Tag Archives: Chromium (Picolinate) 500 mcg by Pure Encapsulations

Sugar Consumption and Cognitive Health

SugarCognitiveHealthJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

While an occasional sweet treat is a pleasurable experience, daily overindulgence of added sugar is a major contributor to poor dental heath, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, many health professionals view sugars as toxic to cognitive health and function. Scientists now refer to Alzheimer’s disease as “diabetes of the brain” or type 3 diabetes. Glucose, a form of sugar, is the primary fuel source for our energy-demanding brains. This may lead one to wonder how a simple carbohydrate necessary for brain function can wreak havoc on mental, physical and psychological wellbeing. However, supplying the brain with energy is a delicate balancing act that doesn’t require the consumption of added sugars.

Proper glucose levels and efficient use of this energy source are closely linked to valuable brain functions such as thinking, memory and learning. Low glucose levels are linked to decreased production of neurochemicals, as well as poor cognitive function. High glucose levels are linked to memory problems and cognitive deficiencies. Science shows that our bodies don’t need added sugar for proper function, as sophisticated bodily functions break down complex carbohydrates into the simple sugars essential for cell and organ functioning. A whole food largely plant-based diet replete with vitamins, minerals, omega-3’s, fiber, good quality proteins, and healthy fats, provides sufficient brain fuel and supports overall health.

We know that type 2 diabetes accelerates brain aging, and that high glucose levels can negatively affect the brain’s functional connectivity, accelerating the progression of functional decline. Long term type 1 and type 2 diabetes can cause brain atrophy, and can lead to small vessel disease, resulting in cognitive difficulties and hastening the development of vascular dementia. An observational study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that higher blood glucose levels are associated with a greater risk of dementia, even among those not diagnosed with diabetes. The seven-year study, which adjusted data for cardiovascular factors already linked to dementia, such as high blood pressure and smoking, found that over the course of the study, approximately 25 percent of participants developed Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia.

The results showed a direct correlation between higher blood sugar levels and increased dementia risk, providing more evidence that the brain is a target for damage by high blood sugar. The typical American diet, high in refined carbohydrates, added sugars and industrial food toxins, is linked to inflammation, a major driver of chronic disease. Neuroinflammation is believed to be a cause of depression and other mental health disorders. Per board certified women’s holistic health psychiatrist, Kelly Brogan, MD., “Sugar has direct inflammatory effects on the body that may be related to its influence on gut microflora, its associated insulin spike or the glycation effects of circulating sugar on proteins. The more days of your life you engage in a pattern of sugar and refined carb consumption, the more your brain suffers, potentially putting you at risk for Alzheimer’s dementia down the line.”

Brain neurons are very sensitive cells and those with diabetes and high blood sugar are at risk of neuronal damage. Data shows that type 2 diabetes causes brain insulin resistance, oxidative stress and cognitive impairment. Persuasive evidence supports the hypothesis that Alzheimer’s represents a form of diabetes that selectively afflicts the brain. Although type 2 diabetes itself may not cause Alzheimer’s, it may serve as a cofactor in its pathogenesis or progression. Additionally, the strong link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease is seen to support the claim that sugar toxicity may be destroying mental health. While correlated with mild cognitive impairment in seniors, high sugar consumption has negative effects on children’s cognitive function as well.

While there are no simple answers, common sense actions that promote health throughout life may help to avoid or delay cognitive decline. There’s no single medication or action that has been found to preserve brain health. Currently, a mixed approach of healthy lifestyle choices is recommended to help maintain brain resiliency and function. Factors that play a role in supporting cognitive and overall health include controlling blood sugar and hypertension, maintaining a healthy diet and weight, engaging in regular physical and cognitively stimulating activities, and avoiding smoking and social isolation. Making a broad overall effort to reduce sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption, as well as a commitment to a healthier lifestyle is good advice for supporting cardiac, brain and overall health. Don’t delay, start today.

Professional Supplement Center carries many high quality products to support overall heath and healthy glucose levels:

Vanadium Complex...Vanadium Complex with Cinnulin PF® by Progressive™ Laboratories: This scientifically designed complex provides nutritional support for glucose metabolism, normal blood sugar levels, and pancreatic health, as well as insulin production and sensitivity. Natural ingredients help to manage sugar and carbohydrate cravings.  

 

Sweet Defense™Sweet Defense™ by Enzymatic Therapy®: This vitamin, mineral, botanical and glandular product provides nutrients for blood glucose, carbohydrate and energy metabolism. Sweet Defense™ may help with weight management by helping to reduce sugar cravings. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, yeast, preservative and artificial ingredient free.

 

Chromium (picolinate...Chromium Picolinate 500 mcg by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic supplement provides a highly usable form of chromium essential for proper glucose and lipid metabolism. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Glyco StressGlyco Stress by Biospec Nutritionals: This unique formula provides vitamins, minerals, and botanicals to nutritionally support the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, as well as promote healthy glucose levels.

 

Glucose Support...Glucose Support Formula by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic complex contains highly recognized ingredients that provide specific support for optimal pancreatic function, as well as   healthy glucose and fat metabolism. Ingredients include traditional botanicals, adaptogens, chromium and maitake medicinal mushroom. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

References:
Sugar and the Brain. http://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/sugar-and-brain
High Blood Sugar Linked to Dementia. https://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/09/high-blood-sugar-linked-to-dementia/
Dietary Sugar and Mental Illness: A Surprising Link. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-depression-cure/200907/dietary-sugar-and-mental-illness-surprising-link
Alzheimer’s Disease is Type 3 Diabetes-Evidence Reviewed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769828/

 

Are You Insulin Resistant?

InsulinJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

 

Insulin resistance, also known as pre-diabetes, has now become a pervasive health concern. It is estimated that over 80 million Americans may have insulin resistance, largely the result of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. The human body regulates blood glucose levels to maintain the stability and balance that is necessary for bodily processes, including vital brain, liver and kidney function. Insulin resistance generally occurs with no noticeable symptoms, but it can silently damage your blood vessels, raise your risk of heart disease and stroke, and very often precedes the development of type 2 diabetes. Some may want to consider learning their own blood sugar levels in order to pre-empt a problem or take control of their health.

The pancreas plays an essential role in converting the food we eat into fuel for the cells by producing key digestive enzymes that aid in digesting fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Foods we consume are converted into sugar molecules or glucose, which circulate in the blood stream until taken up by muscle or fat cells to be stored and used for energy. Additionally, the pancreas secretes very important hormones including insulin, which acts to lower blood sugar, and glucagon, which acts to raise blood sugar. Insulin binds with insulin receptors within the cells, which then activate a series of enzymes to allow glucose transport into the cells. With insulin resistance, your body produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively, resulting in poor glucose absorption by the cells and a rise in blood glucose levels.

When cells do not respond properly to insulin, the demand for insulin increases, which results in higher insulin secretion to maintain normal glucose and lipid homeostasis. As the volume and frequency of insulin release causes receptor cells to become less sensitive, the resistance of cells to take in glucose continues to increase over time. When the pancreas can produce enough insulin to meet the increased demand, blood glucose levels might stay in the normal healthy range. Eventually however, the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to meet the demand. Without sufficient insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells and remains in the blood stream, steadily rising and increasing the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

Insulin resistance plays a major role in the development of metabolic syndrome, which may include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Insulin resistance can also be linked to fatty liver, type 2 diabetes and arteriosclerosis. You are more likely to develop insulin resistance if:

  • You are overweight or obese
  • Are physically inactive
  • Are over 40 years of age
  • Have poor nutrition
  • Have a close family member who has diabetes
  • Have had gestational diabetes
  • Have a history of metabolic syndrome or polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Have certain hereditary factors that may negatively affect insulin receptors, glucose transporters or signaling proteins

If you are diagnosed with insulin resistance, consider it a warning. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can improve, reverse or prevent the onset and progression of insulin resistance.   Altering the diet by reducing or eliminating refined carbohydrates and added sugars can improve the cells’ sensitivity to insulin and decrease the amount of insulin released by the pancreas.   Additionally, weight loss and aerobic activity can increase the rate of glucose uptake by the muscle cells. Losing weight and exercising regularly are two of the best ways to improve and maintain your health. Improving your insulin sensitivity gives you more control over your current and future health by reducing the risks of developing chronic but largely preventable age related diseases.

Fasting blood sugar levels under 100 mg/dL are considered normal. Levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL may indicate pre-diabetes, and levels 126 mg/dL or above are diagnostic for type 2 diabetes.

Products that aid in blood sugar balance include:

Berberine-500 (SF800)
 
Berberine-500 (SF800) by Thorne Research – This versatile botanical compound contains 1 g of berberine extract per serving in support of glucose metabolism, healthy lipid levels, insulin sensitivity and cardiac support plus additional health benefits. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.
 
Chromium (picolinate) 500 mcg
 
Chromium (Picolinate) 500 mcg by Pure Encapsulations – This highly bioavailable form of chromium promotes healthy glucose and lipid metabolism and may aid in reducing the risk of insulin resistance. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.
 
 
Ultra Glucose Control Starter Kit ChocolateUltra Glucose Control by Metagenics – Formulated for the nutritional management of sustained glucose and insulin responses, this product delivers a ratio-balanced combination of slow-release complex carbohydrates, high quality pea and rice proteins, monounsaturated fats and branch chain amino acids. Non-GMO formula. Available in Chocolate and Vanilla flavors.
 
 
Lipoic Acid Supreme
 
Lipoic Acid Supreme by Designs for Health – This product contains biotin, taurine and alpha lipoic acid in support of blood sugar and insulin balance. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.
 
 
 
 
References:
Insulin Resistance.  http://www.emedicinehealth.com/insulin_resistance/article_em.htm
The Pancreas and Its Functions.  http://pancreasmd.org/education_home.html
What is Insulin Resistance.  http://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/insulin-resistance-symptoms#Overview1
Insulin Resistance Syndrome.  http://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0315/p1159.html
Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes.  http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/insulinresistance/