Top Nutrients for Blood Sugar Health Problems

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Filed Under: Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 02/15/2014

Top Nutrients for Blood Sugar Health Problems

Learn how some specific nutrients help address blood sugar issues

The statistics on prediabetes and diabetes in this country are utterly frightening. About 25 million Americans have diabetes, including a whopping 20 percent over the age of 60. Nearly 80 million have prediabetes, also known as insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. These conditions lead to inflammatory and artery-destroying processes that produce serious cardiovascular problems.

One of the main causes of diabetes is a high-carbohydrate diet. Most Americans eat too many refined carbohydrates that break down into an excess of glucose, triggering the body’s insulin response.

The best way, therefore, to keep insulin and blood sugar levels in check is to limit your intake of sugar and favor so-called low glycemic index carbohydrates (most fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains) over high glycemic index foods (processed pastas, refined breads, cookies).

Two New Nutrients in the Blood Sugar Fight

But to offer additional help to folks with blood sugar problems, I recently learned about two terrific new nutrients—Pycnogenol and benfotiamine—that address underlying blood sugar issues.

Pycnogenol is an extract from French maritime pine bark that contains powerful antioxidant compounds that help support normal blood sugar levels, enhance the health of blood vessel linings, and improve microcirculation.

Studies show that Pycnogenol facilitates blood sugar uptake by previously insulin-resistant cells, reduces cardiovascular risk factors, and lowers the need for antihypertensive medication among patients with high blood pressure. The suggested daily dose is 50 mg.

Benfotiamine is a fat-soluble form of vitamin B1, derived from a potent class of compounds present in roasted crushed garlic, onions, shallots, and leeks. Benfotiamine has been documented to reduce the pain and loss of feeling associated with peripheral neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes.

It also appears to inhibit the body’s production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that are involved in inflammation and diabetes-associated complications. Chronic high blood sugar accelerates the formation of AGEs. The suggested daily dose is 300 mg.

Nutrients for Added Blood Sugar Support

For additional blood sugar support, I also highly recommend a few other tried and true nutrients. They truly offer a lot of firepower for those struggling with blood sugar issues and include:

  • Cinnamon bark (200 mg), believed to work synergistically with insulin.
  • Alpha lipoic acid (50 mg), a powerful antioxidant.
  • Chromium polynicotinate (200 mcg), for promotion of insulin efficiency and glucose control.
  • Vitamins B6 (50 mg) and B12 (250 mcg), for healthy nerve support.
  • Curcumin (1,500 mg), to help stave off diabetes in those with prediabetes

More Dr. Sinatra Advice on Blood Sugar

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