If you’ve gained weight, your blood pressure is elevated and your cells start resisting the effects of insulin, you are in serious danger of developing diabetes and heart problems. But the right supplements and lifestyle changes can help you lower the risk for metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance while fending off these health dangers.
In my previous article, “Treating Insulin Resistance And Metabolic Syndrome,” I discussed the usual causes behind insulin resistance. The treatment is to first address these causes and implement a lifestyle that redirects your trajectory of health. Remember that it isn’t the insulin resistance you care so much about, but what follows (heart disease, diabetes, other chronic inflammatory diseases and early death) if you continue your same lifestyle and don’t alter your risk factors.
In this article I’ll cover specific nutrient supplements that are part of the treatment for insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
Micronutrient Supplements To Help Reverse Insulin Resistance
Like icing on the cake, you can use micronutrients to significantly help prevent and reverse (treat) insulin resistance. They are not all needed together, but many of these will already be found in a good multi-vitamin, multi-phytonutrient supplement.
- Digestive enzyme blend: Take with meals to improve food nutrient absorption.
- Omega 3 fatty acids 1,000 to 3,000 mg daily (DHA to EPA ratio 2:1): From fish oil, krill oil, primrose oil; omega 6 fatty acids 500-1,000 mg daily in borage seed oil, evening primrose oil and black currant seed oil.
- CLA (conjugated linolenic acid): Improves insulin sensitivity. Dose is usually 1,000-3,000 mg daily, but better if 2,000-6,000 mg daily.
- Alpha-lipoic acid: Improves insulin sensitivity and improves neuropathy at doses of 400-600 mg daily, up to 600 mg twice daily.
- CoQ10: Provides energy in the form of ATP for metabolic pathways. Dose is usually 100-300 mg daily, especially if you have high blood pressure.
- Biotin (a B vitamin): Increases insulin sensitivity. Dose is usually 4-8 mg daily.
- Vitamin B complex: Aids in glucose metabolism and decreases sugar cravings. Usual dose is 100 mg daily.
- Vitamin B6: Inhibits the glycosylation of proteins known to cause tissue damage from excessive blood glucose levels. Usual dose is 150 mg daily.
- Vitamin B12: Helpful to prevent and slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
- Vitamin C: Aids in glucose metabolism. Dose is usually 1,000-3,000 mg daily.
- Vitamin D: Helps pancreas release insulin. Get a blood test for 25-hydroxy vitamin D level and supplement 2,000-10,000 IU/daily as needed.
- Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols): Helps balance hormonal function. Dose is usually 600-800 IU daily.
- Chromium: Decreases blood sugar and increases insulin sensitivity. Dose is usually 500 to 3,000 mcg daily if insulin resistant. Good forms are chromium nicotinate, chromium histidinate, chromium picolinate and glucose tolerance factor chromium (GTF).
- Magnesium: Improves glucose uptake. Dose is usually 200-400 mg daily.
- Zinc: Helps balance blood sugar levels. Dose is usually 25-50 mg daily.
- Selenium: Works with glutathione peroxidase and vitamin E to prevent oxidative damage. Dose is usually 200-400 mcg daily.
- Manganese: Aids carbohydrate metabolism. Dose is usually 10 mg daily for adults. Consult a knowledgeable healthcare provider before giving manganese to children.
- Vanadium: Improves insulin sensitivity. Dose is usually 20-50 mg daily.
- Taurine: An amino acid that increases insulin receptor activity and sensitivity. With stress the body becomes depleted in taurine. Dose is usually 1,000-3,000 mg daily.
- Niacin: High doses of niacin can worsen insulin sensitivity, so be careful with this.
Another category of nutrient supplements include the herbal remedies. They have been studied and found to be extremely safe and effective.
- Green tea in the mornings: Increases metabolism, reduces appetite, lowers body weight and improves cholesterol/triglyceride levels.
- Fenugreek: Slows absorption of sugar in the small intestine.
- Gymnema sylvestre leaf: Interferes with the taste and absorption of sugar; improves insulin sensitivity. Usual dose is 250-500 mg before meals.
- Garcinia Cambogia: Helps to reduce appetite and inhibit fat production without mental hyperactivity.
- Cinnamon: Improves sugar (glucose) utilization by cells and improves insulin receptor sensitivity. Dose is usually 125-250 mg one to three times a day.
- Fructooligosacharides (FOS): Used as an alternate (lower-glycemic) sweetener; also improves intestinal health and pH to help prevent yeast infections.
There are many natural sweeteners to buy along with micronutrient supplements and herbs. These sweeteners include fruits, stevia, pure (grade B) maple syrup, raw honey, fruit extract flavorings, xylitol, etc. These provide sweetness without the high glycemic processed sugar effect that is inflammatory to your body. Refined sugar abnormally uses up essential nutrients such as chromium, magnesium and some of the B vitamins that are known to prevent and reverse diabetes.
To your best health and to feeling good for life,
Michael Cutler, M.D.
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