Effect of probiotics and synbiotics on blood glucose: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials

Abstract

Purpose

High fasting blood glucose (FBG) can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular and kidney diseases. Consuming probiotics or synbiotics may improve FBG. A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials was conducted to clarify the effect of probiotic and synbiotic consumption on FBG levels.

Methods

PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature databases were searched for relevant studies based on eligibility criteria. Randomized or non-randomized controlled trials which investigated the efficacy of probiotics or synbiotics on the FBG of adults were included. Studies were excluded if they were review articles and study protocols, or if the supplement dosage was not clearly mentioned.

Results

A total of fourteen studies (eighteen trials) were included in the analysis. Random-effects meta-analyses were conducted for the mean difference in FBG. Overall reduction in FBG observed from consumption of probiotics and synbiotics was borderline statistically significant (−0.18 mmol/L 95 % CI −0.37, 0.00; p = 0.05). Neither probiotic nor synbiotic subgroup analysis revealed a significant reduction in FBG. The result of subgroup analysis for baseline FBG level ≥7 mmol/L showed a reduction in FBG of 0.68 mmol/L (−1.07, −0.29; ρ < 0.01), while trials with multiple species of probiotics showed a more pronounced reduction of 0.31 mmol/L (−0.58, −0.03; ρ = 0.03) compared to single species trials.

Conclusion

This meta-analysis suggests that probiotic and synbiotic supplementation may be beneficial in lowering FBG in adults with high baseline FBG (≥7 mmol/L) and that multispecies probiotics may have more impact on FBG than single species.

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Nikbakht, E., Khalesi, S., Singh, I. et al. Effect of probiotics and synbiotics on blood glucose: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. Eur J Nutr 57, 95–106 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-016-1300-3

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Keywords

  • Probiotics
  • Synbiotics
  • Fasting blood glucose
  • Hyperglycemia