Best Probiotic for Diabetes: Which One to Choose?

Discover the best probiotic for diabetes to improve gut health, stabilize blood sugar levels, and support overall diabetes management. Our expert guide helps you choose.

Gut health is crucial for managing1 type 2 diabetes. Probiotics can balance our immune system. They reduce the inflammation linked to diabetes and its complications over time. By improving our gut’s health, probiotics support good bacteria. This can lower our blood sugar levels when fasting.

1 Diabetes affects how our body processes blood sugar. It’s one of the fastest-growing diseases in the US today. For young people, there’s1 type 1 diabetes. This is when the body attacks the cells that make insulin. But, the more common type is1 type 2 diabetes. Here, the body might not make enough insulin or not use it well.

Key Takeaways

  • The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in the development and management of type 2 diabetes.
  • Probiotics can help modulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, and improve metabolic function to support better blood sugar control.
  • Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1, affecting over 90% of adults with diabetes.
  • Probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have been shown to possess antidiabetic effects.
  • Prebiotics can also positively impact insulin sensitivity and glycemic control in individuals with diabetes.

Understanding Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes often affects younger people. It’s when the immune system attacks the insulin-making cells.2 This leads to a lack of insulin, which is why it’s called insulin-dependent diabetes. People with this condition need to take insulin shots.1

Type 2 diabetes is more common, especially among adults. It happens when the body can’t make enough insulin to control blood sugar. It can also happen when the body doesn’t use the insulin well (insulin resistance).1 Many link the rise of type 2 diabetes to our modern diet and lifestyle.

Studies show that those with type 2 diabetes have different gut bacteria from healthy individuals. This hints that the gut’s health may be key in battling this type of diabetes.12

Probiotics: A Promising Solution

Currently, there is no proof that diabetics should avoid probiotics.3 It’s crucial for them to watch out for sugars in these supplements. Some probiotics have fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a fiber type, that doesn’t impact blood sugar.3 But, if the sugar is fructose, diabetics should consider its effects on their diet.

Probiotic Strains for Type 2 DiabetesProbiotic Strains for Type 1 Diabetes
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Bifidobacterium breve
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Bifidobacterium breve
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus

The table above outlines the top probiotic strains that have shown benefits for managing type 2 and type 1 diabetes.

“Probiotics can act as an adjunct to metformin by enhancing butyrate production and protecting β-cell function through reduced insulin resistance and oxidative stress.”4

Benefits of Probiotics for Diabetes

New findings show the gut’s bacteria might impact metabolic diseases’ development.1 Probiotics support key mechanisms tied to leaky gut issues, often seen with metabolic diseases. They do this by boosting the secretion of GLP-1, an important gut hormone. This hormone enhances insulin production and helps in the growth of beta cells in the pancreas, the cells that make insulin.1

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Adding Lactobacillus casei probiotics to the diet can prevent insulin problems from eating too much high-fat food. This type of probiotic also helps keep insulin levels in check in both animals and people.1

Enhanced Blood Sugar Control

Probiotics offer anti-inflammatory abilities, useful for easing diabetes complications like inflamed blood vessels and nerve damage.1 They also promote a healthy gut, which might help improve problems like diabetes-related gastroparesis.

Lower Risk of Type 1 Diabetes

Research in 2015 on diabetic rats found that probiotics could bring down blood sugar like in healthy rats.1 Another study the same year showed that Lactobacillus casei probiotics kept blood sugar levels stable and supported insulin function, aiding balance.1

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Probiotics also fight off inflammation, which is key in reducing risks of heart problems and other diabetes-related issues.1

Potential Benefits for Diabetes-related Gastroparesis

Moreover, they can boost digestion and may help with gastroparesis linked to diabetes.

The Gut Microbiome and Diabetes Risk

Composition of the Gut Microbiome in Diabetes

Those with type 2 diabetes show different gut bacteria than healthy folks.1 This finding has pushed scientists to consider a different way to spot diabetes early. They want to look at the bacteria in a patient’s gut to see if they might get diabetes.1

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Can the Gut Microbiome Predict Diabetes Risk?

Research is going on to understand if our gut bacteria can forecast diabetes risk. It’s found that as people move towards diabetes, their gut bacteria changes, becoming less helpful.1

In one study, people managing their blood sugar well had more helpful gut bacteria. But those heading towards diabetes had an unbalanced gut flora.1

gut microbiome

The Role of Probiotics in Diabetes Management

New research is showing how Metformin, a common drug for type 2 diabetes, boosts a beneficial gut bacterium. This bacterium is called Akkermansia muciniphila. It helps cut down on inflammation and betters our health, pointing to the real power of our gut bacteria in managing diabetes.1

Metformin and Akkermansia muciniphila

Metformin doesn’t just control diabetes; it also helps by increasing the good bacteria Akkermansia muciniphila in our guts. As a result, we see less inflammation and an improvement in how our body manages its health, especially with diabetes.1

which probiotic is best for diabetes

Top Probiotic Strains for Type 2 Diabetes

Some probiotics, including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, have shown benefits for diabetics. They do this by easing inflammation and stress, as well as reducing blood sugar levels. This happens through better gut health, which leads to improved metabolism.5 The best probiotics for type 2 diabetes are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium breve, and Bifidobacterium longum.

Top Probiotic Strains for Type 1 Diabetes

For type 1 diabetes, essential probiotics are Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus acidophilus.5 These strains help by making the body more sensitive to insulin. They also improve how blood sugar levels are controlled and lower inflammation, vital for type 1 and type 2 diabetes care.

Studies have shown that taking a combination of certain probiotics for 6 to 12 weeks can help manage blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.5 A review of such studies found that probiotics led to better metabolic health for those with type 2 diabetes.5

Yogurt with probiotics can boost antioxidants in people with type 2 diabetes.5 Also, therapy involving dietary changes can benefit those with type 2 diabetes.5 However, we still need more studies to know the best probiotic amounts, types, and how long they should be taken for managing type 2 diabetes.5

Sources of Probiotics

Adding probiotics to your diet can help with diabetes. You can get probiotics from foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt. These foods improve the mix of good bacteria in your gut, which is good for you.5 Eating them often keeps your gut healthy.

Probiotic-Rich Foods

Sometimes, people don’t eat enough probiotic foods. This is where probiotic supplements can help.1 They’re a safe way to get the bacteria your gut needs, especially for diabetes management.

Probiotic Supplements

Probiotic supplements come in many forms. You can find them as capsules, powders, and more. They offer a strong dose of the helpful bacteria proven to aid in diabetes control.6

Picking the right supplement is key. Look for ones with over 60 billion CFU. They should have special strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium known to help with diabetes.6

Always talk with your doctor before trying any new supplement. They can help make sure it fits your diabetes care plan.6

Risks and Precautions

Probiotics are safe for most people. They rarely cause any problems or side effects.2 But, it’s important to know that some kinds might have carbs. If you have diabetes, it’s best to pick the ones without carbs to avoid high blood sugar.1

Some folks might have stomach problems like gas, bloating, or pain when they start taking probiotics. However, these issues don’t last long. They often go away as your body gets used to the new bacteria.

Potential Side Effects

For many, probiotics are fine. Yet, a few might feel a bit gassy or bloated at first. These small issues often go away once your body adjusts to the probiotics.

Considerations for Individuals with Diabetes

If you have diabetes, watch out for the carbs in probiotic foods and supplements.1 Picking ones that are low in carbs can help keep your blood sugar steady.

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Also, talk to your doctor before you start taking probiotics. This is especially important if you take diabetes medicines or other drugs. Your doctor can make sure the probiotics are safe to use along with your other treatments.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Prebiotics are like food for good bacteria. They are mainly dietary fibers. These compounds aren’t used by human cells but are great for specific beneficial microorganisms.1 They are known to help people with diabetes. For example, high amylose starch helps produce SCFA in the gut, which benefits health. This leads to better blood sugar levels and how the body uses insulin.1 After just four weeks of using prebiotics, blood sugar levels can improve because of the variety of bacteria in the gut.

What are Prebiotics?

Prebiotics are special compounds. They act as food for particular good bacteria or even fungi. Human bodies can’t break them down. But these compounds help the growth of beneficial microorganisms.

The Synergistic Effects of Probiotics and Prebiotics

Prebiotics can also be good for people with diabetes. A study showed that giving high amylose starch improved gut health. This led to the production of SCFA, helping to control blood sugar and use insulin better.1 Better gut bacteria diversity means improved blood sugar in just four weeks of using prebiotics.1

Clinical Studies and Evidence

Probiotics and Type 2 Diabetes

A meta-analysis found that probiotics help manage blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It had big impacts.2 Probiotic yogurt, for example, boosted the body’s defense system in these patients.2 Other experts saw that the bacteria in the gut were different in people with and without diabetes. This suggests that gut health is closely tied to diabetes.2 When used alongside regular drugs, probiotics improved treatment results for type 2 diabetes.2

A study with various probiotics like Bacillus coagulans and Lactobacillus helped patients with type 2 diabetes.2 Adding synbiotics, a mix of probiotics and prebiotics, also helped. It lessened inflammation and changed gut bacteria in obese type 2 diabetes patients.2 Probiotics were also found to better manage blood sugar in patients with kidney damage due to diabetes.2

Bifidobacterium together with berberine improved blood sugar in a clinical study. This also balanced the gut’s microbiota.2 A special probiotic formulation improved blood sugar after meals for type 2 diabetes patients in another study.2 Lactobacillus casei, a kind of probiotic, showed good results on blood sugar levels and other health markers in a third trial.2 More research found that probiotics could reduce blood sugar and improve fats in the blood of type 2 diabetes patients.2

Probiotics and Type 1 Diabetes

In 2015, a study highlighted the benefits of probiotics in diabetic rats. After 90 days, their blood sugar got better, much like rats without diabetes.1 Lactobacillus casei, a specific probiotic, prevented issues with insulin caused by too much fat in their diet, as found in another 2015 study.1

And, adding prebiotics from high amylose starch made things better for those with type 1 diabetes It helped with blood sugar, insulin, and how the body releases it.1

Incorporating Probiotics into Your Lifestyle

To add probiotics to your life for handling diabetes, focus on a diet full of probiotic foods. Think fermented veggies, yogurt, and kefir.3 Pick a supplement with over 60 billion CFUs per dose. It should have key strains for diabetes like Lactobacillus acidophilus.3

Dietary Tips for Diabetes Management

Eating probiotic-rich foods supports a healthy gut and can make managing diabetes easier. Enjoy kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, and more. These foods can help you keep your blood sugar in check and lessen swelling.3,7

Choosing the Right Probiotic Supplement

When you’re looking for a probiotic supplement, go for one with 60 billion CFUs. It should have probiotics that science says can help with type 1 and 2 diabetes.3,7 Look for strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus.3,7

By adding a variety of probiotic foods and supplements, you can keep your gut healthy. This may improve your body’s use of insulin, help control your blood sugar, and lessen inflammation.3,7

The Future of Probiotics in Diabetes Care

Scientists are looking into how the gut’s bacteria might help fight diabetes. By 2025, about 5 million people in the UK could have diabetes. Most of these cases will be type 2 diabetes, which affects more than 90% of UK adults with diabetes. Research now focuses on how probiotics can make the body better at using insulin, controlling blood sugar, and reducing diabetes issues.

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Ongoing Research and Potential Advancements

In a 2015 study, diabetic rats saw lower blood sugar levels after three months of taking probiotics. A different 2015 study found that adding Lactobacillus casei to diets stopped insulin issues caused by too much fat. Moreover, a new method predicting diabetes risk, based on the types of bacteria in people’s guts, is more accurate than current tests. It shows differences in gut bacteria between those with diabetes and healthy folks. This may lead to better early detection of diabetes.1

Metformin, a drug for type 2 diabetes, has been noted to boost the levels of the beneficial bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila and help with overall metabolic health. Probiotics such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium improve health markers and lower blood sugar. Also, nutrients like high amylose starch, called prebiotics, can benefit people with diabetes. They help regulate blood sugar, improve insulin use, by changing the gut’s bacteria makeup. Modifying gut flora with prebiotics seems to help control blood sugar in diabetes patients. This is a promising finding for diabetes management.1

As we learn more about how the gut and diabetes are linked, using probiotics might become a key part of treating diabetes. This is good news for both doctors and patients looking for better ways to manage the disease.


Recent findings show that probiotics might help with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. They work by making the gut’s mix of bacteria healthier. This can boost how your body responds to insulin, keep your blood sugar in check, and lower inflammation. These benefits are key in preventing and dealing with diabetes.28 Although we still need more studies, adding probiotics to a diabetes care plan seems wise. Doing so, along with eating well and staying active, could greatly help those with the condition.

Studies have indicated that probiotics can enhance antioxidant levels, improve how your body handles food, and lower inflammation markers in people with type 2 diabetes.9 Using probiotics has also shown to better how the body uses sugar, increase insulin function, and change the gut bugs in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.289

As we learn more, using probiotics in fighting diabetes could grow more popular among doctors and patients. With diabetes becoming more common,8 adding probiotics to the treatment mix could be a helpful option. It might make managing diabetes easier.


What is the role of the gut microbiome in diabetes?

Research shows the gut microbiome is key in type 2 diabetes development. It differs in those with diabetes from healthy people. This suggests the gut is crucial for this condition.

Can probiotics help with diabetes management?

Yes, probiotics can change the immune system by lessening inflammation. This step can help diabetes and avoid health problems. They can make the gut healthier, leading to better blood sugar levels.

What are the top probiotic strains for diabetes?

The best probiotic strains for type 2 diabetes are Lactobacillus acidophilus and others. For type 1 diabetes, strains like Bifidobacterium lactis work well.

Are there any risks or precautions for diabetics taking probiotics?

There’s no proof that probiotics are bad for diabetics. But, diabetics should watch for sugars in supplements, which can affect blood sugar.

How can I incorporate probiotics into my diabetes management plan?

To use probiotics well, eat foods like fermented veggies and kefir. Choose a supplement with over 60 billion CFU and effective strains.

What are the benefits of combining probiotics and prebiotics for diabetes?

Prebiotics fuel the growth of good bacteria. Using them with probiotics can better blood sugar, insulin action, and insulin production.

What does the research say about the use of probiotics for diabetes?

Trials have found that probiotics cut A1C levels in type 2 diabetes. They also improve blood sugar and health in type 1 diabetes.

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