Blood Sugar Management Tips

According to the CDC, there are several things one can do to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet plan. Keep your weight at a healthy level. Get regular physical activity, which can be as simple as walking.  Avoid skipping meals and try to eat at regular times. Choose water over juice or sodas, even diet sodas. More from the CDC here.
Below are several studies on nutrients which may help support blood sugar management support efforts.

Berberine and probiotics

Recent trials suggest it is possible to manage glucose levels in type 2 diabetes through diet. In this study, 409 people with a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes took a placebo, berberine alone, probiotics alone, or these two together. The probiotics were lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.

After 12 weeks, those taking berberine together with probiotics saw a reduction in long-term average blood sugar levels (A1C), to 6.62 percent from 7.66 percent, or to 131 from 171. Those taking berberine alone saw slightly less, but similar improvement.

Those taking berberine also saw other benefits including reduced fasting blood sugar levels, lower triglycerides, and lower total and LDL cholesterol levels.

Reference: Nature Communications; 2020, Vol. 11, Article No. 5015

Vitamin C reduces sugar spikes

This study followed 31 people, average age 62, with type 2 diabetes for at least five years, and elevated long-term average blood sugar levels. Participants wore a glucose monitor for 48 hours, and ate a standard meal before and after taking a placebo or 500 mg of ascorbic acid vitamin C twice per day.

While there was no change for placebo, those taking vitamin C saw a 36 percent drop in blood sugar levels after the meal, reducing elevated blood sugar time by nearly 3 hours per day. Over 24 hours, average glucose levels decreased to 156.6 mg per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) from 171 mg/dL before taking vitamin C.

Average systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the vitamin C group were also lower by 7 mmHg and 5 mmHg, respectively. Doctors said vitamin C could be a cheap, convenient, effective additional therapy to improve glycemic control.

Reference: Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism; November, 2018, Vol. 21, No. 3

Green tea extract

Earlier studies revealed green tea extract improved glucose levels in type 2 diabetes, but results in diabetes lipid studies have been mixed. In this review of seven placebo-controlled trials, lasting four to 16 weeks, doctors evaluated the results among 512 participants aged 50 to 65, with type 2 diabetes and body mass index scores from 24 to 30.4. Doses of green tea extract ranged from 400 mg to 10,000 mg per day.

In studies lasting at least eight weeks, with green tea extract doses of at least 800 mg per day, triglyceride and total cholesterol levels declined significantly. In studies lasting longer than eight weeks, green tea extract effectively reduced triglycerides and total cholesterol at doses lower than 800 mg of green tea extract per day.

Reference: Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome; Jul-Aug 2020; Vol. 14, No. 4, 293-301

Zinc

Zinc has many functions in the body, including efficiently metabolizing carbohydrates and fatty acids. In this review of nine placebo-controlled trials covering 424 participants with type 2 diabetes, zinc lowered triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, and increased HDL—the good cholesterol.

Overall, in studies of all lengths, zinc lowered triglycerides by an average of 3.58 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL), and 2.62 mg/dL for total cholesterol.

In studies lasting less than 12 weeks, zinc at doses less than 100 mg per day lowered total and LDL—the “bad” cholesterol, and in most study groups, increased levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol.

Reference: Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases; 2020, Vol. 30, No. 8, 1260-71

BetsyHealth Note:  This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before trying a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition, including being pregnant or nursing, or take prescription or over-the-counter medication. For example, many supplements thin blood. You can get too much of a good thing, like zinc, which can lower immune when over-consumed. Also, those with caffeine sensitivity be aware that green tea contains some caffeine.

Article copyright 2021 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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