Blood sugar regulation is a major health concern, as almost 21 million Americans are diagnosed diabetics. Additionally, the American Diabetes Association believes that 54 million more Americans can be characterized as pre-diabetic, meaning they have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetic.
The condition of imbalanced blood sugar levels can lead to a number of
other health risks including blindness, heart disease, and loss of feeling
or peripheral pain leading to possible amputation of peripherally-damaged
tissue, impaired kidney function, and nerve damage. One must remember that
risk not only lies in the development of diabetes, but in the increase of
Preliminary studies on vitamin C and its ability to improve insulin resistance have not given much evidence to support the safety or efficacy of nutritional supplements in helping diabetic-related conditions. However, there are several foods and nutrients that need further investigation such as DHEA and EGCG, which mimic and augment beneficial metabolic and vascular actions of insulin.
Additionally, nutrients such as dark chocolate, magnesium, and glucosamine are
also being looked into. Efforts are being made to raise the level of knowledge
on scientific development of dietary supplements as related to health promotion,
health maintenance, and disease prevention. Research is being encouraged on
natural compounds and many studies are quickly being published.
A shift in how products are viewed is leading to an increased acceptance of nutritional supplements in the medical community. A study combining a cholesterol-lowering drug with a B vitamin proved to lower heart attack risk by up to 90 percent in some patients. With over half of the population using a combination of prescription, a blended approach may offer real benefits and help to increase the overall acceptance of supplements.
Chromium is an essential trace mineral which is necessary for normal insulin function and proper protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. It can provide the critical help that is needed to support healthy blood sugar levels. However, chromium on its own is poorly absorbed and has little effect on insulin.
Instead, chromium nicotinate or polynicotinate is said to dramatically increase
not only the efficacy, but also the safety of chromium. This combination demonstrates
significant health benefits to those who have problems regulating blood sugar.
One study has even proven that chromium picolinate may reduce the risk of insulin
resistance, therefore, possibly reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
There are hundreds of products that claim to support healthy blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing the onset and progression of type 2 diabetes and its associated problems. In addition to the previously discussed nutrients, there are other natural options available. Cinnamon has been proven to have significant effects in reducing blood sugar in pre-diabetic men and women. Corosolic acid has been shown to possess anti-diabetic properties as well as significant amounts of tannins, which are shown to act as activators of glucose transport in fat cells.
This nutrient has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels and support small, amounts of weight loss. CoQ10 has been shown to reduce oxidative damage to LDL-cholesterol and improve glucose utilization. Fiber has been shown to lower after-meal blood sugar levels by approximately 20 to 40 percent and is also believed to lower insulin secretion by about 40 percent.
lowers high blood sugar levels in a dose dependant manner by inhibiting enzymes
of the digestive system which break down complex sugars into basic sugars such
as glucose. Pycnogenol delays the absorption of sugars in the blood stream and
prevents the high blood glucose peaks that typically follow meals.
Omega fatty acids significantly changes insulin-related function.
Medicinal mushrooms lower both blood sugar and insulin levels.
Lastly, natural sweeteners such as stevia and Luo Han is available in a number of products including many types of candy, and has been proven to not elevate blood sugar levels all the while sweetening the foods we love most.
About the Author: