Diabetes mellitus, a term that means” the running through of sugar ” was first identified in first century A.D. The disease was described in old books as the “melting of flesh into urine.” It is a disease in which the body does not produce or use insulin effectively. Diabetes is considered to be an epidemic in America. It affects some 15.7 million Americans of which 5.4 million are undiagnosed. It has increased 33% since 1990 and the rates are expected to double in the next 10 years. The fastest growing population of those being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes is teen-agers!
Diabetes has far-ranging health effects. It dramatically increases the risk of:
Heart disease: 2-4 times greater risk
Stroke: 2-4 times greater risk
High Blood Pressure: 60-65% of diabetics have high blood pressure
Blindness: Retinopathy is the major cause of new blindness in adults, ages 20 -74
Kidney disease: Nephropathy is the No.1 cause of kidney failure requiring dialysis
Poor Circulation: Neuropathy, numbness & tingling in the extremities, is the number one cause of amputations in the U.S.
Health experts believe that complications of diabetes can be prevented or delayed by proper attention to diet and lifestyle.
Maintaining ideal body weight and exercising can help the patient control the disease.
Supplements can contribute to blood sugar control and reduce the complications of diabetes.
The commentary and list of nutritional supplements below will benefit those with diabetes.
Compiled and used w/permission by Nutritionist Barbara Lagoni. Thank You.
B Complex - B’s are associated with sugar metabolism/energy release. Neuropathies, especially with pain/burning sensations, and leg ulcers respond well to B’s.
Vitamin C - C’s are essential for many body processes, from iron absorption, to healing, hormone production, immune function and reduction of heart disease risk.
Vitamin E - LDL Cholesterol fats in the diet can become oxidized and wind up as plaque or hardening of the arteries. Poor circulation can be a serious side effect of diabetes. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant and has been proven to prevent this plaque buildup
Carotonoids enhance the healing of tissue and immune competency, and were demonstrated as powerful antioxidants by Albert Einstein College in wound healing studies
Flavonoids are water soluble and an extremely powerful antioxidant
Fish Oil - this essential fatty acid has a beneficial effect on the vascular system. Omega – 3′s normally found in cold water fish ( sardines, anchovies and salmon ) are a prime reason that asian populations have lower incidence of heart disease.
Lecithin contains choline, inositol, and essential fatty acids. For those with neuropathies, inositol can reduce symptoms. Dry skin problems respond very well to essential fatty acids.
Zinc is an important component of over 90 body enzymes, for healing and immune competancy.
Calcium Magnesium is associated with carbohydrate metabolism and is usually low in diabetics. Low levels are associated with heart disease and retinopathy. Calcium is necessary for bones.
GLA from the borage plant owes it’s amazing array of benefits to the body from the “good” prostaglandins, which it produces. They do everything from lowering elevated blood pressure to improving circulation, cradle cap, ecxema, menopause symptoms. PMS and MS, to reducing inflammation. The body is supposed to make GLA but diabetics often inhibit its formation.
Friendly Bacteria - bifidus and acidophilus, are essential friendly bacteria that ideally live in our lower intestines. These good bacteria are absolutely necessary for the health of your GI and urinary tract. They help balance bacterial growth, maintain healthy yeast levels, help digest food and assist in the production of B vitamins. Not all friendly bacteria products are created equal.
· helps insulin transport glucose more effectively
· helps cells take up glucose more efficiently and therefore may help prevent the onset of Syndrome X, Type II Diabetes and heart disease.
· helps sustain energy and prevent blood sugar crashes that can lead to carbohydrate cravings.
These are the specific components:
Magnesium - is involved in the breakdown of glucose and release of insulin. 25-40% of diabetics have low blood levels of magnesium.
Zinc - activates insulin to full power, helps lower blood sugar.
Chromium - helps insulin by moving glucose and other nutrients into the cells, stabilizes the body’s metabolism, may decrease hunger and limit food cravings and improves blood sugar control. Diabetics have, on average, 35% lower blood levels of chromium.
Taurine - high blood sugar causes taurine depletion. It’s important in nerve conduction. Clinical studies suggest that taurine may help prevent diabetic neuropathy.
Vanadium - improves the ability of the liver to utilize glucose, one study showed that it lowered fasting plasma glucose levels by 20%.
Alpha Lipoic Acid - potent anti-oxidant that improves insulin sensitivity, improves glucose utilization and decreases frequency of cataract formation, vascular damage & neuropathy.
Banaba Leaf Extract - regulates and stabilizes both blood sugar and insulin.