When our metabolism does not function properly, we may find ourselves diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, a condition which greatly increases our risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, or all three. There are a cluster of metabolic factors, including abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, impaired fasting glucose, high triglyceride levels, and low HDL cholesterol levels.1 In these studies, researchers explore three supplements and their effects on lipid profiles, body parameters, A1C and BMI.
Cinnamon improves lipid profiles
Cinnamon contains compounds that help lower elevated blood sugar by stimulating insulin. In addition, cinnamon has beneficial lipid-regulating effects, which can become imbalanced in diabetes. This review of 14 clinical trials covered 965 people with type 2 diabetes, aged between 52 and 64, who took a placebo or doses of cinnamon between 120 and 3,000 mg per day, in studies lasting from six to 16 weeks. All participants were taking one or more anti-diabetic medications or insulin.
Overall, those taking cinnamon saw triglycerides decrease an average of 7.31 mg per deciliter of blood (mg/dL); saw HDL improve by 1.54 mg/dL, and LDL decrease by 6.78 mg/dL, on average. In doses of cinnamon up to 1,200 mg per day, blood sugar-lowering effects averaged 11.1 mg/dL. Total cholesterol and long-term average blood sugar levels did not change.
Reference: Nutrients; 2023, Vol. 15, No. 13, Article No. 15132983
Probiotics improved body parameters
In this study, 180 overweight men and women, aged at least 18, took a placebo or three strains of the probiotic L. fermentum, with or without the soluble fiber, acacia gum, per day.
After 12 weeks, both probiotics groups lost an average 1.3 pounds of fat mass while the placebo group gained a quarter pound. The probiotics groups also saw improvements in body mass index scores, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, and fat surrounding organs and liver fat.
In a related review of 37 studies covering 2,502 participants, a multi-strain probiotic reduced body mass, insulin resistance, fasting glucose and insulin levels, long-term average blood sugar levels, and lipids.
Reference: Nutrients; 2023, Vol. 15, No. 13, Article No. 15133039
Vitamin D deficiency raises A1c and BMI
In this study of 415 older men and women, with or without deteriorating muscle mass (sarcopenia), doctors measured vitamin D levels, and considered levels below 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL) as deficient.
Men were more likely than women to be deficient; 64.5 vs. 35.2 percent, respectively, with average vitamin D levels 18.1 ng/mL vs. 25.1 ng/mL, respectively. Both men and women had higher long-term average blood sugar levels (A1c). Men had higher fat mass and lower muscle strength. Women had higher body mass index scores and the inflammatory marker, tumor necrosis factor-alpha.
As vitamin D levels increased, A1c, body mass index scores, and inflammatory markers all improved significantly in women, but not in men.
Reference: Nutrients; 2023, Vol. 15, No. 13, nu15133043
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, take prescription or over-the-counter medications, or are planning on having surgery.
Article copyright 2023 by Retail Insights for WellBeing. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Photo courtesy PhotoFunia.com