You need to ease the job of the pancreas if you want to keep your weight down. Cut back on sugary, processed snack foods. Select supplements that assist the pancreas in its digestive duties. Otherwise, your waistline will grow and your health will decline.
The pancreas makes insulin, a hormone that controls how your body uses and stores sugar. Excess sugar is stored by the body in the liver and muscles as glycogen. But if the glycogen is not used for energy needs, it is soon converted to body fat.
When your blood sugar levels stay high and the pancreas churns out insulin at a furious pace, your body runs the serious risk of creating the fixed fat deposits that make you obese. This buildup of body fat may take place before or after metabolic abnormalities arise that lead to type 2 diabetes or leave you mired in the more common condition known as metabolic syndrome.
How do these changes take place? Well, one way is when insulin cannot effectively function at the cell membrane receptors and glucose (blood sugar) cannot be brought into cells, a situation known as insulin resistance. At the same time, the pancreas may be overproducing insulin to compensate for this resistance.
All this is a function of what you eat and how rapidly you eat. For example, eating foods high in refined sugar causes insulin to surge in order to allow sugar to enter the cells that need it. However, this repeated pattern of constantly eating refined sugar encourages oversecretion of insulin chronically to the point that cells become more likely to resist its influence. If you think you have this problem, consider having a fasting blood sugar or a hemoglobin A1C test which determines blood sugar balance over the previous three months and provides a great deal of information about your insulin function.
Remember that the pancreas also makes enzymes to digest your food and that obesity results from faulty digestion and overeating foods low in micronutrients. But the good news is that if you improve digestion, eat a nutritious diet and reduce stress, you can reduce inflammation in your body and lose weight. With real nutrition (not fast food or processed snacks), you can slowly reverse the metabolic dysregulation that leads to extra pounds.
At the same time, digestion plays a key role in preserving your overall health. Consequently, when you take digestive enzyme supplements to enhance digestion and boost the absorption of nutrients, you benefit every organ in your body. Constipation, bloating and cramping are all signs of digestion abnormalities that need to be addressed.
Here are some supplements to assist with digestion and assimilation:
- Digestive enzymes (plant source): Take with meals.
- Betaine HCL (natural stomach acid for digestion): Take with meals.
- Cascara sagrada or senna: Only take these for a maximum of 10 days at a time to get the GI tract moving. Then rest the bowels for several days before using again.
- Garcinia cambogia: Use this to block sugar absorption.
- Bitter herbs: Take at the beginning of meals to stimulate digestion.
- L-glutamine: Take 1000 milligrams 30 minutes before meals to reduce insulin and enhance glucose utilization. This also aids in healing the small intestine’s lining.
- Gymnema sylvestre: Use this to block sweet receptors on the tongue.
The pancreas works hard every day to cope with its duties in controlling blood sugar. When you eat nutrient-rich foods (eat plenty of fruits and vegetables) and avoid overeating processed foods, you support this crucial organ. And that supports a healthier, slimmer you.
To your best health,
Michael Cutler, M.D.
Author, Easy Health Digest