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Can Supplements Help Blood Sugar?

Published: October 29th, 2012
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As I noted in my previous article that weight loss and exercise appear to be the “golden pillars” for Type II diabetes risk reduction and prevention, you should also examine your diet to ensure you are meeting your recommended daily allowance of key nutrients.  If not, dietary supplements can help.  Please understand that dietary supplements will not reduce the risk of, treat or prevent diabetes.  Instead, dietary supplements can help ensure you are getting the key nutrients needed to support the special dietary needs of those with diabetes.

No matter what type of weight reduction diet you are on you will have a need to maintain adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals in your diet.  A complete multivitamin is a good first start. Several key components to your vitamins should include:

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a powerful antioxidant and can help to reduce the excessive levels of oxidative stress in the body.

Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant.

Vitamin B3 (niacin or nicotinamide) is vital for proper carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.  In addition to B6,

Vitamins B9 (folate), and B12(cobalamin) are critical for nerve cells function and normal metabolism of the inflammatory risk factor – homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine is linked to a higher than normal heart concern risk.

Chromium is a trace mineral associated with carbohydrates and fat metabolism. It  helps maintain glucose homeostasis.

Manganese is involved in carbohydrate metabolism.

Green Coffee Extract – Research shows that green coffee extract includes a powerful antioxidant called chlorogenic acid that may impact sugar metabolism AND provide antioxidant health benefits.

Omega-3 Fish OilsStudies have shown that omega-3s can provide some support for  insulin sensitivity and thereby support healthy blood glucose levels. But the major nutritional  benefit to both pre-diabetics and Type II diabetics is their ability to support a healthy anti-inflammatory response.

Polyphenols are plant based molecules that help to support insulin sensitivity in both Type II diabetes and in non-diabetics.  Polyphenols are molecules often found in the skins of fruits, seeds, berries, and vegetables that the plant produces to provide the skin color.  They are the red in raspberry, the blue in blueberry, and the purple in grapes.  They also provide the complex flavors found in fine chocolates, wines, and fruit juices we crave.  They can act to protect the plant to enhance immunity to fungus, bacteria, and insect predators.  When consumed either in the raw plant (as fruits or vegetables) or as concentrated supplements, they provide us with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory molecules, DNA, blood vessel and heart support.

In summary, diabetes can have serious health risks including an increased risk of premature disability and even death.  It is a serious disease that can result in life-changing complications if not properly managed. Through the lifestyle changes of weight loss and exercise there is both hope and proof that individuals can reduce their risk for, prevent, or reverse many of the signs and symptoms of diabetes. If you are at risk for or have diabetes talk to your doctor today about incorporating these lifestyle changes into your daily life.



Joseph Maroon, MD, and Jeff Bost PAC, Fish Oil: The Natural Anti-Inflammatory, Basic Health Publications, October 2006

Joseph C. Maroon, MD The Longevity Factor: How Resveratrol and Red Wine can Activate Genes for a Longer and Healthier Life, Simon and Schuster Publishing Jan 2009

Vital Signs: Obesity in Adults 2009 Early Release August 3, 2010

Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes with Lifestyle Intervention or Metformin Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group N Engl J Med 2002; 346:393-403

Da Young Oh,GPR120 Is an Omega-3 Fatty Acid Receptor Mediating Potent Anti inflammatory and Insulin-Sensitizing Effects, Cell 142, 687–698, September 3, 2010

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