Food 4 Health – He Oranga Kai
Preventing type 2 diabetes with probiotics and prebiotics
March 2017 – June 2020
A quarter of New Zealanders have prediabetes which is a condition that can progress to type 2 diabetes and cause significant long term health problems.
There is now exciting research demonstrating that the microbes in our gut affect our health in many ways, including how our bodies process foods and sugars. We can modify our gut microbes by taking supplements of probiotics (which contain live bacteria that give health benefits), and prebiotics (substances from foods which support the gut microbes).
This project is investigating whether adults with prediabetes who take a probiotic supplement can improve their glucose and fat levels in the blood.
This study is a blinded randomised placebo-controlled trial. Participants will randomly receive either a probiotic or a placebo, and one of two different cereals. Cereals are included in the study because of their potential to act as a prebiotic with the potential to ‘boost’ the effect of the probiotic.
In addition this work will evaluate the cost effectiveness of the interventions, and how to translate the study findings into practice.
This research project is funded by the Ministry of Health, Health Research Council of New Zealand, and Healthier Lives National Science Challenge as part of the Long Term Conditions Partnership.
Find out more about the programme:
- Food 4 Health website (otago.ac.nz/food4health)
- Key to diabetes prevention could be all in the gut
Food 4 Health – prevent diabetes He Oranga Kai
Science Leader and principal investigator:
- Christine Barthow
- Dr Cristina Cleghorn
- Professor Julian Crane
- Jo Hilder
- Dr Mark Huthwaite
- Eileen McKinlay
- Dr Amber Parry-Strong
- Professor Sue Pullon
- Professor Mark Weatherall
- Dr Kristin Wickens
- Dr Ben Gray
- Fiona Hood
- He Kitenga 2019 research highlights: Can good bugs make a difference in diabetes? University of Otago, January 2020
- A gutsful of good health NZ Herald, January 2018
- Can probiotics fight high blood sugar levels and help prevent type 2 diabetes? Stuff.co.nz, January 2018
- Consultation launched at the Diabetes NZ 2017 ASM November 2017
- Probiotic may reduce risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy April 2017
- Multi-million dollar funding collaboration to improve long-term health conditions February 2017
- New partnership to improve health of New Zealanders June 2016