Scientists Find Surprising Link to Blood Sugar Problems
Scientists in Denmark and China recently made an amazing discovery. We may have overlooked a major cause of blood sugar trouble. Well, to be accurate, we may have overlooked billions of causes.
You see, we all carry over 3 pounds of bacteria in our gut. And it turns out these bacteria – called “gut flora” – may have a major influence on blood sugar control.
When “friendly” bacteria thrive in your gut they provide all sorts of benefits. They aid in digestion, boost your immune system, and help keep dangerous bacteria and yeasts from taking hold.
But when your gut flora is out of balance, you may suffer all sorts of problems. Digestive trouble such as gas and bloating… a weakened immune system… and even “leaky gut.”
Leaky gut is when the tight junctions – the cellular links in your intestines – weaken and open up. When this happens, all sorts of toxins can leak into your body and really mess up your health.
And, as it turns out, another problem with a gut flora imbalance may be out-of control blood sugar.
The Chinese-Danish team studied the gut flora of 345 Chinese adults. 171 of their volunteers had serious blood sugar issues.
They found the people with blood sugar problems also had a gut flora imbalance. In those people, unhealthy bacteria had started to take over.
But the healthy volunteers had a normal balance of gut flora.1
The researchers aren’t certain whether the egg or the chicken came first. That is, they haven’t proven if the imbalance leads to blood sugar trouble… or if out-of-control blood sugar throws off your gut flora.
But we know that other health problems can be caused by too many nasty bacteria in your gut. So it seems logical that may be the case here.
Fortunately, it’s easy to promote a healthy balance of gut flora. A good probiotic supplement can help keep your digestive and immune systems humming along in top shape.
But there are a few tricks you should know when choosing one.
First, look at the number of “CFU” – that’s colony-forming units. The CFU tells you how many live bacteria should be in the product. Some products only contain a few million CFUs, while others provide several billion. Billions are better.
Also check how many strains of bacteria the probiotic product contains. A product with more than one strain normally provides more benefit, because each strain works in different ways.
Finally, look to see if the supplement contains a prebiotic. Prebiotics are a type of natural fiber that friendly bacteria eat. Prebiotics include fibers like inulin and FOS.
Taking a probiotic nutritional supplement is one of the easiest ways to boost immune health. And now we understand it may help your body control blood sugar, too.
Yours in good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Qin, J., et al, “A metagenome-wide association study of gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes,” Nature (2012) doi:10.1038/nature11450.