Diabetes Update

Want lentils with that?

Researchers tried replacing half of rice and potato servings with lentils, bringing about surprising results. Antioxidants and omega-3s likewise proved helpful for better blood sugar management. Check out these recent findings.

Control Blood Sugar Better with Lentils

In this simple but revealing study, 48 healthy adults ate a dish of white rice alone, or potatoes alone, then in three dishes at later times, replaced half the rice or potatoes with large green lentils, small green lentils, or half-split red lentils. Regardless of which lentils they ate, two hours after eating, blood sugar (glucose) levels were 20 percent lower in the rice groups, and 35 percent lower in the potato groups compared to rice or potatoes alone. Doctors said they mixed lentils with other carbohydrates to mimic typical eating patterns.

Reference: The Journal of Nutrition; 2018, Vol. 148, No. 4, 535-41

Nutrients improve lipids, help normalize blood pressure and sugar


Those with type 2 diabetes often have elevated lipid levels and poor glucose handling. Astaxanthin is the bright red-orange, fat-soluble carotenoid in salmon, lobster, and some algae, with much higher antioxidant activity than vitamin C.

In this study, 44 men and women with type 2 diabetes took 8 mg of astaxanthin per day, or a placebo. After eight weeks, while the placebo group had not changed, those taking astaxanthin had lower levels of abdominal fat, reduced triglycerides and LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. By the end of the study, blood pressure had also declined and glucose levels had decreased slightly for those taking astaxanthin.

Reference: Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2018, Vol. 27, No. 2, 341-6

Multivitamin with omega-3s

A fairly simple preventive health program reduced chances of progressing to diabetes, and improved glucose status in those with type 2 diabetes. In this study, 1,018 participants with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes met with a health care practitioner to set individual health goals. All took daily vitamin D drops of 1,000 IU per drop and were encouraged to get vitamin D levels to at least 40 nanograms per milliliter of blood, or 100 nanomoles per liter.

Participants also took a basic daily multivitamin mineral, or a more comprehensive multivitamin with more trace minerals, carotenoids, and omega-3s. After two years, vitamin D levels had increased for all participants, but only those taking the comprehensive multivitamin-mineral with omega-3s saw lower long-term average blood sugar levels, and lower levels of the inflammatory marker, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. Overall, 44 percent of those pre- and diabetics who took the multivitamin-omega-3 combination returned to normal blood sugar levels.

Reference: Journal of Clinical & Translational Endocrinology; December, 2017, Vol. 10, 28-35

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 taking supplements, especially if you have a medical condition or take prescription or over-the-counter medications. For example, omega-3s and many antioxidants also thin blood.

Article copyright 2019 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.