Department

Department of Microbiology

First Advisor

Rachel Watson

Description

There is a growing concern in the underserved population of Albany County with not only Type II Diabetes but with food insecurity, where there is limited access to medical resources and food for balanced diets. This is especially seen in low-income patients at the Laramie Downtown Clinic, one in three of whom have Type II Diabetes. One solution to these problems is to target an imbalance in the gut microbiome through a probiotic food source. This will help to both treat Type II Diabetes and to empower these patients through food dignity. Last semester our research consisted of creating a probiotic yogurt with bacterial strains known to be beneficial for Type II Diabetes, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus acidophilus, as well as, Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus (found in all yogurts). A probiotic yogurt was produced that has acceptable concentrations of all four of these bacteria, which also maintained normal yogurt characteristics. This yogurt not only provides a good meal for patients diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, but it also provides probiotics that will be beneficial for insulin tolerance and blood glucose stability. In order to next implement our lab research finding within the Albany County Community, more research was required. This consisted of taking the recipe and trying different ways of creating yogurt at home through various cost-effective methods. Once methods are determined and local resources such as Interfaith Good Samaritan, the Soup Kitchen, and others are incorporated, educating these patients becomes the next priority. This will be done through the use of brochures in both English and Spanish and through dissemination of yogurt recipes and yogurt-making demonstrations (later to come). This holistic approach to Type II Diabetes and food insecurity will be of great benefit to our community.

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Disseminating Probiotic Yogurt Recipe and Educational Materials to Underserved People with Type II Diabetes in Albany County

There is a growing concern in the underserved population of Albany County with not only Type II Diabetes but with food insecurity, where there is limited access to medical resources and food for balanced diets. This is especially seen in low-income patients at the Laramie Downtown Clinic, one in three of whom have Type II Diabetes. One solution to these problems is to target an imbalance in the gut microbiome through a probiotic food source. This will help to both treat Type II Diabetes and to empower these patients through food dignity. Last semester our research consisted of creating a probiotic yogurt with bacterial strains known to be beneficial for Type II Diabetes, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus acidophilus, as well as, Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus (found in all yogurts). A probiotic yogurt was produced that has acceptable concentrations of all four of these bacteria, which also maintained normal yogurt characteristics. This yogurt not only provides a good meal for patients diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, but it also provides probiotics that will be beneficial for insulin tolerance and blood glucose stability. In order to next implement our lab research finding within the Albany County Community, more research was required. This consisted of taking the recipe and trying different ways of creating yogurt at home through various cost-effective methods. Once methods are determined and local resources such as Interfaith Good Samaritan, the Soup Kitchen, and others are incorporated, educating these patients becomes the next priority. This will be done through the use of brochures in both English and Spanish and through dissemination of yogurt recipes and yogurt-making demonstrations (later to come). This holistic approach to Type II Diabetes and food insecurity will be of great benefit to our community.