We covered a substantial portion of the "doom and gloom" associated with diabetes whether it be grim statistics or the physical ailments it causes. With that being covered we have finally come to the portion of this series where we can bring light, hope and great health to those who are most afflicted and their loved ones.
We will start by identifying three key areas that will assist greatly with stemming the tide of this scourge. These areas will include nutrients for blood sugar stabilization, nutrients to assist in weight loss and important tests to consider if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic. The test will provide important information that will help you figure out what nutrients are most relevant in your fight and what foods to focus on once dietary concerns are addressed.
In this article will begin with nutrients for improving and supporting blood glucose (sugar) stabilization. As we begin to expound on these supplements it is important to remember that no supplement can replace a healthy eating plan, physical activity, and stress reduction techniques.
A good multivitamin is a must. Even if you are following the meal plans and consuming organic or natural products chances are you are not receiving enough vitamins for optimum health. The key word is ‘optimum’ because the government standards for vitamin and mineral intake are for minimum health outcomes. When choosing a multivitamin ensure the vitamins are natural (not synthetic). Synthetic vitamins are not readily bioavailable (able to be absorbed by the body) and can create inflammation which is to be avoided as much as possible. Below are a few vitamins to focus on but all vitamins are important.
o Biotin - this B vitamin is instrumental in preventing and overcoming insulin resistance. Reversing insulin resistance will cause a decrease in blood sugar levels which should be monitored closely.
○ Vitamin D3 - this super vitamin acts more like a hormone and has a host of healthy responsibilities. In particular for diabetics D3 reduces blood glucose levels and increases sensitivity to insulin making insulin more effective. The optimum range for this nutrient in the body is 50 - 100 ng/ml so you may be required to take 2,000 - 10,000 IU of D3 daily until optimum levels are reached.
Mineral deficiencies is a significant issue for diabetics and prediabetics. Without the proper minerals the body cannot utilize enzymes that control many bodily functions and also help control blood sugar levels. Below are some of the minerals we need to focus on in the fight to reverse diabetes.
o Chromium Picolinate - this stealth mineral assists the body in the metabolizing of carbohydrates, fats and protein. Most importantly for diabetics is that it is the mineral that causes blood cells to “receive” glucose essentially overcoming insulin resistance. An optimum range for chromium levels is 35 micrograms for men and 25 micrograms for women. However, for most diabetics it will be necessary to consume 200 - 1,000 micrograms per day until optimum levels are reached. The form taken should be a picolinate. Highly refined and processed foods rob the body of chromium since these items requires heavy use of chromium for metabolization.
o Magnesium - essential for pancreatic repair and support. Magnesium assists in stabilizing blood sugar levels by increasing the number of insulin receptors on blood cells. It also restores or repair beta cells (responsible for producing insulin) in the pancreas.
Other Essential Nutrients
o Cinnamon - cinnamon has been well established as a blood sugar lowering nutrient. 36 grams daily have been shown to decrease fasting blood sugar levels by 1829%. A high quality cinnamon extract is recommended at 250 milligrams twice daily.
o Omega 3 Fatty Acids - omega 3’s decrease inflammation, lower triglyceride levels, may help prevent insulin resistance and improve glucose tolerance. Those with impaired gallbladder function or had their gallbladder removed will need to supplement with ox bile to sufficiently breakdown fatty acids such as omega 3’s. 500 - 1,000 milligrams of omega 3 fish oil three times per day is recommended. Those with high triglyceride levels should take 4,000 - 5,000 milligrams daily.
o Alpha Lipoic Acid - this acid reduces oxidative stress which is very important to diabetics. It is both water and fat soluble allowing it to work in all areas of the body. It also reduces insulin sensitivity and impedes oxidation of LDL cholesterol. 300 milligrams twice a day.
This short list is by no means exhaustive but should give some insight on where to start. As always be sure to consult with a medical professional before starting a supplement regimen.
No recommendations or dosages in this article should be construed as medical advice (because it is not).