Diabetic foot ulcers have long posed one of the greatest burdens on the quality of life of adults living with type 2 diabetes. While diabetic foot ulcer treatments ranging from therapeutic footwear, support socks and daily saline rinses remain commonplace, newly emerging research illustrates a potential avenue of treatment from the inside out. December 2017 research featured on Healio.com showed that the implementation of probiotics in patient diets may aid in and even hasten the healing of diabetic foot ulcers.

What are probiotics?

The Mayo Clinic defines probiotics as health-beneficial bacteria that are similar to those already found within the body. Probiotics are prevalent in a wide variety of food items, ranging from some yogurts and cheeses to specially enhanced dairy products, and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. Probiotics have been proven to promote a healthy immune system, support weight management and assist in proper digestive function.

Inside the research

The 12-week study, conducted at the Center for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center at Babol University in Iran, surveyed the effectiveness of probiotics-enhanced diets in a group of 60 adults aged 40 to 85 years. The results of the study showed that the control group taking probiotic supplements saw major reductions in fasting plasma glucose, serum insulin concentrations, and an increase in the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index when compared to the placebo group.

The study from Babol University was not the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of probiotics in the treatment of diabetes-related symptoms, though this research was the largest and most conclusive of its kind to date.

While it’s too early to advise patients who have diabetes to begin to implement probiotics or a probiotic supplement into their diet as a standard means of treatment, the evidence is growing, and new studies are expected to emerge in the coming years that will attempt to demonstrate their effectiveness. That said, a wider variety of studies have illustrated the potential benefit of probiotics in cardiovascular health, according to Diabetes Self-Management. It is important to remember that heart health is a vital subset of diabetic care.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.