I have diabetes. Can I take friendly bacteria?
Maybe this is a question you are used to hearing from your diabetic customers. No evidence exists to suggest that people with diabetes should not take probiotics.
Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that compromises the body's production of insulin. Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) usually occurs in younger individuals, and makes up less than 15% of all cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes (insulin-resistant diabetes) is much more common, and tends to affect people over the age of 30.
Research into probiotics and their effects on patients with diabetes remains relatively sparse. Many people believe that probiotics can be beneficial for diabetics, as probiotic bacteria can improve immunity and should therefore help to correct autoimmune diseases such as diabetes. Furthermore some evidence suggests that the use of probiotics may lower the risk of contracting diabetes in the first instance, by supporting immunity and helping the body to maintain a healthy weight.
Research on probiotics and Type 2 diabetes suggests that probiotics can help weight control in patients who are insulin-resistant. There is very little research into Type 1 diabetes and probiotics, but no evidence exists to suggest that probiotics should not be taken.
Although we don’t add sugar as a sweetener to any of our products, diabetics should also note that a small amount of fructose is present in ‘Bifidobacteria & fibre’ (formerly known as ‘For maintaining regularity’). There is just 1.6g of fructose in each sachet (by comparison, an average apple has about 10g of fructose), but diabetics may need to factor this into their daily intake of carbohydrate, especially if taking multiple sachets each day. The fructose is present to ensure an even distribution of the bacteria and prebiotic fibres in the sachet contents.
If you are diabetic and are ever in any doubt about whether any natural food supplement is suitable for you to take, we would always advise you to speak to your doctor.
You can read more about diabetes and probiotics on our blog: