Details on the Key Ingredients
in Glucose Factors
Extensive medical and scientific research has discovered vital nutrients and herbs that can help you control blood sugar levels and help offset the toll diabetes often has on your body. Your diet and exercise level are significant factors in possibly eliminating your dependence on insulin and prescription drugs.
Supplements containing the correct amount of specific, and critical ingredients can help to control your blood sugar levels. Incorporating these specific minerals and vitamins in to your daily dietary routine can certainly help to normalize your blood sugar. If you already have diabetes or suspect you might have it, be sure to discuss this with your physician.
Inadequate chromium intake from processed food, increased chromium losses due to increased sugar consumption, decreasing chromium tissue levels as we age are the main reasons why the majority of Americans and diabetics are deficient in chromium. Studies show improvement in blood sugar in significant numbers of diabetics and pre-diabetics with modest chromium supplementation.
Chromium makes insulin more effective, and thus helps reverse insulin resistance. Chromium levels in the body tend to decline with age, which may be one factor affecting older people’s risk of developing Type II diabetes. Dosage levels between 100-500 mcg/day have been shown to reduce blood glucose, insulin and cholesterol. Safety studies show no toxicity or adverse effects with high levels of chromium intake.
Research indicates that this mineral acts similarly to insulin in transporting glucose into the cells, and is therefore valuable for both Type I and Type II diabetics. Vanadium has been found to be useful for improving fasting glucose levels (the amount of sugar in the blood when one wakes up in the morning). Toxicity studies show these dosage levels to be safe and well tolerated by most people.
Vitamin C (60mg)
Vitamin C administration has beneficial effects on sugar and fat metabolism. In a randomized double-blind cross-over study, in which 56 diabetic patients participated, it has been established that a supplementation of high doses of ascorbic acid (2 grams a day) markedly improves the blood sugar regulation.
It was recorded that the vitamin C supplementation in the study group resulted in a statistically significant decrease of the fasting blood sugar from 10.1 to 9.1 mmol/liter. In this group the vitamin C supplement also succeeded in lowering the levels of LDL cholesterol and of triglycerides in the blood. Vitamin C is one of the safest of all supplements even at high intake levels.
This B vitamin is crucial to the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Biotin is especially important for improving insulin sensitivity and the activity of glucokinase, the enzyme that starts the use of glucose by the liver. Diabetics have low concentrations of this enzyme. Research shows that supplementation with Biotin improves blood glucose control in both Type I and Type II diabetics. Biotin is also helpful for treating diabetic neuropathy, which is damage to the nerves in the feet that causes numbness, burning sensations, and pain.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (90mg)
This substance is a potent anti-oxidant, soluble in both fats and water, meaning that it acts in virtually all areas of the cell to neutralize free radicals. Daily dosage of Lipoic Acid has shown to improve the transport of glucose into cells by as much as 63%. It also improves insulin sensitivity. Lipoic acid is used to improve circulation and reduce the glycosylation of proteins. In Germany, it is the treatment of choice for regenerating nerves that are damaged by diabetic neuropathy.
Gymnema Sylvestre Lowers Diabetics’ Blood Glucose Levels and Improves Blood Fat and Cholesterol Profiles
Gymnema Sylvestre (1140mg)
The Latin name Gymnema Sylvestre means “sugar destroyer” and is considered an herbal remedy for high blood sugar. This Indian plant has traditionally been used to treat diabetes—and is helpful for both Type I and Type II diabetics. Research indicates that it acts to reduce fasting blood glucose levels and make insulin more effective. There are indications that it may also stimulate regeneration of the pancreas in Type I diabetics. There is no reported toxicity.
It is a useful treatment for both types of diabetes, type I and II. Clinical studies published in Indian medical journals and in U.S. clinical tests show that it not only lowers blood sugar levels but may help repair damaged cells in the pancreas, the gland in which insulin is produced, thereby improving insulin production.
The first scientific confirmation of this traditional use in human diabetics came about 70 years ago when it was demonstrated that the leaves of Gymnema Sylvestre reduced urine glucose in diabetics. In later studies it was shown that Gymnema Sylvestre had a blood glucose lowering effect when there was residual pancreatic function, but was without effect in animals lacking pancreatic function, suggesting a direct effect on the pancreas.
Published Studies Show Dramatic Results
In 1990 a series of published studies on Gymnema Sylvestre showed that the administration of Gymnema Sylvestre to diabetic animals not only resulted in improved glucose homeostasis. This remarkable improvement was accompanied by a regeneration of beta cells in the pancreas.
Again in 1990, another research team published results on their treatment of both Type I and Type II diabetics with Gymnema Sylvestre. This research was conducted over a two year time span, allowing enough time to gather accurate, substantiating results. In the case of Type II diabetics, Gymnema Sylvestre resulted in significant reductions in blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, glycosylated plasma proteins, and conventional drug dosage.
Gymnema Lowers Need for Oral Medication
At the beginning of the study all participants were taking oral anti-diabetic medication, and treatment with Gymnema Sylvestre resulted not only in a lowering of oral medication necessity, but almost 25% of the participants were able to discontinue conventional oral medication and maintain blood glucose homeostasis with Gymnema Sylvestre alone. “This data suggests that the beta cells may be regenerated/repaired in Type 2 diabetic patients on Gymnema Sylvestre supplementation.”
An additional study in Type 1 diabetics showed equally impressive results. Insulin requirements came down together with blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin and glycosylated plasma protein levels. Serum lipids returned to near normal levels with Gymnema Sylvestre therapy. This may help prevent cardiovascular disease, a common complication in diabetics. Most impressively, an increase in C-peptide levels was found in these participants. This is a strong indication of the restoration of insulin production, presumably due to regeneration/repair of beta cells in the pancreas. The control group showed none of these improvements, and actually worsened over the study period. Importantly, none of the participants in either of these studies presented any adverse side effects.
In a study conducted by Diabetes Educators, under the protocols established by Diabetes in Control and Informulab of Omaha, NE, ® Gymnema Sylvestre was found to lower HbA1c levels from 10.1% to 9.3%.
Some study patients developed hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) and required a lower dose of conventional oral medication or insulin. Thus, any diabetic that uses Gymnema Sylvestre must carefully monitor blood glucose levels and adjust their medication, in consultation with their physician, to maintain desired blood glucose levels. This is because improved insulin production and release during Gymnema Sylvestre supplementation may result in over-medication, and thus low blood glucose levels, unless the dosage of conventional oral medication or insulin is lowered. Since most diabetics monitor their blood glucose levels on a daily basis, this shouldn’t present a problem.
Because Diabetes normally is not recognized until significant damage has occurred to the pancreas cells responsible for producing insulin, Gymnema Sylvestre may be of use to anyone concerned about preventing the development of diabetes, as well as elderly persons who are at high risk for developing diabetes.
Within the past two decades researchers have determined that gymnema extracts may even play a role in the treatment of Type I diabetics, who typically need daily injections of insulin to control the disease.
Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is a compound found in brindle berry(garcinia cambogia). Several studies have indicated that HCA makes insulin more effective while reduces a craving for sweets. HCA slows the rate at which carbohydrates are converted to fat, and reduces your appetite by increasing the production of glycogen.
One of the tenets of the successful “South Beach Diet” is to reduce and slow sugar absorption. In his first book, Dr. Arthur Agatston explains, “What we’re concerned with here is the speed with which our bodies get at the sugars.If the body experiences a fast infusion of sugars, a lot of insulin is required. If the sugars are metabolized more slowly, the insulin is released gradually. This is a crucial difference, as far as obesity is concerned; Fast sugar is worse for you; slower is better.”
Besides the implication for extra sugar being stored (as fat), rather than being used effectively, Dr. Agatston notes that with large sugar infusions, the body often produces too much insulin, which then lowers the blood sugar level. “When that happens,” he writes, “New cravings are created, requiring more quick carbohydrate fixes.”
Bitter Melon (390mg)
Bitter Melon is currently reported to help in the treatment of diabetes and psoriasis. Recent studies do appear to confirm that Bitter Melon may improve blood sugar control in people with adult-onset (Type-2) diabetes. The blood lowering action of the fresh juice of the unripe Bitter Melon has been confirmed in scientific studies in animals and humans and may thus be helpful for those with Type-2 diabetes.
At least three different groups of constituents in Bitter Melon have been reported to have hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) or other actions of potential benefit in diabetes. Bitter Melon preparations have been shown to significantly improve glucose tolerance without increasing blood insulin levels and to improve fasting blood glucose levels. Blood and urine sugar levels, along with post-prandial (after eating) blood glucose levels also fell.
Cinnamon highlights its hypoglycemic properties in some of the newest research studies. Extracts of cinnamon have been reported to increase insulin activity, increasing the breakdown of glucose, and improving blood sugar concentrations. Our water-soluble cinnamon botanical extract has been shown to be the most beneficial form of dietary cinnamon according to studies done by the USDA.
Consuming roughly one half a teaspoon of Cinnamon daily may lead to dramatic reductions in blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides in Type-2 diabetic patients who are not taking insulin. The effect, which can be produced even by soaking a cinnamon stick your tea, could also benefit millions of non-diabetics who have blood sugar problem but are unaware of it.
The cinnamon-diabetes discovery was initially made by accident, by Richard Anderson at the US Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland.
The active ingredient in cinnamon turned out to be a water-soluble polyphenol compound called MHCP. In test tube experiments, MHCP mimics insulin, activates its receptor, and works synergistically with insulin in cells.
To see if it would work in people, Alam Khan, who was a postdoctoral fellow in Anderson’s lab, organized a study in Pakistan. Volunteers with Type 2 diabetes were given one capsule after each meal, or three or six grams of cinnamon powder per day. All responded within weeks, with blood sugar levels that were on average 20 per cent lower than a control group. Some even achieved normal blood sugar levels. Tellingly, blood sugar started creeping up again after the diabetics stopped taking cinnamon.
The cinnamon has additional benefits. In the volunteers, it lowered blood levels of fats and “bad” cholesterol, which are also partly controlled by insulin.
Bilberry leaf tea has a long history of folk use in the treatment of diabetes. This use is supported by research which has shown that an oral intake reduces blood sugar levels in normal and diabetic animals. Bilberry flavonoids (anthocyanosides) have been shown to increase intracellular vitamin C levels, decrease the leakiness and breakage of small vessels commonly associated with vascular damage from diabetes, has an affinity for blood vessels of the eye and retina, and improves circulation t the retina. This affinity is consistent with several clinical trials showing positive results with diabetic retinopathy.
Since diabetes reduces immune function over time, and since the kidneys are prone to deterioration from diabetes, bilberry supplements are potentially very useful to encourage maximum retention of kidney function, or to help preserve kidneys that have already been damaged.
Fenugreek (90mg )
Fenugreek Seeds (Trigonella foenum-graecum) contain a newly discovered alkaloid called trigonelline which demonstrates hypoglycemic activity.
Fenugreek showed positive results in treating diabetes according to recent research. The herb was shown to lower blood glucose levels for Type II diabetes sufferers. Some insulin-dependent diabetics in one study in India, who were on low doses of insulin, took Fenugreek, and it reduced blood sugar and other harmful fats. Furthermore, an amino acid in Fenugreek (hydroxyisoleucine) is said to stimulate the pancreas to secret insulin, another way the herb may help diabetics.
In the previously mentioned East Indian study, patients Fenugreek seeds reduced 24 hour urinary sugar excretion 54%, while improving glucose tolerance.
This study concurs with a previous one that demonstrated equal significance of Fenugreek seeds and Type II diabetics. In yet another study, fenugreek seeds were found to exert hypocholesterolemic (cholesterol-lowering) and hypoglycemic (blood sugar-lowering) effects. Fenugreek seeds are rich in dietary fiber, which may be the main reason it is also thought to lower blood sugar levels in diabetes.
Ginko Biloba (240mg)
Ginkgo biloba seems to reduce platelet hypersensitivity, a condition often found in diabetics, and increase the production of pancreatic insulin.
Gingko has also shown to improve cerebral and peripheral vascular blood flow. This is important for diabetics who commonly suffer from peripheral vascular insufficiency. The flavonoids found in ginkgo may help halt or lessen some retinal problems (that is, problems to the back part of the eye). Retinal damage has a number of potential causes, including diabetes and macular degeneration.
Banaba has been used for a very long time for blood sugar control. One of its active constituents, corosolic acid, is suggested to possess insulin-like activity, stimulating glucose uptake. Recent research claims that this component was observed to be an activator of glucose transport into cells, which ultimately results in a lowering of blood glucose levels. Transporting glucose into cells is critical to provide the energy necessary for the cells to carry out their vital functions. Any compound that can stimulate glucose transport effectively helps to lower blood sugar levels. In both human trials and laboratory research, it is said that there were hypoglycemic effects produced by Banaba Leaf on those who were genetically predisposed to diabetes. In a small study in patients with Type-2 diabetes, it was found that an extract from Banaba Leaf (called Glucosol) lowered glucose levels in the blood.
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People using supplements to improve blood sugar control who notice any unusual effects are urged to discontinue use and consult with their health care provider.
Likewise, prescriptive treatments, especially the use of insulin and related medications for controlling insulin levels in the body, should always be monitored by a health care professional and never reduced or discontinued without prior consultation.
Note: If these natural measures fail to contain the elevated blood sugars, please consult your physician as oral medications and insulin may need to be considered.
Notes on the Treatment of Type I and Type II Diabetes
The major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugars (glucose) without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type I diabetes is treated with insulin, exercise, and a diabetic diet.
Type II diabetes is typically treated with nutritional supplements, a low glycemic index diet to control blood sugar level, and exercise. Many but not all of the recommended supplements for persons with Type I diabetes have been found highly beneficial to those with the Type II disease. Naturally if you are dependent on insulin treatment or under physicians care should discuss the use of supplements with your physician.