellent tolerability, probiotics should be explored for their application in clinics.

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