Controlling Blood Glucose Levels

by Dr. Greg Fors, DC - Board Certified Neurologist DIBCN

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 2 out of 3 adults and 1 out of 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese, and these numbers continue to climb. Our ‘Standard American Diet’, high in refined carbohydrates and sugars, is creating a modern plague of obesity and Type-2 Diabetes. There are nearly 21 million Americans suffering from Diabetes and the National Institute of Health estimates that as many as one-third of these individuals are unaware of it.

Astonishingly, the CDC announced on June 15, 2003, that as many as one out of every three children born in the year 2000 will develop Diabetes by middle age!

The primary culprit behind this rising tsunami of metabolic dysfunction is the lack of exercise and a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugars with a high glycemic index. Comparatively, complex carbohydrates from unprocessed whole foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and whole grains have a low glycemic index. Important to your patients is the fact that recent research has found that a diet of high glycemic foods not only leads to Obesity(1), Diabetes and Heart Disease(2), but also Chronic Inflammation, Pain and eventual Cognitive Impairment and Dementia.(3) With these alarming facts it is vital for everyone in healthcare to do all that is possible to educate the public to help remedy this destructive epidemic.

When blood sugars are not tightly controlled, the high availability of glucose in the blood causes glucose to be attached to structural or enzyme proteins in the cells. The attachment of glucose to proteins form destructive products called AGEs (short for advanced glycosylated end products). AGEs are aptly named because they definitely increase the aging process and the development of chronic degenerative disease. It is this attachment of glucose to structural or functional proteins in the body that causes many of the side effects in Diabetes, such as Heart Disease, Blindness, loss of sensation, and poor wound healing. One of the primary ways that AGEs create all these health problems is by attaching to cell membranes and turning on a gene that creates chronic inflammation.

Diagnosing Metabolic Syndrome
An excellent way of diagnosing and monitoring formation of AGEs is testing the blood for hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C). This lab test is utilized to measure blood sugar control by measuring the rate of AGE formation over the last ninety days. The more glucose floating around in the blood, the more glucose is attached to the hemoglobin, paralleling the formation of these AGEs in other tissues. For optimal health your patients should have less than 5.5% hemoglobin A1C. If their hemoglobin A1C runs between 5.6 and 6.4%, they have Insulin Resistance. When your patient has a hemoglobin A1C of over 6.5%, they are now in the Diabetic range, and over 7% they are in serious risk of tissue damage from AGEs. Patients of all ages should know their hemoglobin A1C level. I even find children in my own practice running hemoglobin A1c levels above 5.6% with a normal fasting blood glucose.

To know if your patients are developing Insulin Resistance, it is also helpful to run other diagnostic blood tests. A fasting blood sugar is primary and should be well under 100 mg/dL. A second test to always consider is a fasting insulin test, which should be under 10 uU/L. Having blood sugar levels over 110 mg/dL indicates hyperglycemia and increases your patients risk for a deadly heart attack by 500% and their risk of death from a stroke by as much as fifteen fold. Another very helpful indicator of Insulin Resistance is changes in your patients’ blood fats. Triglycerides are blood fats that can be easily stored as body fat around your waist and they increase with Insulin Resistance. Triglycerides in the blood should be under 150 mg/dL and the good cholesterol (HDL) should be greater than 40mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women. Your patient’s triglyceride-to-HDL ratio is probably the best indicator of Metabolic Syndrome; their ratio must not be greater than 3.5 to 1. A triglyceride-to-HDL ratio larger than five to one has been shown to be very predictive of Insulin Resistance.

Properly Treating Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome and Early Type II Diabetes

  1. Eat a low glycemic diet; eliminate sugars, refined flours and simple carbohydrates from their diet.
  2. Remove all processed foods, junk food, sodas and other sweetened drinks from their diet.
  3. Remove all artificial sweeteners; they fuel cravings for sweets and trigger an insulin response from the brain.
  4. Eliminate all trans-fatty acids and hydrogenated oils.
  5. Limit caffeine intake to herbal teas with beneficial flavonoids. Limit alcohol to three or four drinks per week.
  6. Use specific nutraceuticals shown in research to benefit insulin resistance & improve glucose handling.

Mulberry Leaf, Cinnamon & Banaba Extracts - Unique Botanicals for Insulin Resistance & Mild Diabetes
In Insulin Resistance as body fat rises, production of a hormone called resistin increases, causing cells to become more resistant to insulin.(4) Mulberry leaves contain substances that reverse this defect. In one study Mulberry leaf extract was compared to the drug Glibenclamide in patients with Type II Diabetes. Patients taking Mulberry leaf at the end of the 30-day trial had significantly lower fasting glucose, while the drug group had no significant decline! Mulberry leaf also showed significant improvements across all blood lipids including an 18% increase in HDL and an LDL decline of 23%.(5) These study results indicate that Mulberry not only reduces harmful lipids and improves sensitivity to glucose, but also possesses beneficial antioxidant properties. Other research studies have shown that animals with experimentally induced Diabetes also experience dramatic improvements when fed Mulberry leaf.(6)

A recent study on the use of Cinnamon to treat Type II Diabetic patients found that after 40 days the study groups receiving Cinnamon demonstrated significant reductions in blood sugar levels of up to 29%, triglycerides reduced up to 30% and cholesterol reduced up to 26%.(7) Research has demonstrated that the polyphenol type-A polymers from Cinnamon up-regulates genes involved in blood sugar control(8), and the polyphenol polymer methylhydroxychalcone also has beneficial effects on blood sugar control.(9) Multiple recent studies consistently show the anti-diabetic effects of Cinnamon extracts in validated animal models.(10, 11)

Human studies show that the Banaba leaf extract (corosolic acid) effectively helps to support optimal glucose metabolism.(12) When adults with Diabetes were given corosolic acid prior to an oral glucose tolerance test, they demonstrated significantly improved glucose handling.(13) A randomized clinical trial showed that Banaba leaf extract rich in corosolic acid benefited adults with Type II Diabetes, lowering their blood glucose levels by 20-30% within only two weeks!(14)

BIOSPEC’s Glucose-IR: Provides clinically significant levels of these exciting botanicals to support the body's natural defenses against Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome and early Diabetes.* Along with these and other beneficial botanicals, Glucose-IR contains 900 mg of GTF Chromium along with 15 mg of Biotin in just three tablets. These nutrients have been shown in numerous studies to benefit Insulin Resistance and Diabetes. Glucose-IR is best utilized by taking one tablet before each meal for a total of no more than 2 to 3 tablets daily. Caution: Diabetics on insulin should utilize this powerful nutraceutical with caution for it can drastically decrease their need for insulin.

Biospec Nutritionals Products

BIOSPEC's CLINICAL UPDATES
with Dr. Greg Fors

Biospec Nutritionals has been in business for 15 years and is dedicated to bringing physicians premium quality formulations at prices their patients can afford. Biospec Nutritionals is committed to providing doctors with quality information and education, including this issue of Biospec's Nutritional updates. Find us at www.biospecnutritionals.com or call us at 800.825.7921

Dr. Greg Fors, D.C. is the Chief Science Consultant for Biospec Nutritionals, a Board-certified Neurologist (IBCN), certified in Applied Herbal Sciences (NWHSU) and acupuncture. Trained through the Autism Research Institute he is a registered 'Defeat Autism Now!' Doctor. As the clinic director of the Pain and Brain Healing Center in Blaine Minnesota he specializes in a natural biomedical approach to fibromyalgia, fatigue, depression, autism and ADHD. He is a sought after international lecturer for various post graduate departments and state associations. Dr. Fors is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “Why We Hurt” available through booksellers everywhere.

FOOTNOTES

  1. M. B. Schulze, J. E. Manson, D. S. Ludwig, et al, JAMA 292, 8 (2004): 927–34.
  2. H. M. Lakka, D. E. Laaksonen, T. A. Lakka, et al, JAMA 288, 21 (2002): 2709–16.
  3. K. Yaffe, A. Kanaya, K. Lindquist, et al,JAMA 292, 18 (2004): 2237–42.
  4. Steppan CM, Bailey ST, Bhat S, et al. Nature. 2001 Jan 18;409(6818):307-12.
  5. Andallu B, Suryakantham V, Srikanthi BL, Reddy GK. Clin Chim Acta. 2001 Dec;314(1-2):47-53.
  6. Andallu B, Varadacharyulu NCh. Indian J Exp Biol. 2002 Jul;40(7):791-5.
  7. Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA. Diabetes Care. 2003 Dec;26(12):3215-8.
  8. Imparl-Radosevich J, Deas S, Polansky MM, et al. Horm Res. 1998 Sep;50(3):177-82.
  9. Jarvill-Taylor KJ, Anderson RA, Graves DJ. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Aug;20(4):327-36.
  10. Qin B, Nagasaki M, Ren M, et al. Horm Metab Res. 2004 Feb;36(2):119-25.
  11. Kim SH, Hyun SH, Choung SY.. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Mar 8;104(1-2):119-23.
  12. Fukushima M, Matsuyama F, et al. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2006 Mar 18.
  13. Fukushima M, Matsuyama F, et al. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2006 Mar 18.
  14. Judy WV, Hari SP, Stogsdill WW, Judy JS, Naguib YM, Passwater R. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jul;87(1):115-7.