How to Maintain Normal Blood Sugar (Glucose) Levels?
PREVALENCE OF TYPE 2 DIABETES
Type 2 diabetes is a very common condition especially in developed countries such as Great Britain. It has been estimated that every third adult in the UK has prediabetes and half of the people with type 2 diabetes are not aware they have it.
Untreated chronic high blood sugar levels gradually damage the smallest blood vessels - capillaries leading to the following complications:
- Kidney failure
- Strokes & heart attacks
- Visual loss or blindness
- Immune system suppression
- Erectile dysfunction
- Peripheral nerve damage
- Poor circulation to the legs
- Diet low in soluble fibre found in unrefined plant foods (pulses, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and whole grains such as barley or oats)
- Lack of exercise (regular physical activity is the best way to burn excess sugar)
- Fat in belly area & visceral fat (hidden fat surrounding internal organs)
- Diet high in bad fats (most commercial oils, margarines and animal fat). Insulin resistance is often caused by consuming foods that contain trans-fats. Researchers claim that a processed and high trans-fat diet can reduce insulin sensitivity in healthy adults by almost 30%.
- Foods containing refined sugar, fructose, and high fructose / glucose syrup
- Deficiency of Chromium, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Zinc, B Vitamins, and Antioxidants (such as alpha lipoic acid),
There is no doubt that the key cause of type two diabetes is especially unhealthy diet high in bad fats and refined foods, lack of physical activity, and stress. For example, in comparison with 1970s the prevalence of diabetes is 7 times higher in South Korea! Before and after WWII type 2 diabetes was almost unknown in that country. It was the result of the healthy lifestyle of Korean people. They ate unrefined plant foods and were physically active using bikes instead of cars. They also experienced much less stress and ate seeds and nuts instead of oils, margarines and other trans-fats. But after WWII Koreans started systematically increase consumption of refined foods, white rice, refined oils, trans-fats and sugar. They stopped exercising, gained weight, and experienced more stress. As a result, Korea experienced transformation from a country of few diabetics to a nation full of people suffering from this condition.
IS TYPE 2 DIABETES PREVENTABLE & REVERSABLE?
Fortunately, today we have enough scientific data to admit that type 2 diabetes is not only completely preventable, but often also reversible if a diabetic is only willing to improve lifestyle, do daily exercises, and go on a high-fibre mostly plant-based healthy diet (free from bad fats, sugar and other refined products).
VITAMINS, MINERALS & ANTIOXIDANTS
Scientific research has been overloaded with data about various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, super foods, and herbs that have been demonstrated their abilities to promote healthy blood sugar levels, normal insulin sensitivity, metabolism (healthy body weight), and energy production.
- Chromium helps our body to use sugar properly, thus contributing to the maintenance of normal blood glucose levels. It plays important role in regulating metabolism as it is needed for the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Chromium deficiency (very common today) contributes to insulin resistance as the role of this mineral is to help insulin attach to cell’s receptors to increase glucose uptake into cell. According to the summery of the study published in 2006, „Chromium & Biotin supplementation improves glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Unfortunately, “Chromium deficiency is universal today, and becomes worse with age. We are witnessing an epidemic of related to chromium deficiency ailments including diabetes, hypoglycaemia, elevated cholesterol, fatigue, and sugar cravings.”
- Biotin (Vitamin B7) is involved in normal macronutrient metabolism, including the body’s utilisation of carbohydrates (sugars). It stimulates glucose-induced insulin secretion in pancreatic beta-cells; High dose biotin has shown to improve glycaemic control in diabetics.
- Deficiency of Vitamin D contributes to insulin resistance due to its effects on insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. New findings indicate that Vitamin D may be more closely associated with glucose metabolism than obesity. Vitamin D also lowers risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and supresses inflammation of pancreatic beta-cells. Hypothalamus has vitamin D receptors to control both glucose levels and body weight. Studies show vitamin D can greatly improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Remember that vitamin D is not able to do its job without magnesium, deficiency of which is also a very common problem today.
- Vitamin C has been shown to be beneficial in lowering fasting and post-meal glucose levels.
- Zinc is needed for the synthesis, storage and secretion of insulin. Zinc, like vitamin D, alpha lipoic acid, and biotin, plays important role in type 1 diabetes (an autoimmune condition) as it protects pancreatic beta-cells from damage, and promotes normal function of the immune system.
- Alpha lipoic acid is one of the most powerful antioxidants which “enhances glucose uptake in muscles, improves glucose tolerance, and is very effective for diabetic neuropathy. It also increases glutathione which protects pancreatic beta-cells from damage.”
- Vitamin B12, especially in the form of sublingual methylcobalamin, helps prevent diabetic neuropathy. Deficiency of this vitamin seems to be a very common in diabetics due to the fact that metformin (popular diabetes medication) depletes B12. Methylcobalamin works even better in preventing neuropathies when it is combined with alpha lipoic acid.
- Vitamin B6 plays important role in normal glycogen metabolism, preventing glycation, and regulating the release of stored glucose. In addition, vitamin B6 helps in managing diabetic neuropathy.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin) contribute to normal energy-yielding metabolism and the reduction of tiredness. It also preserves beta-cell function in pancreas and assists in insulin binding.
- Good probiotic bacteria can be very beneficial in preventing insulin resistance. According to research conducted at Loughborough University supplementation with live probiotics helped normalize insulin functioning and normalise blood glucose levels. In addition, probiotic supplements have been proven to have positive effects on cardio-metabolic parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes.
- Supplementation with Folic acid together with Vitamin B6 and B12 are beneficial in reducing homocysteine levels and may therefore reduce risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among patients with Type 2 diabetes.
HERBS AND SUPER FOODS
There are also numerous scientific studies that repeatedly confirmed the following herbs and super grasses (super foods) may be beneficial in promoting normal insulin sensitivity, healthy glucose levels and carbohydrate metabolism:
- Research suggests that Karela (Bitter melon) contains several active ingredients including charantin, vicine and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p that has been confirmed to have a blood glucose-regulating effect. In addition, it contains lectin which is thought to be a key factor behind the blood-glucose regulating effect of Karela. Results of a clinical trial published in 2011 demonstrated that a 2,000 mg daily dose of Karela significantly reduced blood sugar levels among patients with type 2 diabetes. Also other studies have suggested an association between Karela intake and improved blood glucose control. A report published in the March 2008 issue of Chemistry and Biology found that Karela improved glucose tolerance and increased cellular uptake of glucose.
- Fenugreek acts as an Alpha-glucosidase inhibitor and slows digestion of carbohydrates, thus reducing sugar level spikes. According to 1999 study published in the American Journal of Physiology, a compound in Fenugreek increased insulin production in diabetic animals. Several studies with human subjects also suggest fenugreek may be beneficial in keeping blood glucose in a healthy range.
- Cinnamon bark is high in compounds that have shown a positive effect on reducing blood glucose levels. It was found that the cinnamon can make your cells more sensitive to insulin.
- One of the studies concluded that Purple Rice Extract has shown to be “effective for the control of blood sugar… Anthocyanin from purple rice extract reduced the effect of diabetes and restores the deteriorating cardiac functions.”
- According to a study, Jambolan Seed Extract contains “alkaloid, jambosine and glycoside jambolin that halt conversion of starch into sugar… Ellagic acid in Jambolan seed extract has lowered blood pressure by 35%.”
- A 2009 study has concluded that Astragalus can effectively control blood glucose, reduce the free radicals, and promote the antioxidative activity in pregnant women with gestational diabetes.
- Alfalfa demonstrates blood sugar lowering, insulin-releasing and insulin like activity.
DIABETES AND LIVER-CARE
Taking care of the liver plays important role in dealing with diabetes and high blood sugar levels. According to some specialists liver might be even more important organ with regards to type 2 diabetes than pancreas because liver produces the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) which is similar in molecular structure to insulin. It is more important than pancreas, because liver through this factor can even reduce insulin resistance which is the cause of type 2 diabetes. Here is the proof based on the study published in 2001. According to the title of the study, “Liver-Specific igf-1 Gene Deletion (removal) Leads to Muscle Insulin Insensitivity”. According to another study published a year later, „In 615 participants, those with IGF-1 serum levels above the median were only half as likely to develop glucose intolerance or type 2 diabetes as those with IGF-1 serum levels below the median.” It means that the more igf1 factor our liver makes the easier it should be to prevent or recover from diabetes. Prof Sandhu suggests that by stimulating liver to make more of igf1 factor we can even help diabetics with extreme insulin resistance: „IGF-1 factor produced in the liver in response to releases of growth hormone, mimics many of the effects of insulin. IGF-1 has even been used to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetics with extreme insulin resistance.”
The best way to boost the igf-1 is Chlorella. And it is so for 2 reasons: First of all it is one of the most effective natural mediums to detoxify our body and liver thus strengthening liver and enabling it to produce more igf1. And second reason may be even more important as chlorella itself contains an amazing chlorella growth factor which does the same as igf-1 yet unlike igf-1 it doesn’t increase the risk of cancer: “Chlorella growth factor (CGF) is similar to Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1) which is known as a fountain of youth and excellent muscle repair supplement. IGF-1 however, may increase the risk of tumour growth but obtaining it in the form of CGF from chlorella has only beneficial effect. CGF stimulates tissue repair and protects cells against toxic substances.”
Also Milk Thistle Extract, N-Acetyl Cysteine and Methionine, are the three factors known to be essential for the production of glutathione, which is a most potent free radical scavenger that also plays a critical role in maintaining the body’s and liver’s normal function and elimination of toxins.
Obesity and Overweight, Kiss Your Sugar Cravings Goodbye, Health Secrets of Alpha Lipoic Acid
REFERENCES & SOURCES
- Dr. Lawrence Wilson (2016) Chromium – the Blood Sugar Element
- Diabetes Tech. Ther. 2006 The effect of chromium picolinate and biotin supplementation on glycemic control in poorly controlled patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Dec; 8(6): 636-43.
- ScienceDaily, June 23, 2014
- Ahmed I, Lakhani et al. (2001). Hypotriglyceridemic and hypocholesterolemic effects of anti-diabetic M. charantia (karela) fruit extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. Mar; 51(3):155-61.
- Fuangchan, Anjana, et al. (2011) “Hypoglycemic effect of bitter melon compared with metformin in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 134.2 (2011): 422-428.
- Shimoda H, Aitani M, Tanaka J, Hitoe S (2015) Purple Rice Extract Exhibits Preventive Activities on Experimental Diabetes Models and Human Subjects. J Rice Res 3:137
- Yu-Feng Chenab Marthandam Asokan Shibua et al (2015) Purple rice anthocyanin extract protects cardiac function in STZ-induced diabetes rat hearts...
- Muniappan Ayyanar1 and Pandurangan Subash-Babu2 (2012) Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels (Jambolan):A review of its phytochemical constituents and traditional uses. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2012 Mar; 2(3): 240–246. http://betterdiabetescontrol.org/control-diabetes-naturally-with-java-plum/
- Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. (2009) Clinical evaluation of the antioxidant activity of astragalus in women with gestational diabetes. 2009 Jul; 29(7):1402-4.
- L. Shane-Wortner, Pharm D; 2005. Diabetes Health: Fenugreek
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