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Baby boomers and diabetesNature’s Pharmacy
“Nutritional supplements may help reverse deficiencies that have developed as a result of diabetes, protect your body from diabetes-related damage, improve your metabolism so you have more energy, and help stabilize blood sugar.” Dr. Rebecca Winsome, Naturopathic Doctor Time-honored herbal therapies have gained new respect as the public has come to recognize the value of plant-based supplements as safe, natural and effective agents for a variety of health challenges. Alternative medicine is gaining a foothold with at least 75 medical schools- among them Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Tufts and Stanford- now offering courses in alternative therapies.
The Herbal Medicine Cabinet
#1 Fenugreek – Ancient Spice and Potent Weapon Against Diabetes
Fenugreek appears to work by slowing the rapid absorption of sugars and improving the utilization of sugar once it is absorbed. The active ingredient in Fenugreek is a special soluble fiber along with the alkaloid, trigonelline. Researchers reported that Fenugreek in the diet significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and improved glucose intolerance. This finding indicates a marked improvement in insulin sensitivity.
#2 Cinnamon Extracts Tame Insulin Resistance
More than a decade ago, scientific studies found that compounds in Cinnamon made fat cel s much more responsive to insulin, the hormone that regulates sugar metabolism and thus controls the level of glucose in the blood. Researchers found that the study volunteers who were randomly assigned to receive Cinnamon Extract had fasting glucose
#3 - Bitter Melon Tames Blood Sugar Ups and Downs
A frustrating challenge of control ing diabetes is managing the daily ups and downs to keep blood sugar on an even keel. Bitter Melon, also known as Momordica Charantia, is common in Asia and has long been used as a way to normalize blood sugar levels. The blood sugar-lowering action of the juice or an extract of Bitter Melon has been clearly established in several studies. Bitter Melon has several compounds with confirmed antidiabetic properties and strong glucose-regulating effects.
#4 - Gymnema Sylvestre – Cornerstone of Herbal Diabetic Treatment
Gymnema Sylvestre is perhaps the most powerful herbal agent for improving blood sugar control. “One of the cornerstones of herbal treatment is Gymnema Sylvestre, an Indian herb,” says Dr. Rebecca Winsome. Human studies have demonstrated that Gymnema Sylvestre has therapeutic value for both type 1 and 2 diabetes. It does not cause low blood sugar and does not affect people whose blood sugar is normal.
#5 – Vanadyl Sulfate Combats Insulin Resistance
Vanadyl sulfate is the biologically active form of vanadium, a trace mineral that mimics the action of the hormone insulin. Studies show that vanadyl is very effective in normalizing blood sugar levels and control ing conditions such as insulin resistance.
#6 – Bilberry – Protect and Defend Against Health Complications
Bilberry is widely used as a possible preventive treatment for complications of diabetes. This extract affects many health problems-not the least of which is blood sugar imbalances. Bilberry also improves night vision, strengthens capillaries, reduces blood clotting, and has antioxidant action. Research, done mostly in Italy, has also uncovered bilberry's potential for treating retinal problems from poor blood circulation, diabetes- The modern diet high in sugars and refined carbohydrates is also virtually devoid of antioxidants, other types of vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients.” These nutrients play pivotal roles in properly metabolizing all carbohydrates. Restoring these nutrients can play a major role in control ing glucose and insulin levels and in slowing and reversing the disease process. Indeed, many studies have shown that the addition of these nutrients can often normalize glucose function in diabetics.” 1 Burton Berkson, M.D. Diabetic Strategy
Herbs can't cure diabetes, but a number of them may provide alternative therapy when used in conjunction with diet, exercise and medication.
Consult your health professional for guidance in using nutritional and herbal
supplements to help manage your diabetes.
1. Syndrome X: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Insulin Resistance
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