Blood sugar regulation can be a critical component of numerous physiological mechanisms throughout the body and can directly affect energy production, weight, cognitive function and neurological health, among others. Many people unknowingly suffer from blood sugar imbalance and may struggle with daily dips in energy levels and maintaining long-term healthy body fat composition. Others may be taking medications for managing type 2 diabetes and are challenged with the unpleasant side effects.
The good news is, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, there are several nutrients that have shown to be effective in supporting healthy blood sugar regulation.
As a clinical homeopath working in a pharmacy like Peoples, the sheer amount of daily customer traffic allows for patterns to emerge in regards to product effectiveness. It is through customer feedback and repeat sales that I and my fellow practitioners can easily see what products are working well.
Bold numbers don’t lie. Over the last several years I have been tracking customer responses to products designed to support blood sugar regulation by supplying a free glucose monitor along with the recommended protocol. Transformation can be seen in as few as 10 to 30 days. Through the results of customers tracking their fasting glucose levels, I have grown an appreciation for two products in particular: Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) and Chromacin GTF by Vinco. Both of these nutrients have an effect on re-sensitizing insulin receptors. In turn, this can promote a more efficient uptake of glucose into the cells where it can be used for cellular fuel and converted into energy.
There are many aspects to blood sugar regulation beyond the health of your insulin receptor sites. Although most people will benefit from antioxidant support of alpha-lipoic acid, by no means are these the only products effective in supporting blood sugar regulation. Some individuals may have a genetic pre-disposition towards an impaired pathway relating to metabolism of inositol, that can in turn affect insulin activity. This population may respond well to a specific form of inositol. This kind of blood sugar imbalance could be a cause of infertility, weight gain, acne and excessive facial and body hair. Talk to your healthcare professional to determine what products and protocols best address your needs.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Alpha-lipoic acid is one of the most powerful antioxidants discovered and has the important characteristic of being both fat- and water-soluble. This enables it to provide antioxidant protection in a much wider range of physiological environments throughout the body, which has resulted in some scientists referring to alpha-lipoid acid as the “universal” antioxidant. These enzymes are part of the Krebs cycle and are essential to the production of energy.
- Diabetes – alpha-lipoic acid increases glucose uptake into muscle cells and increases insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 2 diabetes (21,22). Also, alpha-lipoic acid’s antioxidant activity helps protect against many of the health risks associated with diabetes (23).
- Diabetic neuropathy – In experimental diabetic neuropathy, alpha-lipoic acid provides increased nerve blood flow, reduced oxidative stress and improves distal nerve conduction (24). In humans, it has been demonstrated that oral administration of 600mg/day of lipoic acid can prevent or improve diabetic neuropathy, which may be due to a lowering of lipid peroxidation (25).
- Peripheral neuropathy – Diabetic individuals treated with alpha-lipoic acid experienced significant improvement in nerve conduction and nerve blood flow (28).
- Universal antioxidant – As ALA is able to function in both fat- and water-soluble environments throughout the human body, it has been called the “universal” antioxidant (11, 12). A powerful metabolic antioxidant, it is also able to recycle other antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione and CoQ10 (6, 7, 8).
- Energy production – ALA functions as a co-factor in the pyruvate dehydrogenase and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase mitochondrial enzyme complexes in the production of energy (1).
- Heavy metal detoxification – Lipoic acid reduces the toxic effects of metals such as mercury (2), cadmium (3) and lead (4). It is also able to form stable complexes with copper, manganese and zinc ions.
True GTF Chromium
The use of biologically-active GTF chromium as a nutritional adjunct in weight control is based on its ability to overcome insulin resistance and/or enhance the effects of insulin. As stated, insulin is a potent hormone involved in protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. It participates in several physiological control mechanisms which when made to work at full potential can be expected to amplify the effects of diet and lifestyle changes.
- Accelerate fat loss – Insulin enhances functional thyroid status by aiding in the conversation of thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3), the body’s potent “fat-burning” hormone.
- Preserve lean muscle – Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone that inhibits the loss of lean muscle mass while dieting, thus maintaining the body’s chief calorie-burning tissue.
- Control appetite – Insulin is involved in the regulation of the hypothalamic satiety center called the “appestat,” communication the message of feeling hungry or full.
- Regulate cravings – Insulin plays a crucial role in serotonin synthesis, a neurotransmitter responsible for suppressing the body’s desire for carbohydrates.
by Kaya Dupuis, CH. Kaya is available for consultation at the Westlake location.
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