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As well as boosting brain health, probiotics may help treat diabetes.

As well as boosting brain health, probiotics may help treat diabetes.

Probiotics, the "good" bacteria that play a vital role in promoting gut health, have been shown to influence everything from overall immunity to vitamin D levels. These compounds can be derived from various foods including yogurt and cheese, and are often prescribed in supplement form for individuals with digestive problems.

Based on the results of a recent study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, a larger portion of the population may want to incorporate this good bacteria in their diet. According to the study abstract published by the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers have found that administering probiotics can potentially spur the metabolism in a way that can help treat obesity and diabetes – two medical issues that have "reached epidemic proportions," the abstract states.

The American Diabetes Association estimates that just over 8 percent of the U.S. population suffers from diabetes, and given that obesity is a risk factor for this condition, that percentage may rise if steps aren't taken to address poor nutrition, physical inactivity and other elements driving the rise in excessive weight gain.

In the new study, scientists used mouse models to gauge the effects of probiotic supplementation on these concerns, and found that it spurred the production of a hormone that "reduced food intake and improved glucose tolerance."

"Our results indicate that probiotics are of potential therapeutic utility to counter obesity and diabetes," the researchers concluded.

In addition to these potential benefits, past research has indicated that probiotics may also have a positive effect on brain health. Click here to read more information about our probiotic supplements.