The holiday season is upon us, complete with all the temptations of sugar cookies and pumpkin pie and creamy sauces–all chock full of tasty goodness and sugars and carbs that make your body work overtime to keep your blood sugar in balance.
In these recent studies, four nutrients showed promise for supporting blood sugar management and helping the body cope with some of the negative effects of too-high blood sugar.
Magnesium, heart, diabetes, and longevity
Doctors measured magnesium in the diets of more than 1 million participants in 40 studies covering follow-up periods from four to 30 years. Overall, those with higher levels of magnesium were less likely to develop several health conditions.
Because of the many studies and conditions, doctors used a standard increment of 100 mg per day to measure health changes in response to magnesium levels.
For stroke, each 100 mg increase in magnesium per day reduced chances for this condition by 7 percent. For heart failure, each 100 mg increase reduced chances by 22 percent. For type 2 diabetes, chances were 19 percent lower, and chances of dying from any cause decreased 10 percent for each 100 mg increase in magnesium per day.
Reference: BMC Medicine; December, 2016, Published Online
CoQ10 reduced metabolic syndrome
In this study, 60 adults with metabolic syndrome who were overweight or obese, or who had type 2 diabetes, took a placebo or 100 mg of CoQ10 per day. After eight weeks, insulin levels had declined for CoQ10 while increasing for placebo. Insulin resistance—when the body does not use insulin efficiently to metabolize glucose—decreased for CoQ10 while increasing for placebo. And the cells responsible for producing insulin functioned better in those who took CoQ10. Total antioxidant capacity in the CoQ10 group improved significantly while the placebo group had declined.
Discussing the findings, doctors said compared to placebo, people with metabolic syndrome who took 100 mg of CoQ10 per day had better insulin levels, less insulin resistance, greater antioxidant capacity, and fewer signs of chronic inflammation.
Reference: European Journal of Nutrition; 2016, Vol. 55, No. 8, 2357-64
Curcuminoids improve lipids
Those with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have heart and circulatory problems, and abnormal lipid levels. Curcuminoids are natural compounds found in turmeric, and earlier evidence suggests anti-diabetic and lipid-regulating benefits, but few studies have measured the effect of curcuminoids on lipids in type 2 diabetes.
In this study, 118 people aged 18 to 65 with type 2 diabetes took a placebo or a daily supplement containing 1,000 mg of curcuminoids plus 10 mg of piperine; the fragrant compound in black pepper that helps improve absorption.
After 12 weeks, those taking curcuminoids saw total cholesterol decline by 21.86 mg per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) compared to 17.06 for placebo. Non-HDL cholesterol decreased by 23.43 mg/dL vs. 16.84 for placebo, and HDL, the “good” cholesterol, increased 1.56 mg/dL for curcuminoids while decreasing slightly for placebo.
Reference: Complementary Therapies in Medicine; August, 2017, Vol. 33, 1-5, Published Online
Cinnamon improves metabolic syndrome factors
Better weight, less fat, lower blood sugar and pressure
Metabolic syndrome includes excess fat around the waist, high blood pressure and sugar, high levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol. In this study, 116 people with metabolic syndrome took 1,000 mg of cinnamon capsules three times per day with meals, or placebo pills.
After 16 weeks, while the placebo group had not improved, those taking cinnamon had lost an average of 6.6 pounds of body weight, 1.8 inches in waist circumference, 3 percent of body fat, and lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 8.3 and 6.9 mmHg, respectively.
Compared to placebo, fasting blood sugar levels were lower by 10 mg per deciliter of blood (mg/dL); total cholesterol by 16.24 mg/dL, and triglycerides by 17.7 mg/dL. HDL, the “good” cholesterol, increased by 1.9 mg/dL. Overall, 34.5 percent of those in the cinnamon group were no longer classified as having metabolic syndrome compared to 5.4 percent for placebo.
Reference: Lipids in Health and Disease; 2017, Published Online
Betsy’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. Consult your healthcare provider before beginning a supplement, especially if you take prescription or over-the-counter medication and/or have a medical condition. For example, the nutrients in this article thin blood. Also, if you use insulin or take blood sugar management medications, consult your doctor before taking something that might affect your blood sugar, such as cinnamon.
Article copyright 2018 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.