Chromium may be one of the most useful nutrients in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. The mineral is a component of a molecule in the body called glucose-tolerance factor, which is known to enhance the blood-sugar-lowering action of insulin.
But, unfortunately as powerful as chromium is chromium deficiency is all too common in the United States. In fact, one dietary survey revealed that up to 90 percent of Americans are consuming less than the so-called “minimum daily intake.” Animal studies have shown that chromium deficient diets result in high blood sugar levels.
The best food sources of chromium are…
- brewer’s yeast,
- and eggs.
However you should also consider taking a chromium supplement if your glucose-insulin tolerance test is abnormal. Unfortunately, the quantities you’ll find in most health food stores (usually 200 microgram capsules) are often too low to provide adequate prevention or treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers have shown that 200 micrograms of chromium daily is ineffective in lowering blood sugar in actual type 2 diabetes. But when levels are raised to 1,000 micrograms daily, blood sugar, serum insulin, and cholesterol levels all decrease.
Chromium supplements have also been shown to raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol. For prevention is 500 to 1,000 micrograms (1 milligram) daily, depending on your individual needs is recommended. Talk with a doctor skilled in natural medicine about checking your own levels.
Preferably, you should use one of the better absorbed forms of chromium, such as chromium aspartate, chromium polynicotinate, or chromium picolinate.
In addition, chromium supplements can reduce sugar cravings for many folks. This can come in quite handy when you begin eliminating refined sugar from your diet.
Another reason to take your B vitamins!
Niacin and niacinamide, both forms of vitamin B3, are incredibly useful in a type 2 diabetes prevention program. Niacin is another crucial component of glucose tolerance factor. Niacinamide helps protect pancreatic islet cells against the ultimate exhaustion that can be created by years of insulin overproduction. Many of the refined foods consumed by Americans are depleted of niacin.
In one study, 16 elderly individuals received either 200 mcg of chromium, 100 mg of niacin, or both, daily for 28 days. Fasting plasma-glucose levels and glucose tolerance were unaffected by either chromium or niacin alone. However, when both of the nutrients were supplemented, significant improvements were seen in both fasting blood sugar and glucose tolerance. Based on the results of this study, it appears that a small amount of niacin should be included in any supplement program designed to regulate blood sugar.
And, taking a small amount of niacin along with chromium works even better than taking chromium alone to reduce sugar cravings. Ten to 25 milligrams of niacin daily will help chromium cut sugar cravings.
Fortunately, many good multiple and B-complex vitamin combinations contain at least 15 to 25 milligrams of niacin and 50 to 100 milligrams of niacinamide, so separate supplementation of these items isn’t usually necessary. (The rest of the B-complex group is also involved in blood sugar metabolism; it’s just as well to take all the B vitamins together.)
Boost your biotin levels
Biotin helps metabolize blood sugar once it gets into the cells. Daily quantities of 9 to 16 milligrams have been shown to significantly lower elevated blood sugar levels in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In experimental animals, extra biotin reduces insulin resistance and improves glucose tolerance.
In one study, seven insulin dependent diabetics were removed from insulin therapy and treated with biotin (16 mg/day) or a placebo for one week. Fasting blood-glucose levels rose significantly in patients given the placebo, but decreased significantly in those treated with biotin.
For preventive purposes, considerably less than these “therapeutic” quantities would be necessary. One or, at most, 2 milligrams daily should be sufficient. Although biotin is found in many multivitamin formulations, quantities are usually extremely low, so you’ll probably need to take an additional biotin supplement each day. There have been no reports of overdose or of serious side effects from biotin.
Dramatically decrease blood sugar levels in 8 weeks
Coenzyme Q10 is synthesized in every cell in or bodies, but like most other things, the rates of synthesis decline as we get older. One study of 59 individuals with coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, elevated fasting blood sugar levels, and elevated fasting insulin compared the effects of 120 milligrams of coenzyme Q10 daily to the effects of a placebo.
After eight weeks, both fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin levels dropped very significantly in those taking coenzyme Q10 as compared with the placebo group. Those at risk for type 2 diabetes, should consider 30 to 60 milligrams of coenzyme Q10 daily.