15 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally | How to Lower Blood Sugar Naturally?

15 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally | How to Lower Blood Sugar Naturally?

Statistics suggest today about 11 million Canadians are diabetic or pre-diabetic. Diabetes reduces life expectancy by about 10 years. Diabetes is a chronic disease that is related to the production and the function of the Insulin hormone made by the pancreas. Insulin controls the blood sugar level. The body needs sugar to produce energy, however, an excessive amount of circulating sugar could damage organs, blood vessels, and nerves. Common complications related to high blood sugar include chronic kidney disease, liver disease, eye disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, Alzheimer's, poor circulation, slow wound healing, neuropathy and associated pain, fertility problems, and poor sexual performance.

The pancreas is a vital gland that is located behind the stomach. It not only produces hormones but also makes digestive enzymes. Pancreatic hormones such as insulin are secreted to the blood, while the pancreatic digestive enzymes are secreted to the digestive tract and curtail for digesting a variety of nutrients.

There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is due to damage or poor function of the beta cells of the pancreas causing very low or no production of insulin. It also could be due to the production of dysfunctional insulin. This condition results in the accumulation of glucose in the blood rather than being used for energy production. Diabetes type 1 is diagnosed in about 10 percent of the cases with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes generally develops in childhood or adolescence, but can also develop in adulthood. Genetic factors and having a family member with this condition may increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Diabetes type 2 occurs due to insufficient production of insulin or body's lack of response to insulin which is also known as insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is mainly caused by acquired resistance to the insulin hormone. About 90 percent of the diabetic cases are falling under this category. Type 2 diabetes more often develops in adults, but children can be affected as well. Those with conditions such as weight gain, high blood lipid profile, high blood pressure, polycystic ovary syndrome, psychiatric disorders, depression, insomnia, and those on corticosteroids are more likely to develop diabetes.

Another type of diabetes is observed in up to twenty percent of pregnant women. This type of diabetes is also known as gestational diabetes. Although this is a temporary condition, it is associated with higher risks of developing diabetes in both mother and baby.

Signs and symptoms of diabetes include; unusual thirst, frequent urination, lack of energy, fatigue, blurred vision, frequent or recurrent infections, numbness or tingling sensation in hands or feet, slow healing cuts, and wounds, and weight change.

Key Contributing Factors to Blood Glucose Levels:

Diets high in processed and refined carbohydrates like processed sugars and starches significantly impact the blood glucose level. This is found to have a greater effect on the after-meal blood glucose level. It is suggested that a sudden increase in blood glucose and insulin level following meals play an important role in the development of related adverse effects. Many evidence-based studies collectively suggest that the higher readings of after-meal blood glucose levels are an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes.

Weight gain and higher fat deposits especially abdominal fat (visceral fat) results in elevated inflammatory markers which interrupt the insulin function contributing to insulin resistance condition. Weight loss improves the inflammatory profile and insulin sensitivity. Chronic inflammation is one of the main causes of health conditions related to obesity. Weight gain and fat tissue also, cause resistance to the effects of the leptin hormone which regulates appetite.

The liver through a process known as glycogenolysis releases glucose to the blood from its carbohydrate reserves providing a temporary source of energy and keeping a balanced blood glucose level. This process is in particular important during sleep to provide the brain with the energy it needs to provide its vital functions, as well as during exercise to provide muscles with the energy they need.

After eating when the blood glucose increase, insulin is secreted by the pancreas to take up the excess glucose and transport it to the cells which are burned to produce energy. Insulin also slows down and inhibits the glycogenolysis in the liver.

However, in insulin resistance conditions such as pre-diabetes and diabetes, the liver and other tissues are less responsive to the insulin's signal, therefore the liver continues to release glucose in spite of already high blood levels from food.

The liver is also able to produce glucose from non-carbohydrate sources such as proteins. This process is called Gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is considered one of the contributors to high fasting blood glucose in type 2 diabetics. Yet again the Insulin resistance situation liver does not respond to insulin’s signal to turn off gluconeogenesis, and the blood sugar stays high.

Gluconeogenesis is encouraged by the activity of an enzyme known as glucose-6-phosphatase which helps to finalize the creation and release of glucose in the liver from non-carbohydrate sources.

Hormones & Blood Glucose:

Insulin resistance causes the pancreas to keep on producing insulin to reduce elevated blood glucose levels. In a chronically elevated blood insulin (hyperinsulinemia) environment, the body's cells more and more become resistant, while at the same time, higher glucose levels push the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas to their maximum production capability. Under such pressure eventually, beta cells will burn out and no longer able to produce insulin.

Glucagon is a glucose regulating hormone which is produced by pancreases alpha cells. Glucagon helps to maintain healthy blood glucose levels by promoting the liver's glycogenolysis and Gluconeogenesis. This hormone is especially important during times when the blood glucose falls too low.

Cortisol from adrenal glands is released in response to stress. Cortisol raises blood glucose by activating the enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase during gluconeogenesis in the liver. Chronically elevated cortisol levels and stress also contribute to insulin resistance. Long-term adverse health effects of high cortisol from chronic physical or psychological stress in part due to promoting insulin resistance and accumulation of visceral fat.

The catecholamines group of hormones including; epinephrine (adrenalin), norepinephrine, and dopamine. Elevated catecholamines in the blood are in response to physical or emotional stress. Catecholamines increase blood pressure, increase heart rate, and increase blood glucose levels to support the “fight-or-flight” condition. Catecholamines raise blood glucose via initiating glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in the liver, and by inhibiting the glucose uptake.

Incretins are a group of hormones secreted by the cells of the digestive tract into the bloodstream within minutes after food. Incretins stimulate insulin secretion from the pancreas and they are responsible for 70% of after-meal glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. They play role in suppressing appetite and slowing glucose production in the liver.

Adiponectin and leptin are hormones secreted from fat tissue. Adiponectin encourages the usage of glucose and fat burning in muscle and liver, while reduces glucose production in the liver.

Adiponectin activates an enzyme called AMPK. AMPK is a critical cellular energy sensor. Studies found high concentrations of adiponectin in long-lived people suggesting this may contribute to their longevity.

Leptin is mainly produced by the adipose cells (fat Tissue). Leptin helps to regulate energy by inhibiting hunger, reducing appetite, and encouraging fat burning. Leptin's main center of the action is hypothalamus in the brain. Over-weight individuals usually have a higher concentration of leptin in their blood due to the higher body fat percentage, but these individuals develop Leptin resistance causing the body to fail to respond adequately to leptin’s satiety-inducing, fat-burning signals.

Leptin resistance is a major contributor to weight gain and makes it difficult to lose weight. Individuals with Insulin resistant conditions generally have elevated leptin levels, but are resistant to its effects. The inflammatory marker CRP binds with leptin and reduces its signaling capability, causing leptin resistance and weight gain.

How Does High Glucose Level Cause Other Health Conditions?

High blood glucose affects the body and healthy cells mainly in three co-related processes; glycation, which is referred to as the process of glucose binding to protein and fat molecules in the blood creating highly toxic and damaging compounds known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs cause structural and functional damage to the proteins such as collagen, elastin, and much more.

The second major feature of diabetes is inflammation. It is well documented that long-term inflammation is the cause of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. However, the short-term increase in blood sugar after meals is also can also contribute to inflammation.

The third main adverse effect of high blood sugar on the organs and tissues is due to its contribution to increased free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules and could impact the cells from within and that leads to degenerative diseases.

How to Support Normal Blood Sugar Level?

A great number of individuals are not aware of their chronic high blood sugar or frequent spikes in their post-meal glucose levels. Frequent episodes or long-term high levels of blood sugar enhance the possibilities of cellular and tissue damage and developing insulin resistance exposing the individuals to the risk of developing the degenerative disease.

Regardless of whether or not being diagnosed with diabetes, it is very important that everyone aims for improving glycemic control. Natural integrative medicine helps to improve glucose levels and the conditions related to type 2 diabetes. It may also help to reduce the severity of the damage to the tissues in type 1 diabetes. The general goal is to minimize complications, improve the diabetic patient’s overall quality of life, and help to keep blood sugar under control. In addition, controlling blood pressure and blood lipids is considered very important for the treatment and prevention of diabetes or other metabolic conditions.

Type 2 diabetes usually significantly improves with diet and lifestyle changes, especially at the early stages. Incorporating a Mediterranean diet rich in fresh vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats while avoiding dairy, alcohol, sweets, refined sugar, highly processed foods, and saturated fats are proven to improve glucose metabolism and reduce risks of cardiovascular disease. Results from analyzing multiple studies which involved over 136 000 participants showed that those with high compliance with the Mediterranean diet had reduced risk of type 2 diabetes by 23%. Improving diet is associated with a lower risk of degenerative conditions from diabetes and age.

Caloric restriction is another factor that provides several health benefits, and it is shown to be an effective way to prevent and treat diabetes. Studies confirm that caloric restriction improves glucose metabolism and reduces diabetic adverse effects.

Results from multiple randomized controlled trials using foods with a low glycemic index (cause less spike in glucose level after eating) and low glycemic loads (contain less amount of carbs) such as beans, vegetables, and unsweetened dairy products have shown to improve metabolic markers in diabetes, and overweight individuals as well as to significantly reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other metabolic conditions.

The Verity of natural compounds is shown to effectively regulate blood sugar and improve sugar metabolism through a different mechanism of action.

High blood sugar and weight gain, in general, leads to vitamin B deficiency in particular vitamin B1 ( thiamine) which also contributes to further tissue damage. A bioavailable form of Vitamin B1 is known as benfotiamine. Oral benfotiamine can reach a much higher concentration in the blood than regular B1. Benfotiamine inhibits inflammation, oxidative stress, and AGE formation. In clinical trials, benfotiamine showed to reduce pain associated with neuropathy in diabetic patients within six weeks, and results became more impressive during a longer period of time and with greater dosage.

The bioactive form of vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal 5’-phosphate) provides anti-glycation properties in both proteins and lipids molecules. In patients with diabetic neuropathy, a combination of P-5-P with folate and B12 improved their skin sensation.

Carnosine is a peptide (a small protein molecule) that has been shown to be able to block AGEs formation and even reverse protein glycation. In animal studies L- carnosine was found to improve cell survival in a high glucose environment and improve wound healing.

AMPK enzyme (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) is a vital energy sensor in the body. AMPK helps to regulate energy metabolism, increase fat burning and glucose usage; while inhibiting fat and cholesterol production.

EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) is the main compound from green tea which has been found to reduce glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Results from randomized controlled trials on diabetic participants have shown that the green tea group had greatly lower cholesterol, and serum triglycerides, while improved their HDL and insulin sensitivity within two months. Other trials suggest that EGCG help reduce and control blood pressure and reduced the HbA1C (diabetes marker) in pre-diabetic participants.

Green tea extract is a great antioxidant and provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Green tea helps reducing carbohydrate absorption and may activate AMPK.

Flavonoid Hesperidin from plants especially citrus fruits and their peel provides powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, insulin-sensitizing, and lipid-lowering activities. Research suggests hesperidin’s effects on blood glucose and lipid could be related to its ability to activate AMPK. during a six-week randomized controlled trial, daily supplementation with hesperidin improved glycemic control, enhanced total antioxidant capacity, and reduced oxidative stress and DNA damage in diabetic patients. Other studies suggest higher blood level of Hesperidin decreases the risk of developing diabetes. Data also is indicative of Hesperidin being able to improve endothelial function, reduce inflammatory markers, total cholesterol while increasing the good cholesterol HDL.

Polyphenols and Anthocyanins, also found in bilberry extract provide antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties and it is shown to reduced blood glucose and enhanced insulin sensitivity by activating AMPK. Animal studies suggest bilberry extract may protect against diabetic retinopathy. Other human studies on diabetic participants found that a combination of bilberry with some other micronutrients improved ocular health and visual acuity. More evidence suggests that bilberry polyphenols help to lower after-meal glucose levels and that may be due to reduced absorption of carbohydrates and prevention of carbohydrates metabolism into glucose.

The enzyme alpha-glucosidase enzymes in the intestine help to break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. Inhibiting alpha-glucosidase will reduce the number of simple sugars to be absorbed and helps to reduce after-meal glucose levels.

Mulberry leaf extract contains a compound of white mulberry, called 1-deoxynojirimycin, which is found to be effectively able to block the alpha-glucosidase activity, slowing carbohydrate absorption and preventing post-meal blood sugar spikes. The positive effects of Mulberry leaf extract have been examined via randomized controlled trials. Results show that the Mulberry leaf extract group had lower post-meal glucose levels, lower cholesterol, and lower serum triglycerides.

L-arabinose is a type of sugar found in the cell walls of many plants with a minimum absorption rate. Arabinose inhibits the activity of an enzyme called sucrase in the intestine. Sucrase breaks down sucrose sugar into its components of glucose and fructose. Arabinose delays the sucrose break down and slows down glucose absorption, resulting in less blood glucose and insulin responses.

Chromium is essential for carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Chromium is found to increase insulin sensitivity. Chromium deficiency has been associated with insulin resistance and diabetes. According to a study, pre-diabetic people are chromium deficient. Evidence shows that supplementing with chromium improves blood glucose, lowers HbA1C, raises HDL cholesterol, and lowers triglycerides in type 2 diabetes.

Cinnamon has been shown to promote healthy glucose metabolism as well as improving insulin sensitivity. Studies on individuals with type 2 diabetes and healthy participants found that cinnamon extract lowers levels of fasting glucose, HbA1C, and after-meal glucose and insulin concentrations, while improves in insulin sensitivity.

In addition, polyphenol compounds in cinnamon have been shown to block free radicals and able to delay AGEs formation.

Omega-3 fatty acids provide many benefits and of course essential to our health. Omega 3s promote weight loss, reduce inflammation, improve blood lipids, and enhance insulin sensitivity, Omega 3 fatty acids form the structure of the cell membrane helping cells to absorb nutrients and stay flexible. A sufficient amount of omega 3 fatty acids improves the cell membrane's ability to remove glucose from the bloodstream. A study on a large group of participants concluded that a higher blood omega-3 level is significantly associated with a lower risk of diabetes.

Supplementation with the omega-3 EPA & DHA in overweight type 2 diabetic patients, significantly lowered their serum insulin, fasting glucose, HbA1C, insulin resistance, and inflammatory markers. Omega 3 fatty acids also reduced the serum triglycerides while raised HDL within 8 weeks.

Weight loss even at a moderate level is shown to improve insulin resistance and cardiovascular health. Physical activity and exercise are great for overall health and it is found to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be substantially improved with diet, lifestyle changes, and nutritional supplements especially at the early stage, however depending on the advancement of the condition some medications are required to keep the glucose under control. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin. Meal planning, physical activity, and nutritional support help to improve overall health, reduce the adverse effects of diabetes, and keep blood sugar at the right levels.

Articles and products featured by Health Palace are collected from a variety of sources and are provided as a service by Health Palace. These newsletters, while of potential interest to readers, do not necessarily represent the opinions nor constitute the advice of Health Palace. Presented materials are only for information purposes and do not intend to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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