08 Jan Diabetes
This article is not going to directly address the disease Diabetes, but some of the recommendations would definitely apply to those with high blood sugar issues. It is estimated that about 40+ million Americans have blood sugar control issues. My belief, as with most health conditions, is that we bring this on with our lifestyle choices. Whether you have issues with Hypo- (low) or Hyper- (high) glycemia, proper diet, activity and supplementation can assist you in addressing this issue.
Eating a diet low in refined foods (white flour, juice, packaged foods) would be a great start. Try to consume more whole foods such as fruits and veggies. The fiber alone from these foods can also have a stabilizing effect on your blood sugar levels. Avoid hydrogenated fats and consume more good fats like fish and flaxseed oil. Make sure you are eating enough protein while avoiding meats high in fat.
Increase your activity level. Slow and steady wins the race every time. You don’t need to do hours of aerobics, but just 30 or so minutes a day of brisk walking, biking or weight lifting can assist your body in maintaining health blood sugar levels.
With regards to supplements, I always start with minerals, primarily Magnesium, Chromium and Vanadium. We are a mineral deficient society due to our over consumption of processed foods. Processing takes out the good in most cases and often times companies “fortify” the foods to put back what they just processed out. Recent research has shown that people with blood sugar control usually have low blood levels of these three key minerals. Research from the 1900s showed that Chromium-rich Brewer’s yeast was helpful in restoring blood sugar levels. Current research shows that chromium supplementation with doses as high as 1000mcg per day has been helpful at improving glucose tolerance in those with Type II diabetes. Magnesium consumption has shown to improve insulin production in those with Type II Diabetes. The last of the three minerals I recommend is Vanadium. Most people haven’t heard of this mineral yet research has shown that it helps improve glucose control in as little as 6 weeks.
Another supplement that is helpful with supporting healthy blood sugar levels is Alpha Lipoic Acid. Alpha Lipoic Acid could end up being the big winner in the future for those with blood sugar control issues. This supplement has been shown to increase the burning of glucose. It protects not only against the dysfunction that causes diabetes, but also against the damage caused by the disease. L-carnitine is a popular dietary supplement because it has been shown to produce many health benefits, one of which is control blood sugar. L-Carnitine improves insulin sensitivity, increases glucose storage, and optimizes carbohydrate metabolism.
The previous supplements are on my top list of nutritional supplements for blood sugar control. The following is a list of other nutritionals that possess benefits too:
- Fish Oil (Omega-3 fatty acids)
- Vitamin C, D & E
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Herbals also have been shown to play a critical role in blood sugar control. Three herbs stand out above the rest: Gymnema, Cinnamon and Maitake. Gymnema has been shown to improve the ability of insulin to lower blood sugar levels in both Type I and Type II diabetes. Cinnamon (yes, the spice) extract is known to improve blood sugar levels and lipid levels in those with Type II diabetes. The extract of Maitake (Sx Fraction) has also been shown to be extremely helpful for those with interest in blood sugar control.
If you are looking to take control of balancing your blood sugar, then you need to be aware that poping a pill or pills is not the answer. Even if you subject yourself to the pharmaceutical answers to blood sugar control, you are not going to “cure” yourself of the problem without other lifestyle modifications. I firmly believe that the answer to your problem lies in proper diet and activity. If you can get these two aspects under control, supplementing or taking prescribed medications will not be necessary in most cases. The choice is yours, but in the meantime, you now have some tools to assist your body in overcoming your blood sugar issues.