Objective: Ingestion of probiotics can modify gut microbiota and alter insulin resistance and diabetes development in rodents. We hypothesized that daily intake of Lactobacillus reuteri increases insulin sensitivity by changing cytokine release and insulin secretion via modulation of the release of glucagon-like peptides (GLP)-1 and -2.
Research design and methods: A prospective, double-blind, randomized trial was performed in 21 glucose-tolerant humans (11 lean: age 49 ± 7 years, BMI 23.6 ± 1.7 kg/m(2); 10 obese: age 51 ± 7 years, BMI 35.5 ± 4.9 kg/m(2)). Participants ingested 10(10) b.i.d. L. reuteri SD5865 or placebo over 4 weeks. Oral glucose tolerance and isoglycemic glucose infusion tests were used to assess incretin effect and GLP-1 and GLP-2 secretion, and euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamps with [6,6-(2)H2]glucose were used to measure peripheral insulin sensitivity and endogenous glucose production. Muscle and hepatic lipid contents were assessed by (1)H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and immune status, cytokines, and endotoxin were measured with specific assays.
Results: In glucose-tolerant volunteers, daily administration of L. reuteri SD5865 increased glucose-stimulated GLP-1 and GLP-2 release by 76% (P < 0.01) and 43% (P < 0.01), respectively, compared with placebo, along with 49% higher insulin (P < 0.05) and 55% higher C-peptide secretion (P < 0.05). However, the intervention did not alter peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity, body mass, ectopic fat content, or circulating cytokines.
Conclusions: Enrichment of gut microbiota with L. reuteri increases insulin secretion, possibly due to augmented incretin release, but does not directly affect insulin sensitivity or body fat distribution. This suggests that oral ingestion of one specific strain may serve as a novel therapeutic approach to improve glucose-dependent insulin release.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01250106.
© 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.