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Blood Sugar Control Supplements

The blood sugar is regulated primarily by the beta-cells of the pancreas, which produce the well-known hormone insulin. Insulin "talks" to tissues, like the liver and skeletal muscle tissue, telling them to release a glucose transporter—or channel—to open up on the cell membrane. In the case of skeletal muscle tissue, GLUT-4 is the primary glucose transporter, which can be seen as a gate that opens to allow glucose into the cell. When pathology or dis-ease begins, insulin may not trigger as much GLUT-4 to be released as it used to, and/or not enough insulin is being synthesized by the pancreas. As a result, sugar (glucose, to be exact) builds up in the blood, causing the medical condition known as hyperglycemia. If severe enough, this condition may meet the medical definition for Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. Given that the cells become resistance to the effects of insulin, the term insulin resistance is used to describe this condition. 


 

Insulin resistance is becoming increasingly common, and has been linked to overweight and obesity, hypertension, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, as reported in Advances in Preventive Medicine in 2016. There is along a fairly strong correlation between body fat levels and the degree of insulin resistance, meaning that once body fat levels are reduced to within a healthy range, the insulin resistance will most likely reduce in severity. It is therefore important to maintain a healthy body composition, and more often than not, target increases in lean muscle mass, and decreases in fat mass, through targeted nutrition, exercise programs and an appropriate supplementation regiment.


 

There are many natural herbal medicines and nutrients that assist in improving the way a cell responds to insulin, as seen in insulin resistance and Type II Diabetes. This helps to get the cellular gates open so that glucose can enter the cell, thus lowering the blood sugar. Some of the most commonly used supplements for this purpose are: Gymnema sylvestre, Cinnamomum cassia, Bitter Melon, lipoic acid, chromium, zinc and magnesium. Interestingly, chromium and Gymnema may also assist in reducing food cravings, particularly for sweet foods, which helps to reduce the glycemic burden. After all, it makes sense to reduce ones intake of high glycemic index foods whilst working on managing your blood glucose. It would be beneficial, if you have prediabetes or type II diabetes to familiarise yourself with the glycemic index of various foods, so that you may select foods that will lead to less of a glycemic burden.


 

Another measurement used that takes the glycemic index to the next level is glycemic load. This uses the quantity of the food, along with the glycemic index of the food, to estimate the impact that the meal will have on blood sugar. This does make a lot of practical sense. After all, even if we took an extremely high glycemic index food, such as mashed potato, and ate only a single teaspoon, the impact on blood sugar is minimal. Though if we take a medium glycemic index food, such as table sugar, and consumed six teaspoons, the blood sugar impact is much more significant. Though glycemic load is theoretically a more accurate assessment tool, it does add a complexity to the diet that most people don’t need. It may prove more beneficial to simply be aware of the high glycemic index foods that you know to tend to overeat, and try to moderate them, or find lower glycemic index foods as a substitute. A daunting-ly comprehensive list can be found in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published in 2002 by Kaye Foster-Powell et al.   


 

Blood Sugar Control can be positively impacted by regular physical activity. Muscle tissue's ability to "take-up" glucose from the blood during and after exercise can be improved, despite ongoing insulin resistance or Type II Diabetes. The glucose gate to the cell can be opened independent of insulin during exercise. This means that the are GLUT-4 (glucose transporters) that are responsive to exercise, even without a strong signal from insulin, which is a boon for the insulin resistant. In addition to improvements in food selection and regular activity, Blood Sugar Control supplements are a great addition to a glycemic health program.

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