Prebiotics may be beneficial in type 2 diabetes

US research suggests they reduce inflammatory and metabolic biomarkers in women with the disease

Prebiotics may have metabolic and anti-inflammatory benefits in type 2 diabetes, research suggests.

The finding comes from a review of 27 randomised controlled trials of several different prebiotics in mainly women who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for between six months and 11 years.

Participants used the prebiotics, which are plant fibres that act as a fertiliser for bacteria in the gut, from four days to 12 weeks. 

The US investigators wanted to find out if they reduced inflammatory and metabolic biomarkers for type 2 diabtetes.

Twenty studies found a benefit with prebiotics over placebo on metabolic and/or inflammatory markers.

Glycaemia improved in 19 studies, cardiovascular markers in 15, body weight in nine studies and markers of inflammation also in nine.

"Doctors should be aware of the potential benefits of