Whether you suffer from Diabetes 1 or Diabetes 2, there are a number of safe, natural supplements you can take and guidelines you can follow to lessen the severity of this dreaded disease.
Research has shown that diabetics who eat more raw food may be able to decrease or even eliminate their need for insulin. Being that there are so many dietary guidelines already available to diabetics, we are going to skip this area and jump right to the supplements that have shown great promise in the management of Diabetes 1 or Diabetes 2.
Chromium is required for the peripheral action of insulin and enhances the density of insulin receptors on adipocytes. Without chromium, insulin’s action is blocked, and glucose levels are elevated. Clinical studies in diabetics have shown that supplementing the diet with chromium decreases fasting glucose levels, improves glucose tolerance, lowers insulin levels, and decreases total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. Good food sources of chromium include brewer’s yeast, cheese, wheat germ, broccoli and prunes.
Zinc is essential for healthy blood sugar regulation and required for insulin production, secretion and utilization. Zinc has been shown to improve and regulate insulin levels in both Diabetes 1 and Diabetes 2. Zinc is involved both with insulin synthesis by pancreatic B cells and insulin binding to liver and adipose tissue cells. Diabetics with zinc deficiency have shown significantly higher glucose levels and lower insulin levels than diabetics without zinc deficiency.
Vitamin C supplementation is extremely effective in reducing sorbitol accumulation in the erythrocytes of Diabetes 1 and Diabetes 2. Due to vitamin C’s tissue distribution and low toxicity, it is superior to pharmaceutical ARIs (aldose reductase inhibitors). Vitamin C also inhibits the glycosylation of proteins. Both sorbitol accumulation and glycosylation of proteins are linked to many complications of Diabetes 1 and Diabetes 2, especially eye and nerve diseases. The transport of vitamin C into cells is facilitated by insulin; therefore a vitamin C deficiency exists in many diabetics despite adequate dietary consumption.
Gymnema sylvestre is an herb that improves blood sugar regulation. In fact many diabetics have been able to lower their insulin and medications through the use of Gymnema sylvestre. Gymnema leaf extract has shown to enhance insulin activity, lower insulin requirements and improve fasting glucose levels. Gymnema sylvestre lowers elevated blood sugar by increasing insulin production, and facilitating glucose cellular uptake and metabolism into glycogen. Another beneficial action of Gymnema sylvestre is its ability to selectively anesthetize the sweet taste bud receptors on the tongue as a result of the gymnemic acids and the peptide gurmarin.
Biotin functions in the manufacture and utilization of carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids. The initial step in glucose utilization by the cell is its phosphorylation, mediated by the enzyme hepatic glucokinase, which is biotin dependent. Biotin intake is required to initiate intracellular glucose processing and assisting the entry of glucose into the cell. The other biotin-dependent enzymes of acetyl Co A carboxylase and pyruvate carboxylase play a role in stabilizing blood sugar levels. If high-dose biotin is used in Diabetes 1, insulin requirements must be adjusted.
The final useful supplement we are going to talk about is Momordica charantia or Bitter melon. The blood sugar-lowering action of the fresh juice or extract of this unripe fruit has been clearly established in human clinical trials as well as experimental models. The charantin compound in Bitter melon is a hypoglycemic agent composed of mixed steroids and has been found to be more potent than oral hypoglycemic drugs. Bitter melon also contains an insulin-like polypeptide, polypeptide-P, which lowers blood sugar levels when injected subcutaneously.
Diabetes is a leading cause of morbidity and the incidence of Diabetes 1 and Diabetes 2, is growing along with the waistlines of the American population. These can be safely controlled through the use of the above-mentioned natural supplements. Most diabetics require insulin therapy at some point in their disease progression. It is important to have alternative options that can augment both the effectiveness of endogenous insulin control, as well as exogenous insulin therapy.
Dr. Foster graduated from an accredited naturopathic medical university in 2000. Dr. Foster has been successfully treating disease, ailments and conditions through the use of botanical medicine, vitamins, nutrition, homeopathy, Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for over eleven years. Dr. Foster believes her patients are unique in their own body physiology and should be treated as such. What works for one individual may not necessarily work for another. It is a fact that when the human body becomes out of balance, it leads to “dis-ease.” We also know the human body has the innate ability to heal itself if provided with the right environment and nutrients.