In a nutshell
This study examined the effects of consuming soymilk and probiotics on risk factors related to heart and blood vessel diseases in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The study showed that the consumption of soymilk with probiotics might improve cardiovascular (CV) risk factors in these patients.
T2D is a disease that affects the regulation and utilization of glucose. Recently, the effect of gut flora (bacteria) on the breakdown of dietary nutrients and its possible impact on T2D development has been gaining attention.
The gut flora consists of bacteria and other microscopic organisms found inside the intestines. They are important for the digestion of food, energy storage, and release of energy. Probiotics are living microscopic organisms that can be administered as supplements. They can provide health benefits by improving gut health. There is some evidence that soy products like soymilk may be associated with a reduced risk of T2D development. It is also possible that probiotics may increase the absorption of soymilk. However, it remains unclear whether patients with T2D can benefit from the administration of both probiotics and soymilk.
Methods & findings
This study included 100 patients with T2D. Patients were randomly assigned to 4 groups. Group 1 included 25 patients who received one glass (240cc) of soymilk and a probiotic capsule. Group 2 received included 25 patients who received soymilk and a placebo. Group 3 included 25 patients who randomly received standard cow’s milk and a placebo capsule. Group 4 included 25 patients who were randomly given a probiotic capsule only.
The probiotic formulation used was FamiLact® which contained Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium longum, and Streptococcus thermophilus and a prebiotic (food that helps healthy bacteria to grow). Dietary treatments were taken daily for 6 weeks. The probiotic was taken half an hour before the glass of milk. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), fasting blood sugar (FBS), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and the homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were measured.
After 6 weeks, group 1 had significant improvements in SBP, DBP, TC, TG, HDL-C, and insulin levels. Group 2 had a significant decrease in SBP, DBP, insulin, TG, and HDL-C levels. Group 4 had significant improvements in insulin, SBP, and HDL-C levels.
The bottom line
The study concluded that soymilk and probiotic administration may improve cardiovascular risk factors in patients with T2D.
The fine print
The study was of short duration. The lifespan of the probiotic bacteria was unknown during the gut passage.
Published By :
BMC endocrine disorders
Feb 10, 2023
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