Studies predict that by 2050, one in 10 of us will be diabetic! 1https://www.statnews.com/2023/06/22/global-diabetes-surpass-billion-lancet/ Alarming, right? If you’re like us, your next thought might be – how can my gut microbiome help!?
Whether it’s low-carb, low-fat diets, or intermittent fasting, there are many approaches to managing blood glucose levels! Unsurprisingly, the role of the gut microbiome is now emerging as a big influencer on the physiology involved in type 2 diabetes.
Glucose, insulin, and diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by raised blood sugar levels resulting from insulin resistance or insufficient insulin production. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that facilitates the uptake of glucose by cells for energy. When this process is impaired, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to diabetes.2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6363653/
What role does the gut microbiome play?
The gut microbiome is a diverse community of bacteria residing in the gastrointestinal tract. Research shows that the composition of the gut microbiome can impact glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9535511/
Reducing inflammation and improving insulin sensitivity
A balanced and diverse gut microbiome can help reduce inflammation, a key factor in the development of insulin resistance. Chronic inflammation disrupts normal cellular processes, impairing insulin function and affecting glucose uptake by cells.
Friendly gut bacteria digest dietary fibre, producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as butyrate, acetate, and propionate. SCFAs play a vital role in regulating glucose metabolism by influencing insulin sensitivity and promoting the release of gut hormones that regulate appetite.4https://diabetesjournals.org/diabetes/article/71/11/2438/147445/Butyrate-Producing-Bacteria-and-Insulin
- Glucose metabolism: short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as acetate and propionate increase the uptake of glucose into cells, thereby reducing blood glucose levels.5https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31426593/
- Insulin sensitivity: SCFAs increase cells’ response to insulin.6https://rdcu.be/cPigV
- Appetite hormones: SCFAs such as propionate, acetate, and butyrate influence a range of appetite hormones resulting in suppressing hunger and reducing energy intake.7https://doi.org/10.1017/S0029665114001657
…And that’s not all. Other friendly bacteria, like Akkermansia, also have a positive effect on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.8https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34125276/ You can find more information on the so-called ‘lean bug’ here.
So, how do you increase the production of SCFAs?
The answer – by replenishing the levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome with a Gut-health protocol:
- Take Probiotic Kefir and eating other fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and probiotic yoghurt.
- Add in Complete Prebiotic powder and eat a diverse range of fibre-rich plant foods (pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices). Prebiotic fibres provide the fuel for beneficial bacteria to thrive.
- Take Collagen, which has been shown to support a healthy gut lining. Supplementing with collagen may also help maintain stable blood sugar. The glycine in collagen can be especially helpful in maintaining blood glucose levels.9https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5502017/
Any questions? Contact one of our Nutritional Therapists via live chat, weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm.