Heal Type 2 Diabetes with a Probiotic?

Recently, I’ve discovered the joys of butyrate for gut inflammation, when it stopped my last ulcerative colitis flare faster than steroids or Imuran, but it’s clear this short chain fatty acid (SCFA), which is created by gut bacteria as they ferment mostly vegetable fibers, is critical to protecting against colon cancer, leaky gut, and a variety of other conditions. What if anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory butyrate is also the key to healing diabetes, or rather, what if an absence of butyrate-generating gut flora may lead to dysregulation of blood glucose, and what if we could fix this?

Enter Clostridium Butyricum, a Japanese probiotic by the name Miyarisan Tablets, that actually generates butyrate! Of course it makes sense this soil-based bacteria might also heal ulcerative colitis, but it has another wonderful feature: its ability to guard against deadly c. diff infections. In Japan, many people are given c. butyricum upon entry to a hospital, as a preventative for these dangerous and highly-contagious acquired infections. Yes, this probiotic is a true powerhouse.


Back to metabolic issues, I read an article on Chris Kresser’s site where he noted low carb dieters tend to have higher blood glucose levels, because of induced insulin resistance. Here’s an additional hypothesis: I wonder if people with damaged flora seek out a paleo diet, since it’s less likely to aggravate their GI symptoms of carbohydrate intolerance. Furthermore, ancestral diets (in practice) tend to be higher in fats and animal protein and lower in vegetable fibers, so it makes sense these people would start out deficient in butyrate-generating flora, pre-paleo (perhaps due to antibiotics use or inherited altered flora), and continue to limit their butyrate generation through lower consumption of vegetable fibers. A growing interest in resistant starches seeks to address this, with dietary hacks that increase butyrate.

Are higher than normal fasting glucose levels static, or over a longer time frame are these people at risk for developing diabetes? And what if someone is already diabetic? Generally, low carb diets work for managing type 2, and resistant starch gets high marks for improving metabolic profiles, bifido strains or not. We’ve known for quite a while that cultured foods improve diabetes by limiting carbohydrate metabolism. Leading edge research is now figuring out gut flora transplants might even heal diabetes. But what if simply establishing a colon full of c. butyricum could provide some of these same benefits?

Another approach would be to use a probiotic developed for IBD, VSL #3, to brew a yogurt, which would boost the ranks of bacteria substantially and also make it totally active. Here’s a study that shows VSL #3 was both effective in increasing glucose tolerance and generating more butyrate. VSL is more complex than Miyarisan. It lists streptococcus thermophilus, bifidobacterium breve, bifidobacterium longum, bifidobacterium infantis, lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus plantarum (abundant in sauerkraut), lactobacillus paracasei, and lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus. When making a yogurt from this, it’s assumed these ratios would change, as not all bacteria would have the same growth rate in milk.

While it’s not likely to be a cure, could therapeutic doses of c. buytyricum,  or the blend of strains in VSL #3, halt rising glucose levels, or even improve numbers?

I aim to find out. My fasting glucose used to be perfect, but have been creeping higher since taking courses of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, like Cipro and Levaquin. Anyone can monitor their levels, using a glucose meter, so it should be easy to track results. I’ll try the Miyarisan Tablets in combination with VSL#3 in a ferment, for increased viability, and will be eating my tried and true resistant starches, which should boost good ole butyrate. Along the way, I predict ulcerative colitis will be banished from my gut, since I’ll be a prolific butyrate auto-generator for the first time in many years. Stay tuned!

Are you pre-diabetic or diabetic, and experimenting with probiotic foods and resistant starch? Do you use butyrate supplements for ulcerative colitis or crohn’s? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section, or at GHN on Facebook. We also have a dedicated group on Facebook for Healing or Avoiding Diabetes by Fixing the Gut. Thanks! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Heal Type 2 Diabetes with a Probiotic?

  1. Clostridia Butyricum is an anaerobe. The pills you mention contain the spores which can survive for up to 4 years. They will not ‘grow’ in yogurt so you are wasting your time. Get the Miyarisan ‘strong’ and take 6 per day, once a day, all at once, to increase butyric acid in the gut, and protect when using antibiotics. This strain has clinically been shown to reduce inflammation in the gut and liver. Clostridia Butyricum is soil based, will not grow in conditions of oxygen sufficiency (air), and does not ‘implant’ in the gut. It must be taken as an addition on a semi-regular basis if you use it long term.

    Liked by 1 person

    • i really appreciate your comment. i’ve been chatting with people in the wild fermentation group about this for a week or so, and others in the bacteriotherapy forum on Facebook. here’s a comment from one person who makes a living working with bacteria in labs:

      “Fresh milk is a more aerobic environment than a jar of quietly fermenting kefir. Kefir might be a better “reduced” anaerobic environment for kick-staring any anaerobe like C.butyricum. The powder in those capsules probably contains spores. I dont know if spores might have a better chance of making it thru the stomach that live whole bacteria. How much of ANY bacterium in any form gets thru the stomach and into the right area of the gut has always amazed me. Just remember mother nature has been inoculating the guts of life forms very successfully with very low numbers of VERY fragile anaerobes since the dawn of time.”

      what you’re saying makes sense. i noted in the wikipedia article it mentions c.butyricum being found in cheeses and soured milk, so i figured i might be able to at least activate mine by putting them in a brew, but simply taking the pills is easy enough!

      how often would you recommend dosing to keep its ranks high enough for benefits? thanks!


  2. Pingback: Food Poisoning? Probiotics to the Rescue. | Getting Healthier Now

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