Sedentary lifestyles, obesity and sugar-rich diets are prevalent in our society. These result in challenges to your body involving blood sugar levels and insulin activity.
Out of balance blood glucose levels may lead to low energy, mood swings, weight gain and further deterioration of body systems in even the most healthy people. Adequate sleep, moderate exercise and a healthy diet can help smooth out these swings, but additional support may be needed.
In 1975, T.L. Cleave, M.D., published The Saccharine Disease, which stated that blood sugar control problems are characteristic of modern Western diets. In 1994 - 1996, studies showed that Americans aged 2 years and older consumed the equivalent of 82 grams (2.9 ounces) of sugars per day from added sweeteners, which accounted for 16% of all calories consumed. This figure, which reflects consumption of about 65 pounds of sugar per year does not include the sugars added to foods as binders, fillers, and preservatives, nor the sugars which occur naturally in fruits, milk, and other natural foods. In recent years the consumption of simple sugars has increased even more as a result of the campaign to reduce the amount of fat in the American diet.
The table below shows preliminary results from patient populations with normal to slightly elevated blood glucose. Enhancing the diet with supplements will have varying effects on individual patients.
|Corosolic Acid1||.48mg/day||-38%||168.5mg/dL||105mg/dL||n=12, t=30 days|
|Corosolic Acid1||.48mg/day||-20† to |
|n=12, t=15 days|
|Neptune Krill Oil™2||1-1.5 g/day*||-6.3%||105mg/dL||98mg/dL||n=30, t=90 days|
|Neptune Krill Oil™2||1-1.5, 0.5 g/day**||-6.6%||105mg/dL||98mg/dL||n=30, t=180 days|
|Fish Oil2||3 g/day||-3.3%||90mg/dL||87mg/dL||n=30, t=90 days|
† dry powder †† oil based
* Dose range dependent on BMI (body mass index).
** 1-1.5 g/day for first 90 days, 0.5 g/day maintenance dose for next 90 days.
n=number of study participants, t=time/duration of study
Banaba leaf extract (Lagerstroemia speciosa), standardized to 18% corosolic acid, is clinically proven to activate cellular glucose transport. Research indicates that corosolic acid may increase the activity of facilitative glucose transporters, specifically GLUT4, which is located in adipose and muscle tissue. This carrier-mediated process leads to more efficient utilization of glucose and is the natural way to help stabilize blood glucose levels.
In dose-dependent testing reflected in the table above, the authors suggest that further studies are needed to evaluate the maximum dose before observing a leveling-off in the response to corosolic acid.
In human studies, Neptune Krill Oil™ supplementation demonstrates anti-aging characteristics, makes women feel younger, demonstrates anti-wrinkle fighting power, supports healthy joints, the heart, lipid and blood sugar levels, energy production, athletic performance and liver function, and eases women's PMS symptoms.
Neptune Krill Oil™ provides phospholipids specially integrated with omega-3 essential fatty acids - EPA and DHA - for building healthy cell membranes.
In a 2003 hyperlipidemia study, blood glucose levels were tested and it was found that Neptune Krill Oil caused a slight reduction in blood glucose levels already in the normal range. More information on Neptune Krill Oil™ may be found here.
One recent study found that Alpha-lipoic Acid increased glucose uptake from 40% (approximately the same amount as insulin) up to an impressive 300% (in insulin resistant muscles) in obese diabetic mice.3 Leading antioxidant authority Lester Packer4 notes that ALA works against insulin resistance by increasing the permeability of cell membranes, which is decreased by hyperglycemia and prevents uptake of glucose.
One side effect of high sugar levels is damage to the nervous system, called neuropathy. Packer claims ALA can prevent or slow neuropathy experienced by up to 70% of diabetics5 and it has been used in Germany for over 30 years for this application.
Chromium is the mineral most associated with blood sugar control because in its trivalent form it appears to improve the absorption of glucose into the cells. Chromium potentiates the effects of insulin by improving its ability to bind to its cellular receptor.
If a lack of chromium is responsible for the suboptimal clearance of blood sugar by insulin, supplemental chromium will mean that less insulin is needed to control blood sugar levels. This means that energy levels can also be stabilized and the extreme fluctuations of hunger associated with hypoglycemia can be avoided because there is no longer an excessive release of insulin.
The usefulness to the dieter and to those with tendencies to high blood sugar is obvious. Just as important, however, is the fact that chromium has been shown to help moderately decrease unwanted blood lipid levels, both of LDL cholesterol and of triglycerides, while actually raising the levels of the desirable HDL fraction of the blood.
A range of vitamins and minerals support glucose / carbohydrate metabolism. B-vitamins are required for glycolysis and the Krebs cycle, the metabolic pathways by which the body converts glucose into cellular energy. Chromium is believed to work closely with insulin to facilitate the uptake of glucose into cells. Manganese is also involved in glucose uptake.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas in response to high blood glucose levels after meals. Without insulin, glucose cannot enter cells to provide fuel for cellular energy. Certain nutrients support these vital metabolic processes, including mediation of insulin release and activity, and enhancing insulin sensitivity. N-acetyl cysteine protects pancreatic beta cells from oxidative damage in animal studies. In addition, zinc and selenium are notable for their insulin-like actions.
High levels of blood fats and high levels of blood sugar interfere with each other's proper regulation and metabolism. The presence of excess glucose in the blood interferes with the use of fat for energy and through the action of the liver, elevates the level of triglycerides and their storage as fat. On the other hand, the presence of excess fats in the blood interferes with the disposal of glucose.
To optimize the regulation of blood sugar, both blood glucose levels and blood fat levels must be taken into account.
Hagen TM, et al. Feeding acetyl-l-carntine and lipoic acid to old rats significantly improves the metabolic function while decreasing oxidative stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002 Feb 19;99(4):1870-5.
Packer L, et al. Molecular aspects of lipoic acid in the prevention of diabetes complications. Nutrition 2001 Oct;17(10):888-95.