How to maintain healthy blood sugar with four supplements

How to  maintain healthy blood sugar with four supplements
Dietary intervention targets the underlying causes of high blood sugar and is a key step towards protecting yourself against the damaging effects caused by high blood sugar.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar combats blood sugar spikes after meals. Minimizing sugar spikes helps to restore insulin sensitivity…the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.

One study by Italian researchers showed that when healthy subjects consumed 4 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with a meal, there was a 30 percent reduction in their glycemic response, or rise in blood sugar. Reducing your glycemic response is essential for beating diabetes.

2. Lipoic Acid

Glucose (blood sugar) destroys insulin receptors. Without the receptors, insulin can not work. Lipoic acid is a naturally occurring antioxidant that protects insulin receptors.

Recently, researchers revealed dramatic effects in improving insulin sensitivity in overweight adults suffering from type 2 diabetes. The antioxidant produced significant improvements in just four weeks.

Lipoic acid is also effective in treating diabetic neuropathy, which is characterized by numbness, tingling, and pain in the extremities. A large, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter, double-blind study involving 328 patients with type-2 diabetes revealed that it significantly improved symptoms.

Life Extension suggests taking 200 to 300 mg/day of R-lipoic acid (the “R” form is more potent).

3. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a potent antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress. Diabetics experience a high degree of oxidation that causes cellular damage.

CoQ10 is required to convert fats and sugars into cellular energy. Yet, the natural production of CoQ10 declines in diabetics. The best form of CoQ10 to supplement with is called ubiquinol. This form is easily absorbed and significantly increases blood levels.

Life Extension suggests taking 200 mg/day of ubiquinol CoQ10.

4. Pyridoxamine

The pyridoxamine form of vitamin B6 protects the body’s proteins from glycation. Sugar (glucose) in the blood can bind to proteins, particularly when blood levels are high. This binding causes the formation of dysfunctional proteins, which accumulate with time and contribute to some of the signs of aging.

Scientific research suggests that if you want to help protect your body against glycation, nutrients that help prevent the formation of AGEs may be beneficial. The latest information shows that pyridoxamine may also be of significant help in preventing the formation of these aging molecules.

In fact, one prominent antiaging doctor described pyridoxamine as “the most potent natural substance for inhibiting AGE formation.” By preventing AGE formation and working as a coenzyme in chemical reactions, pyridoxamine can support healthy nerve, eye, cardiovascular and kidney function.

Life Extension suggests taking 50 mg/day of pyridoxamine.

Statin Drugs May Increase Diabetes Risk

Statin Drugs May Increase Diabetes Risk

New data from a large review (meta-analysis) of major statin trials suggests that the cholesterol lowering drugs (statins) slightly increase the risk of developing diabetes. The results of the study were published online February 17, 2010 in The Lancet.

“We found that there was indeed a risk of diabetes, about 9%, but it isn’t a worrying increase as had been suggested by other studies,” said lead investigator Dr David Preiss (University of Glasgow, Scotland). “Then again, it wasn’t a completely flat result. We did see [risk].”

Investigators stress that clinical practice should remain unchanged in patients with moderate or high cardiovascular risk, given the benefits of statins seen in these populations.

However, statin medications are increasingly prescribed for low risk patients. The risk for developing diabetes is greater than the benefits of statin drugs in the low risk group.

Bottom line … protect yourself against diabetes if you’re taking a statin drug. The following nutrients help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and may provide the protection you need:

1. Soluble Fiber

Soluble fibers, such as apple pectin and glucomannan, help control blood sugar spikes after eating a meal. Nutritionists suggest supplementing with five grams 20 minutes before each meal.

2. Chromium

Chromium is a trace mineral critical for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. It helps the transport of blood sugar (glucose) into cells, and thereby supports already-normal insulin action. Foods rich in chromium include eggs, lean beef, spinach, and apples.

3. Cinnamon

Cinnamon supports healthy glucose metabolism. It’s believed that a water-soluble cinnamon extract is the most effective form for daily supplementation. Additionally, cinnamon has been shown to support levels of triglycerides and cholesterol that are already within normal ranges.

4. Lipoic Acid

Lipoic acid helps protect against oxidative stress generated by high glucose levels. Foods rich in lipoic acid include dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and organ meat. If you decide to supplement, take the active form of lipoic acid. It’s known as the “R” form and is responsible for lipoic acid’s benefits.

Natural Support for Diabetic Nerves that Hurt

Natural Support for Diabetic Nerves that Hurt
Millions of people suffer needlessly from diabetic neuropathy because conventional medicine has nothing to offer but toxic medications that don’t work.

Fortunately, natural nerve support is available for nerve damage caused by high blood sugar. You can stop the pain and improve your quality of life by supplementing with specific nutrients proven to support healthy nerves.

1. Acetyl-L-carnitine

Acetyl-L-carnitine has been shown to limit the neuropathy associated with diabetes. In two randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials, acetyl-L-carnitine, in daily doses of 500 mg and 1000 mg, was shown to yield significant reductions in pain.

2. Lipoic Acid

As a powerful antioxidant, lipoic acid positively affects important aspects of diabetes, including prevention, blood sugar control, and the development of long-term complications such as disease of the heart, kidneys, and small blood vessels.

It has also been shown to reduce the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.

Clinical trials of people with diabetes who had symptoms caused by nerve damage affecting the heart showed significant improvement taking 800 mg of oral alpha-lipoic acid daily without significant side effects.

3. Curcumin

Researchers are continually discovering more benefits from curcumin, which is the yellow pigment that gives turmeric its distinctive golden hue.

In a study of inherited peripheral neuropathies, curcumin was shown to relieve neuropathy by causing the release of disease-associated proteins that are produced by a mutated gene.

4. Omega-6 Fats

Diabetics are not able to make the omega-6 fat, GLA, and it must be supplemented. GLA improves diabetic neuropathy if given long enough to work.

In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 111 people with mild diabetic neuropathy received either 480 mg GLA daily or a placebo.

After 12 months, the group taking GLA was doing significantly better than the placebo group. Good results were seen in two smaller studies as well.

5. Omega-3 Fats

The omega-3s are found in high quantities in coldwater fish such as salmon and are widely consumed for their anti-inflammatory powers.

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids and are important components of cell membranes, including the delicate myelin sheath that protects nerves.

Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are able to reduce demyelination in the nerves of diabetic animals, which reduces neuropathic pain.

For more information on diabetic neuropathy, visit our protocol at http://www.lef.org/protocols/neurological/neuropathy_01.htm.

The Best Foods for Diabetics on Insulin

The best foods for diabetics on insulin are rich in nutrients that improve insulin sensitivity.  I call them “insulin promoters” because they promote more efficient cellular uptake of glucose from the blood. 

Eating a diet rich in promoters enhances the effects of insulin therapy by targeting insulin resistance, the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.  Taking insulin when resistant to its effects simply won’t work. 

You have to re-sensitize your body to insulin with foods rich in promoters in order to gain optimal blood sugar control.  I suggest adding the following foods, rich in insulin promoters, to your diabetic diet today.

The Best Insulin Promoters

The best insulin promoters contain high levels of lipoic acid.  As a powerful antioxidant, lipoic acid positively affects blood sugar control and the development of long-term complications. 

It’s believed that lipoic acid promotes optimal glucose control by protecting insulin receptors located on the surface of muscle cells.  Successful insulin therapy is totally dependent on healthy receptors, making lipoic acid a key component of a diabetic diet. 

It’s effectiveness as an insulin promoter is best supported by the recent approval in Germany for its use in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Foods rich in lipoic acid include:

1. Collard greens
2. Lean red meats (organ meats)
3. Brewer’s yeast
4. Cruciferous Vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower)

I also suggest taking a lipoic acid supplement.  Take the “R” form of lipoic acid.  This is the more active form found in nature.  Take between 200 mg and 300 mg/day.

The Second Best Insulin Promoters

The second best insulin promoters are foods rich in chromium.  It’s an essential trace mineral that plays a significant role in sugar metabolism.

Chromium helps control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes and improves metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids.  A study of type 2 diabetics compared two forms of chromium (brewer’s yeast and chromium chloride). 

Both forms of chromium significantly improved blood sugar control by promoting the uptake of glucose into the tissues after eating a carbohydrate rich meal.  Fasting blood glucose levels were also lowered during a 2 month follow-up period.

Foods rich in chromium include (in order of most to least):

1. Egg yolk
2. Brewer’s yeast
3. Breads (whole grain, wheat, sprouted, rye)
4. Apples
5. Spinach
6. Oranges

Summary

Insulin promoters, rich in lipoic acid and chromium, are the best foods for diabetics on insulin.  If you’re taking insulin, your diet should include foods like collard greens, broccoli, apples, and whole grain. 

If loaded with insulin promoters, the foods you eat could be the difference between disease and health.

Preventing Sugar Spikes After Meals

Preventing sugar spikes and restoring insulin sensitivity is the first step in preventing diabetes.  If you’re at risk for diabetes (middle age, family history, overweight, inactive) follow these suggestions:

1. Eat Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber interferes with carbohydrate absorption from the intestines into your bloodstream.  By limiting absorption, less sugar enters the blood and prevents spikes.

I suggest supplementing with psyllium husk or beta-glucan 10 to 20 minutes before each major meal.  Both of these soluble fibers come in powder form and mix well with water.

2. Take Chromium Polynicotinate

Chromium polynicotinate is a trace mineral that enhances the effect of insulin.  With chromium, cells don’t needs as much insulin to uptake glucose.  The more sensitive the cells are to insulin, the less is released into the blood.

Take 500 mcg of chromium polynicotinate with each major meal.

3. Try Coffee Berry & Cinnamon

Cinnamon is well known by naturopathic doctors for its positive effects on blood sugar.  The problem is that whole cinnamon contains oils that prevent it from working.  The best suggestion is to take 200 mg with each meal of a water-based cinnamon extract free from the oils.

Cinnamon works better with the herb coffee berry.  Coffee berry inhibits the conversion of glycogen (stored sugar) to blood glucose, thus helping to minimize spikes and the amount of insulin released.  About 50 mg of coffee berry with each meal should do the trick.

4. Take Lipoic Acid

Glucose (blood sugar) destroys the insulin receptors sticking out from the cell’s membrane. Without these receptors, insulin won’t work.  Lipoic acid is a naturally occurring antioxidant that protects insulin receptors.  I suggest taking 200 to 300 mg/day of R-lipoic acid (the “R” form is more potent).

5. Eat Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbs have less effect on blood sugar spikes.  Foods like oatmeal, bran, wheatgerm, and whole grain breads take longer to breakdown to glucose.  The long it takes to breakdown carbs to glucose, the less insulin is released.

A word of warning: all carbohydrates, complex or not, eventually become glucose.  I suggest cutting the servings breads and cereals in half.

Summary

Preventing sugar spikes after meals restores insulin sensitivity and is the first step in diabetes prevention. To learn more, read the Life Extension Foundation’s diabetes protocol at http://www.lef.org and use the search term “diabetes.”