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Probiotics and Blood Sugar

October 27, 2014

Probiotics and Blood Sugar

When your doctor takes a blood sample, one of the things they usually test is your blood sugar level to make sure your body is correctly regulating the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. Usually, most doctors will require that you fast before a blood test because when you haven’t eaten anything for a few hours, your blood sugar usually falls within a narrow range, thanks to a hormone called insulin that regulates it. Doctors will use the fasting blood test to establish a baseline to determine if the amount of glucose in your bloodstream is within normal limits. When you eat, your blood sugar rises for a period of time until insulin brings it down again and this process is repeated every time you eat or drink something.

When insulin doesn’t do its job properly, your blood sugar level may stay up after a meal and not come back down into a normal range. You may feel excessively thirsty, find that you need to visit the restroom more, experience blurred vision or feel overly tired or fatigued. This is your body warning you about high blood sugar.

What Is High Blood Sugar?

One reason insulin doesn’t function properly in some people is a problem called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is where cells don’t respond as readily as they should to insulin, the hormone that ferries glucose into cells. As a result, glucose doesn’t enter cells as easily. Instead, more glucose stays in your bloodstream. This leads to higher than normal blood sugar levels.

Having a blood sugar level that’s too high can damage tissue and organs over time. People who have an elevated blood sugar level are at risk for a variety of health problems. So, it’s very important to keep blood sugar within a normal range.

Lifestyle Changes Can Help

Losing weight, regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet low in carbohydrates are some of the lifestyle changes doctors recommend for blood sugar control. There’s also growing scientific evidence that your gut bacteria plays a very important role in maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. Your gut is inhabited by trillions of bacteria. Some of these are friendly probiotic bacteria that help regulate the digestive system and keep undesirable bacteria in check.

The Bacteria Factor

This diverse group of “good” bacteria produce chemicals that affect the activity of your immune system. Over time, an overactive immune system may worsen the problem of insulin resistance and make it harder to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. In fact, a recent study showed a popular medication used to control blood glucose changed the composition of gut bacteria in mice in favor of bacterial species that seem to play a role in improving blood sugar control. The mice experienced improvements in their blood sugar level – showing a linkage between gut bacteria diversity and blood sugar control.

Probiotic bacteria affect blood sugar control in other ways as well. For example, gut bacteria enhances nutrient absorption, which helps your digestive system extract essential vitamins and minerals from the food you eat, and helps provide your body with the ingredients it needs to function and maintain natural balance. Gut bacteria plays a complex role when it comes to blood sugar regulation, and a healthy balance of bacterial diversity in your digestive system is essential for proper operation.

The Bottom Line?

Maintaining a normal blood sugar level is important for good health. What you eat, the amount you eat, your body weight, genetics and how much you exercise are all factors that affect your blood sugar level. The composition of bacteria in your gut, by influencing nutrient absorption and insulin activity, also plays a role – taking a quality, pharmaceutical grade probiotic like Natren’s Healthy Trinity is an easy way to proactively take care of your gut health to promote your overall health and wellbeing.

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