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Specially designed probiotic formulations can help improve metabolic health

Image of man touching his chest, on the left side where his heart is.
Image of man touching his chest, on the left side where his heart is.

Over the past two decades, the number of metabolic diseases worldwide has increased, regardless of a country’s level of development. This rising prevalence presents a large burden to global health. These include obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hypertension,  hyperlipidemia and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. As poor diets, lack of exercise, and other stressors continue to negatively impact millions of people around the globe, we need to find new ways to improve metabolic health.

Insulin resistance

Insulin resistance (IR) and systemic low-grade inflammation are the most important factors for the development of metabolic diseases. Insulin resistance is a condition where body cells become less responsive to insulin’s effects. Consequently, the pancreas has to produce more insulin to keep blood sugar levels stable. Ultimately, this results not only in T2DM, but also in other metabolic diseases.

Low-grade inflammation

Systemic low-grade inflammation is a constant, low-level inflammatory response throughout the body, not localized to a specific area like typical inflammation from injury or infection. This ongoing inflammation disrupts normal bodily functions and, over time, causes damage and disturbs regulatory systems such as insulin signaling and immune responses.

The microbiota and metabolic disorders

Recent research has indicated the significant role of the gut microbiota in metabolic health. Disturbance of gut microbiota caused by a Western lifestyle can result in systemic low-grade inflammation and IR as described above. As mentioned earlier, these conditions appear to lie at the heart of metabolic diseases.

Potential role of probiotics

Specially designed probiotic formulations can help improve metabolic health. They could help manage insulin resistance and the ongoing low-grade inflammation linked to early and advanced stages of metabolic diseases, particularly T2DM. Recent studies have shown that probiotics can effectively improve various metabolic markers, including serum LPS, a measure of gut permeability and a trigger of inflammatory responses.

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