(August, 2017) Here’s a long list of foods and supplements you can try to help control blood sugar and insulin. I tried to list them in descending order, but it all depends on the person. There are genetic components, dietary influences and circumstances that make us all unique. I buy most of my stuff from iHerb.com, but you may want to go to Wellness Resources for some of this stuff. They have a great multivitamin, which contains many of these nutrients. Basically, you have to experiment to find what works. If you have a good feedback mechanism (e.g., blood test), all the better, but you’ll need ways to monitor the effectiveness of this stuff somehow. Sometimes you just feel better, and you know. Many of the antioxidants listed also protect blood vessels and tissues from oxidative stress and inflammation caused by high blood sugar and insulin. Of course, your best bet is to cut the carbs, but these nutrients will protect you no matter what you choose to do:
1) Soluble fiber – slows the rush of sugar to the blood from a meal. Includes many foods like Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root, psyllium husk, flaxmeal, etc. 30 grams or more daily is linked to longevity. PGx Daily (containing Konjac glucomannan soluble fiber and other nutrients) is a dietary supplement to be taken before a carb meal. Psyllium whole husk is available in large amounts and at good value from most health food stores. We grind our flax seeds, freeze it, and take a TBS daily mixed in with food.
2) B complex – especially B1 (reduces inflammation; protects kidneys), B6 (reduces glycation and keeps sugar down in cells), B12 (counteracts Metformin side effects; reduces peripheral neuropathy), biotin (helps reduce blood sugar and insulin) and lecithin (improves blood lipids). I recommend Super Coenzyme B-complex from Wellness Resources, which is much more bioactive than the cheap synthetic stuff normally found in vitamins. I take one of these first thing in the morning with a vitamin C complex, since these water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and are depleted overnight. I then take this company’s Daily Energy multiple vitamin with my evening meal (they recommend two per day, but I take only one, because I already take the B-complex and other stuff, and I eat well).
3) Chromium picolinate – keeps blood sugar and insulin from spiking in 2 of 3 subjects tested. Take 200-1000 µg/day. Often found in multivitamins.
4) Magnesium taurate – double whammy of important blood sugar mineral (magnesium) and taurine, which makes insulin work better. 250 mg. I take two of the Cardiovascular Research supplement. This will also help you sleep better and relieve constipation.
5) R-alpha Lipoic Acid – a powerful antioxidant that’s involved in sugar metabolism. Reduces neuropathy. (100 mg from Wellness Resources). We take it when we eat fish to prevent damage from mercury and other toxins.
6) Sulforaphane – active anti-cancer ingredient in broccoli. Can drastically improve blood sugar. Available in pill form. Very high in broccoli sprouts. Eat a radish or cole slaw with cooked broccoli to restore sulforaphane activity.
7) Cinnamon – reduces HbA1c, triglycerides, insulin resistance & oxidative stress. Some types have more of the active ingredient than others. It’s the water-soluble part that is effective, so don’t eat the residue (which is a bit toxic). I put some in my green tea (which reduces metabolic dysfunction) every morning. NewChapter has an extract called Cinnamon Force.
8) Green Coffee Bean Extract – most plentiful antioxidant in US diet and important carb blocker. Can be used in weight loss regimen. 200 mg before carb meals. I bought mine from Healthy Origins.
9) Green tea and extract (EGCG) – Helps lower blood sugar by enhancing insulin sensitivity, regulating blood sugar production and decreasing fasting blood sugar levels.
10) Zinc – helps produce insulin and protects pancreatic beta cells. 25 mg/day. Contained in multivitamin. Also protects against mercury poisoning.
11) Vitamin D3 – improves pancreatic function. Reduces blood sugar. Anti-inflammatory. If you’re low, take 5000 IU daily with fatty meals. 10,000 IU is the upper limit for safety. Get out in the sun often.
12) Fisetin – antioxidant in strawberries that boosts carb metabolism. Improves liver fitness. Prevents diabetic complications. Suppresses blood glucose. Available in supplement form.
13) Pterostilbene – antioxidant from blueberries that supports pancreas and helps balance blood sugar. Powerful anti-aging nutrient.
14) Carnosine – antioxidant and pH buffer. Inhibits glycation (HbA1c), which contributes to aging. Protects muscle cell membranes from oxidation during and after exercise. Life Extension has a product called Super Carnosine with several supporting nutrients. 500 mg.
15) Apple Cider Vinegar – reduces blood sugar, triglycerides. Improves insulin resistance. 1-2 TBS daily, or in salad dressing.
16) Asparagus – boosts insulin production; highly alkaline-forming.
17) Fish oil – anti-inflammatory. Source of omega-3s (EPA & DHA). Protects tissues from damage. Increases blood flow. 1-2 grams of pharmaceutical grade/day, or krill oil.
18) Chamomile tea – reduces glycation. Improves HbA1c. Contains luteolin, an anti-inflammatory compound (as does celery and citrus).
19) Coconut oil – protects against insulin resistance and fat gain. Best oil for frying vs. inflammatory, refined vegetable oil. Drizzle EV Olive Oil on salads & veggies.
20) Olive Leaf Extract – improves insulin sensitivity and pancreatic cell responsiveness.
21) Carnitine – treats acid buildup (ketoacidosis). Helps body burn fat.
22) Grape seed Extract – another powerful antioxidant. Improves blood lipids. Strengthens capillaries. Protects against bruising.
23) Garcinia cambogia – another carb blocker. I have the California Gold Nutrition brand, 500 mg, which also contains some calcium.
That’s a lot of info. Some folks try to do it all at once, and others do it scientifically, one at a time, to assess the effects. Just keep playing around and you’ll notice the difference.