Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Over the course of the past decade, diabetes rates have grown sharply year on year. Blood sugar control through diet is the mainstay of diabetes treatment. But this is equally relevant for prevention too, with certain foods hailed for their “anti-diabetic” effects. One natural supplement could offer promising results to those seeking to lower their blood sugar levels, helping slash concentrations by a staggering 26 percent.
Diabetes occurs when the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin ceases, letting blood sugar levels run rampant.
The risks associated with high blood sugar levels are wide-ranging and multifaceted, but some of the most feared are amputation and death.
When left unmanaged, blood sugar spreads to the different parts of the body, causing serious damage to blood vessels.
Because many of these supply the vital organs with nutrient-rich blood, it becomes increasingly difficult for the body to carry out its functions.
READ MORE: Diabetes: Can you smell that? The ‘distinctive’ body smell signalling high blood sugar
Diabetes researchers state that dietary modifications offer the best hope of curtailing one’s risk of the disease.
Certain foods are advised against at all costs, namely those consisting of simple carbohydrates or refined sugars.
Some other natural compounds, such as berberine, have potent lowering effects on blood sugar.
According to the health website Precision Nutrition, berberine is one of the few supplements that can slash blood glucose levels by 26 percent.
The website states: “Berberine’s anti-diabetic properties are well-established. In fact, berberine is every bit as powerful as a pharmaceutical drug.”
The website is one of many to liken the blood sugar-lowering effects of berberine to those seen with diabetes medication.
Berberine consists of a range of compounds found in plants, such as grapes, barberry and goldenseal.
Precision Nutrition explains: “Taking 500 mg of berberine three times per day appears to improve blood glucose control and other markers of type 2 diabetes just as well as taking 1500 mg of the diabetes drug Metformin.
“When taken together, Metformin and berberine seem to work synergistically for even better glucose control.”
The health body goes on to explain that the supplements work through multiple pathways, citing a series of trials that bear out these claims.
“[In] a series of three trials, using around one gram of berberine daily for 1-3 months in people with metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes showed that their fasting blood glucose decreased by 17-26 percent.
“What’s more, their HbA1C ( a measure of blood glucose control over time) reduced by 12 to 18 percent.
WebMD adds that berberine can help to kill bacteria, regulate how the body takes up blood sugar and reduce swelling.
What’s more, it may help strengthen the heartbeat, which could help those who suffer from certain conditions of the heart.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians advocates use of the supplement to help lower cholesterol levels too.
“For people who don’t tolerate statins, the most common type of drug for treating high cholesterol, berberine may be a safe alternative to consider,” says the health body.
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