BINUS UNIVERSITY researcher and Head of Department of Food Technology Dr Ingrid Surono is currently undertaking the first year of her research initiative on the potential use of probiotics as adjuvants for the management of diabetes mellitus and hypertension. The three-year research programme will aim to explore whether the regular consumption of probiotics can increase the absorption of nutrients by the body and thus any drugs consumed for the treatment of diabetes mellitus and hypertension.
Probiotics are live microorganisms which, when administered in regular amounts can provide health benefits for the host. The research programme is done in cooperation with the International Collaboration and Scientific Writing of RISTEK DIKTI in addition to Pajajaaran University, Gunma University, Japan, Maastricht University, Netherlands and PT Ultra Jaya Milk. Dr Surono utilised two probiotics, Lactobacillus plantarum IS-10506 and Enterococcus faecium IS-27256 — both isolated from Indonesian fermented buffalo milk — and were administered to test rabbits.
A total of 48 rabbits were divided into 6 groups; Group 1; the control group administered with the antidiabetic drug glibenclamide as the model for the diabetes mellitus drug; Group 2; pre-treated with Lactobacillus plantarum IS-10506 for 2 weeks before being administered with glibenclamide; and Group 3; pre-treated with Enterococcus faecium IS-27256 also for 2 weeks before being administered with glibenclamide. Group 4 was the control group administered with amlodipine which is commonly used to treat hypertension and Group 5 and 6 were treated similarly to Group 2 and 3 except the drug was changed to amlodipine.
Through the research, it is hoped that the probiotics will influence the gut microbiota — which plays a vital role in the body’s metabolic activities — of the test animals so that it will increase the absorption of the antidiabetic and antihypertensive drugs used. In the second and third year of the research programme, Dr Surono will move onto the clinical trial phase where she will implement her experimental methods on human test subjects.
Going forward, BINUS UNIVERSITY and Dr Surono’s research on probiotics will help to contribute to the field of functional foods and thus producing probiotic based functional foods which could help maintain many lifestyle diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension and colon cancer among others.