Today, a record number of patients worldwide suffer from metabolic disorders, including obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardio-metabolic disease. As poor diets, lack of exercise, and other stressors continue to negatively impact millions of people around the globe, we must look for new ways to improve metabolic health, delay disease progression, and foster a better quality of life where possible.
The microbiota and metabolic disorders
Currently there is no strict definition for metabolic health. Often it is referred to as the absence of metabolic disease. Rising levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference are generally associated with loss of metabolic health and an increased risk for metabolic diseases ranging from mild insulin resistance all the way to pre-diabetes, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Both insulin resistance and systemic low-grade inflammation seem to be at the core of these metabolic disorders.
Insulin resistance is a condition in which cells are less sensitive to the action of insulin. Thus, the pancreas needs to produce even more insulin to lower blood glucose levels. Over time, the pancreas may no longer be able to cope with the high demand, and prediabetes can progress to diabetes.
Potential role of probiotics
Recent research has indicated that the gut microbiota plays an important role in managing metabolic health. Disturbance of gut microbiota by a typical western lifestyle leads to changes in serum lipopolysaccharides, shortchain fatty acids and bile acid, resulting in systemic low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance.
Learn more about the potential role of Probiotics in Metabolic Health and read our whitepaper.