For people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, most of the available treatment options only mask the pain and numbness caused by the common complication of diabetes, but fail to actually treat the underlying condition. Sometimes, neuropathy treatments do nothing at all.
Two years ago a Wisconsin man hospitalized for pneumonia was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and prescribed 100 mg of Januvia, one of the common oral medications used for treatment. A month later, he was back in the hospital complaining about stomach pain and worried something else was wrong.
Cinnamon, chromium, and alpha-lipoic acid are dietary supplements that have been studied for diabetes management, but are not commonly found in daily multivitamins. Chromium* and cinnamon have the least supportive evidence of efficacy, while some studies have found alpha-lipoic acid to be promising, at least subjectively, in reducing the discomforts of peripheral neuropathy.
Italian researchers have found that increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids leads to a decrease in insulin resistance, a common precursor to the development of type 2 diabetes. It also improves lipid profiles and adiponectin levels. (Adiponectin is a protein that is involved in metabolizing glucose and fatty acids. Low levels are associated with insulin resistance, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and obesity.)
We all know by now that fat isn't necessarily a bad thing. Enough advertisements and recommendations for fish oil and omega-3 supplements have appeared over the past few years to make that clear. But what if "good fat" isn't just about eating fish or a taking a fishy-tasting supplement? What if that good fat can be found in a common cooking oil?
The Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York City has received a $600,000 grant from the American Diabetes Association to study the effects of resveratrol on lowering impaired glucose tolerance in older adults.
NaturEra, (http://www.NaturEra.com) a dietary supplements emerging leader, this month announced the launch of its new Sugar Crush dietary supplements would take place at the American Association of Diabetes Educators meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Sugar Crush research has been accepted for Poster presentation at the AADE meeting. The full clinical research study (http://www.naturera.com/Manuscript.pdf) shows that NaturEra's 'Sugar Crush' and 'Sugar Crush Daily' dietary supplement formulas used in combination lower and maintain healthy blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.
Two recent research studies on humans indicate that resveratrol, a chemical found in red wine and peanuts, increases insulin sensitivity in older and obese people. A third study, done on mice, shows that resveratrol may someday become a powerful tool in therapies directed at macular degeneration and other retinal maladies.
Well, this is a surprise. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 contains a little known section, Section 1013, that has actually led to something really useful: Up-to-date information about diabetes culled from real research and presented in language that we all can understand. Section 1013 authorizes the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to compare the effectiveness of different approaches to difficult health problems and to make that information accessible and understandable to "decisionmakers": that is, you, me, and our doctors. And diabetes is one of the difficult health problems to which the AHRQ is directing its attention.
New cases of adult type 2 diabetes have increased by more than 90 percent in the past 10 years, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease and Prevention.(1) Equally troubling is the dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes among children. Recent reports reveal a 200 percent increase in hospitalizations for children with type 2 diabetes, a condition that was rarely diagnosed in children decades ago.(2) In the words of the CDC, "Diabetes is common, disabling, and deadly."(3)
Doctors often tell people with high blood pressure to decrease their consumption of sodium. Now researchers at the Loyola University Health System in suburban Chicago have found that it is probably wise to increase potassium intake at the same time.
Older men who are worried about insulin resistance can take heart from a Tufts University study which shows that higher than normal doses of vitamin K slow development of the condition. (Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body increasingly cannot use insulin properly and blood glucose levels rise. It is a major precursor to type 2 diabetes.)
Last week we published an excerpt from Chapter 4 of Sheri Colberg's revised, updated, and expanded version of her 2001 book, Diabetic Athlete's Handbook:Your Guide to Peak Performance. Dr. Colberg has a PhD in exercise physiology, is a Diabetes Health board member,andisherself an athlete with diabetes. Her book draws upon the experiences of hundreds of athletes with diabetes to provide the best advice for exercisers with diabetes, either type 1 or type 2.
Diabetes Health board member Sheri Colberg, PhD, has published a completely revised, updated, and expanded version of her 2001 book, Diabetic Athlete's Handbook:Your Guide to Peak Performance. Dr. Colberg, a diabetic athlete herself, has a PhD in exercise physiology. Her book draws upon the experiences of hundreds of athletes with diabetes to provide the best advice for exercisers with diabetes, either type 1 or type 2.
Does anyone living in our well-nourished country, eating a reasonable diet, really need to take vitamins, minerals, or herbs? Should a person with diabetes take them? If so, which ones and how much? When it comes to supplements, the answers are often unclear.
Diabetes Essentials is a group of four nutritional supplements recently released
by Nutrition 21. They include Diachrome Blood Sugar Health capsules; the same
product in a drink powder called Nutrition to Go; Multivitamin Nutrition to Go
powder; and Heart Health tablets.
Our diet has changed a great deal since our days as hunter-gatherers
on the African plains. Not only do we eat more carbs and fats, but
we may also be getting far fewer of the micronutrients that were
abundant in the primitive diet.
In a recent Dutch study, researchers gave either a placebo or a
daily dose of 400 micrograms of chromium in the form of chromium
yeast to 57 obese, insulin-requiring type 2 patients with A1c’s
above eight percent.
Insulow is an all-natural oral supplement that, according to its manufacturer,
“addresses the root of the problem for diabetics and pre-diabetics:
the correct balance between insulin production and glucose uptake.”
Herbs, supplements and other nontraditional treatments have become increasingly popular. According to a study published in the February 2002 issue of Diabetes Care, people with diabetes are more likely to use complementary and alternative medicines than other healthy individuals. Are you tempted to try any? Here is a list of tips for you to consider before you do.
Diachrome, a patented combination of chromium picolinate and biotin, significantly lowers coronary risk factors in type 2s. According to a small study presented at an American Heart Association meeting, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB), held in May in San Francisco.
A recent study conducted as part of the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) trial found that vitamin E supplementation had no effect on cardiovascular disease, other coronary risk factors, or kidney disease in middle-aged and elderly people with diabetes.
Q: My husband is on insulin and he takes Lipitor (a statin). To help with his diabetes, he has taken vitamin E (400 I.U. daily) for several years and vitamin C (500 mg daily). A recent news report said that taking vitamin E and vitamin C with statins could do more harm than good to the heart when taken in high doses. Are these doses that my husband is taking considered high? I also read that vitamin E is very beneficial to people with diabetes. Should he stop taking vitamins E and C?
Studies are increasingly proving the benefits of keeping your after-meal BG levels down. Along with these results comes an interest among many with diabetes to help lower their glucose levels using natural substances.
Chai-Na-Ta Corporation of Langley, British Columbia, announced on September 12 that a research study using its North American Ginseng significantly reduced the blood glucose level of patients with type 2 diabetes.
"Taking a quarter to a full teaspoon a day of cinnamon, perhaps in orange juice, coffee or on oatmeal, may prevent or at least delay type 2 diabetes," say researchers at the U.S. Agricultural Research Service's nutrition labs in Beltsville, Maryland.
Approximately 21 percent of Americans who suffer from arthritis use glucosamine sulfate supplements to help ease their pain. U.S sales of glucosamine are $230 million per year, according to the Nutrition Business Journal.
Two more herbal preparations containing a blood sugar-lowering prescription drug were recalled by two California firms. The recall action came just two months after the FDA issued a warning about five other herbal products that contained blood-sugar lowering drugs.
On February 24, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned people with diabetes not to use five brands of Chinese herbal products. The FDA says that the herbs illegally contain the prescription diabetes drugs glyburide and phenformin which can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar.
Robert C. Atkins, the author of Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, has not been a stranger to controversy ever since his first book was published 20 years ago. He continues to be controversial in his advocacy of dietary supplements and minerals in his diet plan. Many doctors are leery of supplements because they have not undergone the rigorous approval process that the Food and Drug Administration puts prescription drugs through. Yet, Atkins puts as much weight on supplements as he does on prescription drugs.
If you've studied the facts, discussed them with your health care team, and concluded that one or more of these supplements will benefit you, here are some suggested daily amounts, arranged as follows:
Researchers suggest that getting less chromium than what you need may contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes over the long term. Rats given a diet low in chromium had insulin levels twice as high as a group of rats fed a diet high in chromium. The results of the study were published in the August issue of Metabolism.
The D-Care line of products now offers several herbal combination tablets specifically designed for diabetes care. All contain gymnema sylvestre, an herb often linked to improved glucose control, plus other herbs to aid in specific areas of wellness.
Lester Packer and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, presented research that demonstrates for the first time that free alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is detectable in nerves, and that its level does not depend on the route of administration, but rather on the treatment dose. The study also shows that blood levels of ALA do not reflect its concentrations in nerve or other tissues. The research was presented at the American Diabetes Association's scientific sessions in June.
How did one type 2 go from 20 units of insulin per day to none, and no blood sugar level above 185? He took Cogent DB, an Indian type 2 medication made from several herbs, which the Mayo Clinic is reported to be interested in testing.
Are you looking for an effective way to fight low blood sugars but unsure which product to take - candy, cake frosting, honey? These are all good choices. However, they contain sucrose, or white sugar, which takes a while to digest in the stomach - minutes which you might not want to waste when suffering from a low blood sugar.
Vanadium is a trace metal found in our food and in our bodies, which is known to improve insulin sensitivity. A study conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine is the first to document the benefits of vanadium in humans.
Introduction: It was a long, difficult, and confusing road that lead me to the conclusion that as a person with diabetes (type I for 45 years), I should take vitamin, mineral, and trace element (micronutrient) supplements daily. My educational background, like that of most other health care providers, did not include much clinical information about the need for micronutrients. Most of the information presented concerned biochemical effects (the effects of vitamins on the chemical reactions of cells) or deficiency states due to an unbalanced diet. I can remember my professor summarizing vitamin use by saying "the vast majority of people in the United States don't need to take daily vitamin supplements, as long as they consume well-balanced and nutritious meals each day." He also emphasized the lack of long-term clinical studies about micronutrient supplementation. My professor categorized the people who probably needed supplements as: children during growth stages, pregnant and lactating women, elderly patients, individuals with specific vitamin deficiencies, patients with chronic conditions, alcoholics, individuals under stress, and those who did not follow a well-balanced diet. I added up all the people in these categories and realized that a relatively high percentage of the total US population might need daily supplements.
Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus is associated with altered electrolyte metabolism and a derangement of the parathyroid hormone (PTH)-vitamin D endocrine system. Twenty three children with diabetes were found to have lower serum values for calcium, magnesium, PTH, calcitriol, and osteocalcin than age- and sex-matched control subjects without diabetes. After patients were given magnesium orally (6mg/kg daily) for up to 60 days, concentrations significantly increased, reaching control values.
A study of 15 Type 2 diabetic patients who controlled their diabetes through diet, were given 15 grams of guar gum per day over a 48 week period. The results of the study indicate that guar gum improved long-term glycemic control, postprandial (after meals) glucose tolerance, and lipid concentrations (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October, 1993).
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