Type 2 diabetes: Take this supplement to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes can seem negligible at first because the symptoms are often subtle or non-existent in the beginning. Over time, however, the condition can lead to grave health problems. This is because the mechanisms involved in diabetes take a while to produce their harmful outcomes.

Type 2 diabetes means one of two things: your pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the cells cannot take up the insulin.

Either way, the outcome is the same – your blood sugar levels are left unconstrained.

Insulin regulates blood sugar and without this moderating influence, blood sugar levels continue to rise.

Eventually, blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in your body, leading to all manner of complications, such as heart disease.

READ MORE: Diabetes type 2 – the ‘diabetes superfood’ spice to lower your risk of high blood sugar

According to one study, when people with type 2 diabetes took 300, 600, 900 or 1,200 mg of ALA alongside their usual diabetes treatment for six months, fasting blood sugar and A1C decreased more as the dose increased.

Fasting blood sugar is a test to determine how much glucose (sugar) is in a blood sample after an overnight fast, whereas an A1C test is a blood test that reflects your average blood glucose levels over the past three months.

How does it work?

Scientists believe ALA may improve insulin sensitivity and your cells’ uptake of sugar from your blood, though it may take a few months to experience these effects.

Moreover, ALA may lower the risk of diabetes complications.

Foods with a high carbohydrate content are broken down into glucose relatively quickly, which may have a more pronounced effect on blood sugar.

Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level, according to the NHS.

The health body recommends at least 2.5 hours of activity a week to normalise blood sugar levels.

You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath.

Type 2 diabetes: A popular drink which reduces post-meal blood glucose and insulin levels

Type 2 diabetes means a person has defects in both the production of insulin by the pancreas (insulin deficiency) and the use of insulin by the body (insulin resistance). When damage to the pancreas’ insulin-producing cells progresses to the point where the pancreas can no longer release enough insulin to overcome the body’s resistance to it, blood sugar levels rise. Over time, this could create devastating effects within the body. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to help lower blood sugar and drinking apple cider vinegar has been proven to do just that.

Those living with type 2 diabetes can benefit from keeping their blood sugar levels in the normal range, as some researchers believe that high blood sugar levels are a major cause of ageing and various other chronic diseases.

The most effective and healthiest way to regulate blood sugar levels is to avoid a diet rich in refined carbs and sugar, but apple cider vinegar may also have a beneficial effect.

By consuming apple cider vinegar insulin sensitivity could be improved during a high carb meal and is shown to significantly lower blood sugar and insulin response.


What the studies say

In a study published in the American Diabetes Association, apple cider vinegar ingestion at bedtime to help moderate waking glucose concentrations in adults with type 2 diabetes was further investigated.

The study noted: “Given the importance of maintaining acceptable blood glucose concentrations, there is much interest in identifying foods and diet patterns that will help individuals with diabetes manage their condition.

“Utilizing a randomized crossover design with a three to five-day washout period between treatments, participants followed a standardized meal plan for two days, consuming either two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or water at bedtime with one oz of cheese.”

The study concluded that vinegar ingestion at bedtime may favourably impact waking glucose concentrations in type 2 diabetes.

“The anti-glycaemic effect of acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar was attributed to reduced starch digestion and/or delayed gastric emptying. 

A study published in Diabetes Care in 2005 included 10 people with type 2 diabetes, 11 people with insulin resistance, and a control group of eight people without diabetes or insulin resistance.

The participants were randomly assigned to drink apple cider vinegar or a placebo drink and then eat a meal of a white bagel, butter and orange juice.

The vinegar increased insulin sensitivity and significantly reduced post-meal blood glucose and insulin levels.

Other studies have also hinted that apple cider vinegar can benefit blood sugar levels after eating meals.

Insulin increases the storage of fat and reduces the body’s ability to use fat for fuel, said Diet Doctor.

The health site continued: “This can lead to weight gain, which plays an integral role in the development and worsening of insulin resistance.

“Left unchecked, you can see how this will lead to a vicious cycle: insulin resistance leads to high insulin levels, which make it easier to gain weight by accumulating fat, which increases insulin resistance, which leads to high insulin levels, which leads to more weight gain, and so on goes the cycle.

“The good news is that diet and exercise can help decrease insulin resistance and its associated weight gain, which may help prevent or even reverse diabetes.”

Type 2 diabetes: Sprinkle this powder on your meals to improve insulin and blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes reveals one of two important characteristics about a person’s body: that their pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the cells are resistant to the insulin it does produce. Both have the same harmful effect – blood sugar levels are left to bulldoze their way through the body, damaging blood vessels in the process. Insulin is a hormone that moderates blood sugar so it is important to find ways of improving insulin secretion and response.

Additionally, a review of human studies showed that eating flavanol-rich dark chocolate or cocoa can reduce insulin sensitivity, improve blood sugar control and reduce inflammation in diabetic and non-diabetic people.

What’s more, some studies have shown that a higher intake of flavanols, including those from cocoa, can result in a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

One key caveat

“It has to be 100 percent unsweetened cocoa or cocoa powder,” said Avigdor Arad, PhD, an instructor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

As Arad explains, unsweetened cocoa powder contains very little sugar and is mostly made up of fibre.

Furthermore, unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder is also very low on the glycemic index (GI).

The GI is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or quickly they cause increases in blood sugar levels.

Foods that rank high on the GI cause rapid blood sugar spikes, while those low on the GI, such as unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder, keep blood sugar levels stable.

Other foods that are low on the GI include apples, Greek yogurt and peanuts, says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Type 2 diabetes – what to look for

Type 2 diabetes often goes undetected because the symptoms are often subtle or non-existent in the initial stages.

If you experience symptoms, the most common include:

  • Urinating more than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision

Type 2 diabetes: The plant-based supplement shown to increase insulin sensitivity

Type 2 diabetes sends a signal that your pancreas is not releasing and processesing insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that moderates blood sugar, the main type of sugar found in your blood. Your body needs blood sugar because it supplies the cells with energy but having too much of it flowing through your bloodstream poses grave health risks – hence the need for insulin to regulate it.

One explanation for how resveratrol works is that it may stop a certain enzyme from turning glucose into sorbitol, a sugar alcohol.

When too much sorbitol builds up in people with diabetes, it can create cell-damaging oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between unstable molecules called free radicals and compounds called antioxidants in your body.

It is believed that resveratrol’s antioxidant action may help protect against oxidative stress, which causes some of the complications of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes – what to look for

Type 2 diabetes often goes undetected because the condition rarely produces symptoms in the initial stages.

In fact, the condition is usually picked upon during a routine test for other complaints.

If you do experience symptoms, however, the common are:

  • Urinating more than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision