“Beta-carotene fortified symbiotic food intake in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus for six weeks had favorable effects,” the researchers from Iran wrote in Clinical Nutrition. They saw a significant decrease in serum insulin for the supplemented group compared to placebo, among other things.
“The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus is 8.3% among adult population in the world,” the researchers wrote. “To the best of our knowledge, we are aware of no study indicating the effects of beta-carotene fortified synbiotic food on metabolic status, biomarkers of inflammation, and oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”
A total of 102 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus, aged 35-70 years, were recruited for this double-blinded controlled crossover clinical trial carried out in Kashan, Iran.
The individuals fell into the American Diabetes Association’s criteria for having diabetes: fasting blood sugar level greater than 126 mg/dL or 2-h postprandial glucose concentrations greater than 200 mg/dL.
They were randomly allocated to one of two groups. The first group was supplemented with a beta-carotene fortified synbiotic supplement with the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus sporogenes (1 x 107 CFU), 0.1 g inulin as prebiotic, and 50 mg beta-carotene, and sweetened with isomalt, sorbitol and stevia.
Meanwhile, a control group was supplemented with a similar looking and tasting food item, but without the L. sporogenes strain, inulin, and beta-carotene. The participants were expected to take the synbiotic and control foods in 9 g packages three times a day. The interventions lasted for six weeks, and were followed by a three-week 'washout period' before crossing over to the other group for another six weeks.
Observations and results
“The current cross-over study demonstrated that administration of beta-carotene fortified synbiotic food among patients with T2DM for 6 weeks had beneficial effects on insulin metabolism, serum triglycerides, VLDL-, total/HDL-cholesterol ratio, magnesium, plasma NO and GSH levels; however, it did not influence other metabolic profiles compared with the control food,” the researchers wrote.
By consuming the fortified supplement, patients had significant improvements in insulin resistance indicators and serum triglycerides, among other things. According to the researchers, limitations in the study included not quantifying fecal bacteria loads before and after participants consumed the beta-carotene fortified synbiotic food item.
Source: Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2015.07.009
"Effects of beta-carotene fortified synbiotic food on metabolic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A double-blind randomized cross-over controlled clinical trial"
Authors: Z. Asemi, S-A. Alizadeh, K. Ahmad, M. Goli, A. Esmaillzadeh