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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Take Charge of Your Blood Sugar Levels

Oct 30, 2020 08:59AM ● By Gary Kracoff
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34.2 million American adults (or one in 10) have diabetes. Eighty-eight million American adults (or one in three) are pre-diabetic. Nearly 90 percent of these populations are overweight, and 38 percent are physically inactive. For children, the statistics are also appalling. One in four young adults (12 to 19 years old) and one in five adults (19 to 34 years old) are pre-diabetic.

Most people with pre-diabetes are in control of changing their path towards having diabetes and correcting the pre-diabetic status. Lifestyle modification is necessary because many people: 1) Spend 21 hours a day being sedentary; and 2) Consume foods that are highly processed, refined and contain excessive levels of added white sugar that offers little nutrients and fiber and has a blood sugar dysregulating effect.

The pancreas is responsible for blood sugar regulation, which is a complex process. When blood sugar levels fall due to stressors or lack of nutritious food, the pancreas secretes a hormone (glucagon) triggering the release of glucose from the liver and muscles. When blood sugar is high, it releases insulin which causes the liver, muscles and fat cells to take up and store the excess sugar. This can lead to insulin resistance and fat build up around the waist.

We should eat a healthy diet of organic, raw foods, grass-fed chicken and beef, and wild-caught fish. We need to remove processed foods and foods containing hydrogenated fats, added sugar and processed simple carbohydrates (white flour) in addition to getting more exercise and reducing stress.

Along with diet and lifestyle changes, a well-formulated blend of certain nutrients has been shown to help with insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels.

Alpha lipoic acid is required for cellular metabolism, the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats. It supports healthy blood sugar balance by activating AMPK, a major regulator of cellular energy. This can lead to an increase in energy and stamina.

Cinnamon bark extract has been shown to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels by inhibiting several enzymes that play a role in insulin resistance leading to an increase in insulin sensitivity.

Chromium is a critical piece in the molecule glucose tolerance factor (GTF). It is crucial for the uptake of glucose into the cells. Studies using 1,000 microgram/day of chromium have demonstrated that chromium helps maintain healthy blood sugar balance, insulin sensitivity and blood lipids.

Biotin is a B vitamin that plays a role in energy production by acting as a coenzyme for several carboxylase enzymes involved in the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids. It also plays many roles in maintaining healthy blood sugar balance such as stimulating glucose-induced insulin secretion, enhancing insulin sensitivity and accelerating glucose metabolism in the liver and pancreas.

Vanadyl sulfate is the stable form of vanadium, a mineral shown to mimic the action of insulin. It plays a major role in promoting healthy glucose uptake. It also helps improve insulin sensitivity while helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Many people feel that if diabetes runs in the family, it is in the genes and there is nothing that can be done about it. Studies have now shown that most people are in control of what road they takeā€”the road to pre-diabetes (leading to diabetes) or reversing the pre-diabetes and restoring healthy blood sugar levels. Take charge of your life, change your diet, lifestyle and stress levels and head down the road to normal blood sugar levels.

Dr. Gary Kracoff is a naturopathic doctor and registered pharmacist at the Johnson Compounding and Wellness Center, located at 577 Main St., Waltham. For more information, call 781-893-3870 ext. 2 or visit