A few weeks ago I posed about a great product by Orange Naturals- their ALA supplement. I had some great feedback from that post and was asked to write more about insulin sensitivity and how it can be improved in type 2 diabetics and pre-diabetic patients.
Insulin sensitivity is simply how well your body responds to the insulin that is released. Insulin is released when we eat carbohydrates, or sugars, and acts to pull sugar into our cells. Without insulin, the sugar would just stay in our blood and float around. We wouldn't have any energy, and this can lead to many issues like high blood pressure (because sugar can make blood thick and sticky), eye problems and nerve discomfort and even a diagnosis of diabetes type 2. By working to improve insulin sensitivity, pre diabetes and even a diagnosis of diabetes can be reversed and the body can return to a healthy state.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Orange Naturals. The opinions on this blog are my own. I am an Ambassador for this wonderful company and am always excited to share products that I've tried and learned about!
I think it goes without saying, that changing your lifestyle is going to make the biggest change in insulin sensitivity.
Changes can/ should include:
increased movement - consider HIIT training and add resistance 2-3 times per week
whole foods with a low GI index - think carbohydrates that are full of fibre and are slow digesting, like oats
low carbohydrate diet
getting sufficient, GOOD QUALITY sleep
losing excess weight - even 5-10lbs can make a big difference
Supplements should be used with lifestyle changes and only with the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
Chromium is a trace mineral used for many metabolic and biological processes in the body. Chromium deficiencies are rare, but studies have found that chromium is very important within the carbohydrate uptake process of the human body. Chromium has been found to decrease fasting glucose, improve HbA1C and after meal blood sugar levels. It has also been found to boost the body's sensitivity to insulin and when used with other supplements and diet and lifestyle modification, can be helpful in the prevention and reversal of type 2 diabetes.
Also known as Chinese cinnamon, cassia cinnamon is one of two common type of cinnamon available. It is the primary type of cinnamon sold in North America. It's important to note that while you can and should continue to add cinnamon to your food and drinks, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to eat enough cinnamon to provide therapeutic doses.
While there is a lack of conclusive evidence towards cinnamon and its effects on HbA1C, it has been found to reduce fasting blood glucose, improve insulin sensitivity and be beneficial in reducing inflammation. It has also been found to benefit and even boost brain health. It can help to reduce "bad" cholesterol and help to increase "good" cholesterol.
Magnesium is an important mineral for much of the population, but especially so for patients with diabetes or those who are at risk of developing diabetes. Did you know that in those with magnesium deficiency, there is an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes? Magnesium is used in plenty of biochemical reactions and much of the population is deficient. Aside from being useful for everything from headaches and leg cramps, to sleep and relaxation, magnesium supplements have been found to significantly improve fasting blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity.
When choosing a magnesium supplement, look for a magnesium glycinate, like the MagPOP! sachets from Orange Naturals or the encapsulated magnesium glycinate supplement. Magnesium glycinate will reduce stomach upset and cause less risk of loose stools.
Start your dosing at 100mg ELEMENTAL magnesium daily and slowly increase to between 300 - 600mg over the span of a few weeks to see best results!
American ginseng has been found to be beneficial in reducing post meal glucose along with reducing fasting glucose. It has also been found to to lower HbA1C and improve insulin sensitivity.