Meta-analysis shows patients with diabetes benefit from probiotics

A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials confirmed the efficacy of different probiotics, either in capsule form or in yogurt or drinks, to control hyperglycaemia, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance in patients suffering from diabetes.


Ruan and collaborators analysed published peer-review articles, selected according to established criteria, to determine the effects of probiotics on glycaemic control. Seventeen randomized control trials involving 1105 participants were included in the selection. Data were extracted and analysed statistically following the Cochrane Handbook for Statistical Review of Interventions. Probiotics tested in the clinical trials, either alone or in combination, were Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. casei, L. paracaseiL. plantarum, L. euteri, L. gasseri, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricusL. salivarius or Bifidobacterium longum, among others.


Despite the limitations of this work, due to the difficulty to obtain data from unpublished literature or the methodology used in some of the trials analysed (e.g. small number of participants), their results were consistent with recent meta-analysis, and the authors concluded that probiotic consumption may improve glycaemic control modestly. Thus, modification of gut microbiota by probiotic supplementation might be a method for preventing and control hyperglycaemia in clinical practice.



Ruan Y, et al. (2015) Effect of Probiotics on Glycemic Control: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0132121. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132121

Kristina Campbell
Kristina Campbell
Science writer Kristina Campbell (M.Sc.), from British Columbia (Canada), specializes in communicating about the gut microbiota, digestive health, and nutrition. Author of the best selling Well-Fed Microbiome Cookbook, her freelance work has appeared in publications around the world. Kristina joined the Gut Microbiota for Health publishing team in 2014.  Find her on: GoogleTwitter