Diabetes Basics Part 21

supplements

The medical community sets its goal for us at 7 or less as far as A1C goes, and Dr. Hite explains this in terms of what the body can keep up with, and damage occurs when the body’s natural defenses to these stressors becomes overwhelmed.

Now this is something that everybody needs to pay attention to, oxidative stress, Dr. Hite compares this to rust and that’s a good comparison because rust is from oxidation.  Glycation, which is what causes microvascular damage such as neuropathy, involves damaging tiny blood vessels and nerves with excess glucose in our case driving this.

People with normal glucose levels can get this stuff too, when their defenses against this sort of damage aren’t sufficient, and this is why you read that it’s important for us to take antioxidants, at least those familiar with holistic or natural medicine.  We could use the help at the best of times, but today’s modern world places a lot of extra burdens on us, including environmental toxins, our food, the way we live, and so on.

So there are a lot of stressors out there, and high blood sugar is one of them, and while we want to look to focus on managing the stessors, it’s at least as important to look to manage our response to them, by way of making sure we get enough antioxidant support, especially supporting our liver in its synthesis of glutathione, which is the body’s master antioxidant.

The glutathione levels of diabetics are considerably reduced, and this plays a role in our overall health, this is not a good thing to be low in.  Glutathione deficiency caused by the progression toward diabetes has been shown to accelerate the progress of the disease itself, as well as being highly undesirable.

A lot of the glutathione supplements are in powder form which provides poor absorption, although it is also available in a liposomal delivery system, as well as in the acetyl-glutathione form, both of which are much better absorbed in the body.  N-acetyl cysteine, or NAC, is also good to increase glutathione, as it is a precursor.

There are a bunch of things that serve as antioxidants, including things like vitamin C and vitamin E, and vitamin E is something we particularly need to pay attention to, as a lot of people are deficient in this and if you are looking to avoid diabetic damage this is something you surely don’t want to be low in.  What we’re after here isn’t just the standard E, we need the mixed tocopherol version, as the usual stuff just has the alpha form, but the body prefers the gamma form and will need to convert this, and doesn’t always do a great job of this, and deficiencies can actually be worsened just taking alpha.

There are also studies out there that are done by folks that are looking to portray nutrients in a negative way, and they just use alpha, and the results end up disappointing, as they were hoping form and they use this to try to bash the vitamin.  So you might have heard things like be careful how much of this you take or just get it in food which is nonsense but the public doesn’t know this.

The best antioxidant to take by far is astaxanthin, which beats everything by a long shot actually in terms of its antioxidant power.  Vitamin D levels are also important to keep up, and the majority of people don’t get enough vitamin D, especially those living in the more northern regions.  We’re told not too take too much of this and to avoid the sun as well, to keep us beat down and deficient in this, and that’s just how they like us, sick and helpless.

There are several things that specifically help with glycation as well as help repair damage from it.  I mentioned benfotiamine in a a past article in this series, benfotiamine is the best thing you can take for this hands down.  I also mentioned alpha lipoic acid or ALA, the R form is what you are looking for here as it’s the active form, that can help a lot as well in addition to also helping with insulin resistance.

There are also other things that you can take to help this, carnosine is really good as well, and GLA from things like borage oil and evening primrose oil can also help.  By the way I discovered I had diabetes from getting neuropathy, nerve damage in my feet, and there’s not supposed to be a cure or even an effective treatment for this if you ask conventional medical practitioners, and while this does take quite a while to heal, several years even, I’m about 80% better and expect to be fully cured in time.

Magnesium deficiency is at epidemic levels these days, and does play a role in a host of disorders, including diabetes.  This is thought to be one of the real risk factors in getting the disease, and it plays a role in so many processes within the body that a deficiency of it brings on a host of problems, many more than just diabetes.

People typically don’t get anywhere near enough of this from their diet, and a lot of the magnesium supplements out there are garbage, inferior forms, and the best form that is still reasonably priced is magnesium glycinate or bisglycinate, although they have recently come up with another form, magnesium l-threonate, which is even better, although it is more expensive, but a solid investment in your health if you can afford it.

I mentioned a few anti diabetic supplements already, so I might as well talk about that again while we’re on the subject here.  Here’s my personal favorites, from research and also treating my own diabetes over the years, and by the way the standard recommendations you tend to get aren’t too bad but some of the best stuff, with the best science behind them, tend to be not so well known.

Berberine has gained a lot of momentum over the past few years as a substitute for metformin, and in fact anyone would be crazy to take metformin when they could just take berberine.  It does everything metformin does and more, without the toxicity, and I’ve got a couple of berberine articles on the site here which have been among the most viewed of any of my articles here.

This is also the case with the AMPK articles as well as the ones I have on gynostemma, which is another AMPK activator and this one is starting to become more widely known these days, although less so than berberine, but it’s also a great anti diabetic and these are as effective at reducing blood sugar as any of the prescriptions, but unlike the prescriptions, they are safe to take.

Black seed oil is another of my favorites, and like berberine and gynostemma, it does far more for you than just help your diabetes.  Citrus bergamot is something that not a lot of people have heard of and it’s known mostly as a natural cholesterol supplement, but it does so naturally, and is also fabulous for treating high blood sugar.

Rounding out my top 5 is creatine, used mostly by bodybuilders and they do it because it increases glucose transport, in a similar fashion to insulin, but not in a way that the body looks to fight back against, like it does with too much insulin.  So this can lower blood sugar much like exercise does, and when you do both, the benefits of both are enhanced.

There are more things you can take but these are perhaps the best, but there is a fair bit of individualization here, some things help some people more than others, and a lot of this has to do with the particular things that you struggle with.  So you do want to be patient here and realize that natural medicines do take a couple of months or longer to show their full benefits, and they also must be taken in a high enough dosage to be effective as well, ones shown to help in studies.

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