Blog posts tagged with 'diabetes'

by Karen A. Masterson Koch

Herbs really work! Hundreds of herbs grow around the globe and each contains different amounts of food nutrition along with special medicinal compounds, called Phytonutrients (from plants). Together, these actives from the herbal plants support body wellness.

The Aloe Vera plant works as a catalyst with smart food choices and supplements — to support many important health needs including healthier blood sugar. Blood sugar, known technically as blood glucose, is required for cellular energy and fuels every body function for both kids and adults.

Highlights of Aloe Vera Support

Digestion, Energy & Detox

Allergies, Skin & Collagen Renewal

Immunity, Auto-Immunity

Glandular Function

Quality Aloe Vera products contain over 100 safe actives.* When using the entire whole leaf, not over-filtered or over-heated, and concentrated to avoid diluted products — it is the most important herb of all time. In fact, recent sales statistics place Aloe Vera as #4 of all Herbal and Superfood sales through the health food stores. Sales of Aloe are growing each year and this is due to its broad and amazing health results. Research revealing the impact of normalizing high blood sugar levels in pre-diabetics is one of the many important reasons behind the booming sales.

The Health Crisis of Diabetes

Diabetes is a world health crisis, costing billions of dollars annually and the human toll is a tragedy. Often a factor in cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer and failing health — diabetes affects one in 11 people and is considered the fifth cause of pre-mature death. Soaring statistics, of all ages has sparked important research in many countries. In fact, there are now ten definitive studies with human or mammal subjects showing with pre-diabetic or Type II Diabetes, the use of a quality Aloe Vera works to improve healthier blood sugar levels.

A.D.A Symptoms of Diabetes (high blood sugar)

Extreme Thirst, Frequent Urination, Dry Mouth, Tingling in Limbs.

Fatigue, Itchy and Dry Skin, Poor Wound Healing, Vision Changes & Moodiness.

Why does Aloe Vera work?

The Aloe Vera plant provides several key actives responsible for the results of reducing risk of diabetes. Both minerals and other core nutrients critical to life itself have tested deficient in many diabetics and also approximately 25% of Type II Diabetes is directly linked to Auto-Immune reactions making the case for following a low-gluten diet. Therefore, the research makes sense because Aloe Vera improves digestion of foods, lowers inflammation found responsible in the auto-immune cycle that may reduce natural insulin levels from the pancreas, and the high trace mineral content found in Aloe Vera may help replenish deficiencies.

Like a medicine chest in a plant, Aloe contains over 100 Actives. The nutrition content includes amino acids, vitamins, minerals (over 60), plus a variety of fatty acids. The valuable phytonutrients include Polyphenols, Polysaccharides, Saponins, Salicylic Acid, Gibberellins, Campesterol, B-Sitosterol, Lupeol & Anthraquinones (Valuable Yellow Sap) and more.

Trace Minerals are Key

A 2007 study at the Univ. of Madras, India looked at the high trace mineral content of Aloe Vera and its biological importance to health and why Aloe Vera lowers blood sugar. Thirteen minerals were found in the Aloe Vera juice in larger quantity plus an abundance of trace minerals; zinc, chromium, manganese, vanadium, iron, potassium and iodine. Research showed that each of these lend importance to diabetes risk reduction. Also, in a 1980 study, “vanadium” was found to mimic the metabolic effects of insulin in mammals and subsequent studies revealed it normalized blood glucose levels in humans with high percentages.

Improving Glucose and Lipid Profile with Aloe Vera

Research in 2015 celebrated Aloe Vera once again with human studies getting great results. The University of Cairo, in Egypt followed 218 adults, dividing them into three groups; 76 adults not receiving Aloe Vera, 76 adults taking 300 mg. of quality Aloe Vera Extract twice daily and 76 adults taking 600 mg. twice daily. The conclusion was clear that Aloe Vera extract reversed and improved high-fasting blood sugar within four weeks. It took eight weeks to show a significant drop in HbA1C levels and triglycerides down towards normal. The higher dose also brought down the negative cholesterol (LDL) and improvement was seen in building positive (HDL) cholesterol.

Most people want to feel better and reduce health costs and this is an herb that has something to offer for everyone. When using a product that is not over-processed and still containing the dark yellow sap the ancients wrote about — there are endless applications, both topically and internally, “Truly a Gift of Nature.”

Aloe Vera for the Skin

Applied on the skin, it soothes pain and supports any skin irruptions or injury, while encouraging collagen renewal, even minimizing scarring. This is great news for teens suffering the anguish of acne along with advanced diabetes sufferers with skin ulcers. A quality Whole Leaf Skin Gel makes a world of difference and be sure a breathable dressing is applied. Aloe Life Int. Inc. is the only company to have conducted a wound study with all 150 diabetic ulcers 100% resolution.

Daily Aloe Vera Juice or Tablets

Traditional use of drinking and eating the Aloe Vera plant, as written in ancient text, describes many of the same ailments of today. These first cultures used the whole plant including the yellow sap, classed as an “Herbal Bitter.” Bitter on the tongue translates to sweet on the stomach. The bitter encourages gastric juices to flow better into the stomach of Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) and bile, plus lends support to the Pancreas, which produces both Insulin and digestive enzymes. All are necessary for good absorption of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats. Research support improved digestion almost 300% with quality Aloe taken before meals and supports all digestive issues including heartburn, gas, bloating and more.

Lots of choices, yet I always suggest the Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Juice concentrate or tablets that work fast. Also, look for the ActivAloe logo for quality and a dark yellow color for a more authentic product that still retains higher valuable actives from the plant.

Healthier is Fun with Aloe Vera

Join the Healthy Bunch to feel your best — eating a variety of good foods, getting some daily exercise and using a quality Aloe Vera. The body responds to health at any age and even the American Diabetes Association supports “Healthy Lifestyle Choices” friends to control blood sugar naturally. ** Choose the best Aloe Vera for topical and internal following the guidelines and look for the delicious fruit juice flavored variety as well — great for kids both big and small — Enjoy!

* Caution: If sensitive blood sugar, ill or bowel sensitive or a child, start with one teaspoon or a capful of concentrate daily and reduce Aloe Vera amount with diarrhea.

 ** Aloe Vera is not contraindicated with medication; however, it can lower your blood glucose. Do not stop medication, but may need to alter amount after discussing with a health professional.

[article reposted with permission from developinghealthyhabits.com]

by Karen Masterson Koch

Millions of people, both young and old, are cheating themselves of a fun and productive long life because of Blood Sugar Imbalance. Blood sugar (glucose) can run both high and low. Each has similar symptoms and causes, even though different parts of the body are involved. Both control the body’s energy output and functions including the brain and emotions. Feeling good demands a balanced blood sugar. You can control it!

Balanced Blood Sugar Support

  1. Daily Healthy Nutrition
  2. Supplements (as desired)
  3. Exercise & Water

Diabetes is the disease of High Blood Sugar (HBS) and insulin resistance. It leads to poor circulation in the body that, if not addressed, impacts quality and length of life. Statistics are skyrocketing with younger diagnosis. It is the fifth leading cause of death, yet also a factor in the development of other diseases, to include: Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, kidney failure, neurological disease, traumatic amputations, and other metabolic imbalances like Metabolic X Syndrome (MXS), characterized by weight gain.

Hypoglycemia, on the other end of the spectrum, is Low Blood Sugar (LBS). Every year, thousands of emergency visits are diagnosed as Low Blood Sugar Hypoglycemia and increasing suicides are linked to LBS. Some cases are from diabetic patients who take too much medicine. However, the most common causes are alcohol and drug addiction, excess caffeine, mal-nutrition and food abuse, plus high stress.

Psychologist MD, Michael Lesser states, “Nine out of ten neurosis (mental illness) patients have Low Blood Sugar.” He has written at length about the importance of nutrition in his book, The Brain Chemistry Diet, 2002. Hypoglycemia can be a living hell. Not feeling good, inability to think, outburst of anger or aggressive behavior, crying, depression, even disorientation, are all part of the emotional roller coaster of LBS and body imbalance.

Thankfully both High and Low Blood Sugar can be brought back into a much healthier range, often without medication, by adding a few common sense steps: nutrition, supplements, exercise and daily hydration with water. Feeling good, again, is all about fueling the body with good nutrition, regardless of what ails you. Decreasing stress and increasing circulation by walking, running and movement the best you can is important. To speed the process, research supports taking some nutritional shortcuts that won’t conflict with medication and may even help to avoid them — what a bonus!

High Blood Sugar Facts

  1. The 2014 Center of Disease Control (CDC) statistics are up. One in eleven people, adults and children (10 to 20 yrs. of age), live with symptoms of pre-diabetes, or a diagnosis of Type I or Type II Diabetes. Blood Sugar Glucose levels are best in the 70 – 100 range with HbA1C below 5.7.
  2. Symptoms include fatigue, moodiness, non-quenchable thirst, frequent urination, always hungry, weight loss, blurred vision, loss of eyesight, tingling, numbness and pain in hands and feet, very dry skin, slow healing of wounds and sores, increased infections, stomach pains, nausea and potential unconsciousness (coma).
  3. Diabetes is both a deficiency and absence of the insulin hormone that is produced in the pancreas gland, designed to assist glucose into cells for energy. Secondary, insulin resistance may exist when insulin is sufficient, yet the cells need more help to absorb the glucose into the cell to create energy. Glycogen stores are also a factor.
  4. Genetics has a factor in body health, especially in Type I Diabetes, often developing at birth or in the first years of an infant’s life, requiring insulin medication. Type II was seen in older adults 40 yrs. and above, yet recent studies from the CDC show a tripling of cases from 1980 – 2009 and now effecting younger people.
  5. An autoimmune factor has also been studied in several countries called Latent Autoimmune Diabetes (LADA). This repeatable work has validated nutritional support as an important modality to lower the oxidative stress associated with inflammation to achieve immunity balance for body wellness.

Low Blood Sugar Facts

  1. Hypoglycemia involves the adrenal gland and occurs when blood sugar decreases to below normal levels of 70 – 150 glucose level. Also, check your...
  2. levels of HbA1C for HBS. Stored fat reserves called glycogen are also important and not always available when the body is requiring glucose, as in a fasting state.
  3. Symptoms include clumsiness, trouble-making, confusion, slow learning, loss of consciousness, seizures, or death. A feeling of hunger, sweating, shakiness and weakness may also be present.

Nutrition, Exercise & Water
Support Blood Sugar

American Diabetes Association trained Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, of Chicago, IL, states, “Breakfast is the most important meal of your day and is especially important for diabetics. It’s key to keep your carbs between 30 ‒ 45 grams daily with more protein foods, lean meats, eggs, fish, low fat Greek yogurt, cheddar and Swiss Chess, vegetables, nuts and seeds (raw), beans and fruits.”

Melissa continues, “Optimize digestion with smaller meals and healthier snacks. Spread your food throughout the day every few hours. Make sure to make Heart Healthy choices with lower sodium and fried foods, while increasing vegetables and fruits.” Excessive oils, as well as sugars, will cause your Blood Sugar to fluctuate more.

  1. Exercise, as tolerated, at least 30 – 45 minutes daily helps circulation to stabilize blood sugar.
  2. The Mayo clinic suggests women drink two quarts of water daily and men three quarts.

Supplement Support

Researches in multiple studies have found people living with diabetes mellitus tend to be very low in important nutrients to include antioxidants (Vitamin C and E), Phase II Enzymes (liver enzymes) and minerals. These may be sourced from vegetables, fruits or herbs. Poor digestion is another factor to consider if patients are eating a variety of good foods and still have failing health due to poor absorption.

Several trace minerals were found to play a factor in insulin metabolism, in particular, vanadium, chromium, zinc, iron, copper and manganese. A most significant human study, conducted in Mahidol Medical University of Bangkok, India, reported in 2004 by Ken Jones, PhD, NNFA, concluded that using an oral treatment of Aloe Vera (abundant in minerals) with meals, plus an increase in dietary fiber (beans or low gluten grains), resulted in 3,000 diabetic heart patients reducing blood sugar levels over 60%, with many back to normal in 14 – 60 days. A significant decline in triglycerides was also experienced (10). In 2012, published studies with Maitake SX-Fraction Mushrooms also showed favorable results in lowering blood glucose in animals and some individuals when taken with medication.

  1. Maitake SX-Fraction Mushroom
  2. Nopal Cactus
  3. Vitamin C & E
  4. GTF Chromium
  5. Cinnamon

Health begins in the kitchen. More and more people are visiting their local health food store to purchase tastier local produce and quality supplements. Give any new herb or supplement three months to judge its effectiveness, as a rule of thumb, for support.

Even though these supplements are not contra-indicated with medication, you may find they will reduce the amount of medicine you need. Ancient traditional text mentioned Aloe Vera for blood sugar and digestion and it just may put the FUN back in your daily life with Healthy Energy — Enjoy!

[article reposted with permission from developinghealthyhabits.com]

by Mark J. Kaylor

Why are we still talking about sugar? You would think that with all we know about the health costs associated with excess sugar consumption, we would all be eating less. This is not the case. While the American Heart Association recommends no more than 9.5 teaspoons a day (a figure I believe is still too high), the average American still consumes about 20 teaspoons. This adds up to 130 pounds of sugar every year with a whopping 3,550 pounds consumed over a lifetime. Sugar remains the largest source of calories in the US.

How Big is the Threat?

So how big of a concern is sugar consumption? In a recent statement, the UN Secretary General said that conditions associated with sugar and carbohydrate consumption, such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer and heart disease are a bigger threat to the entire world than infectious disease. Roughly 35 million people die each year from these diseases. And there are 30% more obese folks than there are undernourished ones. Today, about one in twenty of us suffer from diabetes. By 2030, in the US, that ratio could be as high as one in three.

While many of us think we don’t eat any sugar, it is often added to or hidden in processed foods under an assortment of names (see image on page 12). You will find sugar in breads, sauces, dressings and virtually every other processed food. We also need to beware the “healthier” sounding fructose (sounds a lot like fruit). While it does not spike your blood sugar like glucose does, due to the way it is metabolized, it creates a whole other series of health concerns.

Sugar's Evil Twin

A leading concern with the consumption of fructose is that it turns off leptin, the hormone that tells you when you are full. Excess fructose consumption is also associated with fatty liver, elevated triglycerides, increased risk for cardiovascular disease, clogged arteries and insulin resistance. By raising uric acid production, fructose may also increase one’s risk for gout, hypertension and kidney stones. In the US, about half of our sugar consumption is fructose. It is important to mention here that I’m talking the isolated concentrated fructose, as seen in high fructose corn syrup, not the naturally occurring fructose that is found in fruits.

Sugar, the Consequences

Let’s get right to it. First, there is no need to consume refined sugar. Second, there is no nutritional necessity or justification for eating it. Sugar is a pointless food; nothing but empty calories.

The number of health concerns associated with sugar consumption is too long to list here. Leading consequences include Alzheimer’s disease, negative behavior, dental issues, cardiovascular disease, aging before your time and, of course, obesity and diabetes. In fact, drinking one serving a week of a sugary beverage raises one’s risk for diabetes by 15%. Many of the health concerns associated with excess sugar consumption are related to its capacity to increase inflammation, oxidative stress (free radical damage), glycation (a process whereby sugar binds to various proteins in the body causing them to malfunction) and insulin resistance.

Sugar and Cancer

Sugar and corresponding insulin resistance are often overlooked as leading contributors to increasing one’s risk for cancer, as well as malignancy and recurrence. Studies suggest that malignant cancers are relatively rare in communities that don’t eat the high sugar, high carbohydrate Standard American Diet, a.k.a. SAD. A study published in the leading cancer journal concluded that eating refined carbohydrates and sugars dramatically increases one’s risk for breast cancer. It also found that recurrence is twice as likely if refined carbohydrates and sugar intake stays the same or increases after surgery. In general, diets that consist of a large amount of foods that are high on the glycemic index are associated with greater risk of developing cancer.

Sugar Liberation

Chromium — This mineral is essential for insulin activity. Unfortunately, it has been estimated to be deficient in up to 50% of the US population. Multiple studies confirm it improves blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity by improving the cells communications. Not surprisingly, when you consider sugar’s damaging effects on the body, chromium was able to improve lifespan in one animal study. My preferred chromium is chromium polynicotinate.

SX-Fraction — What makes this unique extraction of the Maitake mushroom so promising is that, in clinical studies, it has demonstrated effectiveness at lowering the twin culprits of high blood sugar and insulin levels. Studies have found that it can significantly lower the important measure of long term sugar levels, HbA1c. The clinical evidence suggests it works by improving insulin sensitivity. Evidence of this is seen in its cardiovascular activities, i.e. lowering cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and blood pressure while improving HDL levels. In fact, it was found even more effective than a leading pharmaceutical in a comparison study.

Glucomannan or PGX — Four to five grams of this highly viscous fiber can reduce the after meal insulin spike by ~50%. A double blind study found that when one gram was taken before meals, the individuals lost 5.5 pounds over 8 weeks. PGX is an even more viscous fiber blend. A clinical trial showed it reduced after meal blood sugar spike by 23% and after meal insulin release by 40%, while improving insulin sensitivity by over 55%. There are a number of other promising blood sugar battling allies including Green Coffee Bean, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Carnosine, Banaba Leaf, Cinnamon (water soluble extract) and Bitter Melon.

The Time to Act is Now

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s not just diagnosed high blood sugar at issue. A growing body of evidence suggests that even high normal blood sugar levels may be problematic. A study of nearly 2,000 men covering 22 years found that fasting glucose levels over 85 yielded a 40% greater risk of death and cardiovascular disease. The bottom line is that excess sugar and insulin are major contributors to many diseases and even mortality. One study found that high blood sugar levels doubled one’s all-cause mortality over 10 years. The time to act is now. Give up the sweets, move more, embrace a whole foods diet and profoundly impact your health and healing.

Since over-consumption of sugar is to a large degree a diet issue, the answer is correspondingly a diet one as well. It’s actually really simple, but not very easy for most of us. Stop eating refined sugar and carbohydrates. Focusing on a plant-based, whole foods diet will take care of this and bring with it a wide array of health and healing benefits. That’s not to say there aren’t some natural remedies that can help us keep our blood sugar under control…there are.

[article reposted with permission from developinghealthyhabits.com]