Zinc and Insulin Regulation
While many studies have already shown that low zinc status is associated with diabetes, up to now the effects of zinc supplementation on glycemic control have not been clearly defined.
So, Chinese researchers from Zhejiand University School of Medicine, analysed 32 published randomised, placebo-controlled studies, involving a total of 1700 participants from 14 countries. The aim of this meta-analysis was to assess the effects of zinc supplementation on glycemic control in subjects with diabetes, or who have a high risk of developing the disease.
Results indicated that, compared to the control groups, the group who received zinc supplements “had a statistically significant reduction in fasting glucose, two hour postprandial glucose, fasting insulin, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance, glycated hemoglobin, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein concentrations.”
All of which means that zinc supplementation may have potential for preventing or managing diabetes. (Study)
Nutristart’s Mineral Mix offers 15 mg of zinc daily, along with 200 mcg of chromium, another mineral essential for insulin regulation. (Those with serious blood sugar problems can double up on the product safely.)
Anxiety and the Microbiome
As many as one third of people will be affected by anxiety symptoms during their lifetime.
Modern research has indicated that gut microflora (which perform many functions in the immune system and metabolism) can help regulate brain function through what is known as the "gut-brain axis." Science is now examining the possibility that mental disorders could be treated by regulating the intestinal microbiome (the mix of microbes living in the gut).
In order to examine the potential of regulating intestinal microbiota, and in turn improving symptoms of anxiety, researchers from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, reviewed 21 studies (covering 1,503 patients). Of the 21 studies, 14 used probiotics as interventions to regulate intestinal microbiota, and seven used non-probiotic methods, such as adjusting daily diets.
Their conclusion was, "We find that more than half of the studies included showed it was possible to treat anxiety symptoms by regulation of intestinal microbiota.”
This is where it gets interesting. They went on to state, “ it should be highlighted that the non-probiotic interventions were more effective than the probiotic interventions. More studies are needed to clarify this conclusion..."
One reason that non-probiotic interventions were significantly more effective than probiotic interventions may be due to the fact that changing the diet could have more of an impact on gut bacteria growth, than introducing specific types of bacteria via a probiotic supplement.
They also suspected that, since some of the studies involved using a number of different probiotics, these bacteria could have competed against each other. And, possibly, “many of the intervention times used might have been too short to significantly increase the abundance of the imported bacteria”. (Source)
This meta analysis ties into another study released just a few months ago, which I blogged on. In this study probiotics were shown to be useless for healthy people, and even counterproductive in the case of post-antibiotic restoration of flora (again, in healthy people). For more details see my blog, Are Probiotics Worthless?
As a final note, I will mention that our Lactospore product is not a probiotic, but rather is a spore. So it functions like prebiotics from the diet (soluble fibers and lactic acid from fermented foods), and only works to encourage the colonization of your indigenous good bacteria. Thus, proving to work where regular commercial probiotic supplements don’t work, and to also work to help healthy people maintain an ideal microbiome.