Bugs are tromped, stomped and sprayed to a fare-thee-well in this country. But around the globe, they're often prized as a tasty food. It's estimated that 9.5 billion caterpillars are harvested each year in southern Africa, bringing in $85 million in sales. And in Mexico, maguey worms can end up in a tortilla or at the bottom of a bottle of mezcal.
We're advocating for another pair of "bugs," Lactobacillus johnsonii and Lactobacillus gasseri that researchers from Oregon State University say are able to help prevent and treat Type 2 diabetes. These probiotic bacteria are just two of the scores of Lactobacilli that work to keep your gut, body and brain healthy. And these - johnsonii and gasseri - seem to have a special relationship with your liver cells' power centers (mitochondria). That special interaction allows them to optimize the metabolism of glucose and fats in your body. As a result, ingesting them is associated with a lower body weight and a better management of glucose levels after you eat something - two important factors in preventing or controlling diabetes.
These Lactobacilli are found in various probiotic supplements (read the labels) and you can increase your chance of ingesting them by eating a wide range of probiotic foods. One example is the fermented drink kefir which can contain up to 61 strains of bacteria and yeasts. You can also support their good works by feeding your gut bacteria prebiotics (they gotta eat too), such as Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root, garlic, onions and oats.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.