5 Nutrients that Can Stop the Diabetes-Heart Disease Epidemic

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Filed Under: Diabetes, Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

5 Nutrients that Can Stop the Diabetes-Heart Disease Epidemic

Did you know that based on current trends, over half of our population is predicted to be diabetic or pre-diabetic by the year 2020? That’s downright scary! Plus, as I mentioned last week, there’s a powerful connection between diabetes and heart disease. 

So if the predictions pan out, not only will we have millions more people with diabetes, we’ll have even more heart issues to contend with. These types of statistics are music to Big Pharma’s ears—to them it means billions of new dollars in diabetes and heart drug sales. But we can stop this train wreck before it happens.

Among your most powerful weapons against both high blood sugar and heart disease are regular exercise and the right nutritional supplements. And folks, we have nutrients whose benefits can run rings around prescription drugs—and that’s without the high price tag or harmful side effects.

Here are 5 of my top nutrient picks to help lower blood sugar and improve heart health:

  1. Alpha lipoic acid. This critical heart-protective antioxidant improves insulin sensitivity, lowers blood sugar, and reduces symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Take 400 mg of ALA per day, 600 mg if you have diabetes, in divided doses half an hour to an hour before eating for optimal absorption. 
  2. Krill oil. While I recommend fish oil as great source of omega-3 fatty acids, research suggests krill oil is especially beneficial if you’re struggling with diabetes. It’s been shown to lower levels of C-reactive protein (a biomarker linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease) and a recent study suggests it lowers high cholesterol and blood sugar. The suggested dose is 300–500 mg of krill oil daily. 
  3. Magnesium.This critical mineral lowers blood pressure by relaxing the smooth muscle tissues that dilate the arteries. Plus, a study found that every 100 mg increase in daily magnesium decreased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 15%. The suggested dose of oral magnesium is 400–1,000 mg daily (build up gradually to avoid a laxative effect). 
  4. Chromium. This trace mineral helps promote insulin sensitivity by increasing the number of binding sites on cells for insulin. This allows for better transport of glucose into cells for energy, which helps to promote healthy blood sugar levels. Chromium also supports normal protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism. I recommend 200 mcg of chromium daily. 
  5. Vanadium. Studies show that vanadium (as vanadyl sulfate) has an insulin-like effect in the body and helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. I’ve used it in thousands of patients with remarkable success and absolutely no adverse reactions except for slight gastrointestinal distress and harmless darkening of stool color in some individuals. The suggested dose is 100 mg of vanadyl sulfate daily.

Now it’s your turn: Which of these nutrients do you take?

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