Surprising Connection Between Insulin and Hypertension

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

Taiwanese researchers looked at more than 87,000 patients with type 2 diabetes who were treated with either oral drugs or insulin, and what they discovered may shock you.

They found that patients using insulin had a higher prevalence of hypertension (61.3 versus 53.9 percent), and the longer they used it, the greater their risk.

This is not surprising when you consider insulin’s activities beyond nutrient storage. Injected insulin increases sodium retention and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. It induces oxidative stress, leading to free-radical damage that impairs the function of the endothelial cells lining the arteries. It also has growth factor–like activity that thickens blood vessels and increases risk of atherosclerosis.

Since people living with diabetes are already at dramatically increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, the last thing they need is a treatment that amplifies this risk.

Instead, opt for alternative treatments for diabetes, including nutritional supplements and diet modifications. These more natural options have been very successful in lowering blood sugar and preventing complications.

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