November is American Diabetes Month. The CDC’s National Diabetes Statistics Report estimates that 9.3% of the U.S. population 20 years or older, or 29.1 million people, have diabetes. Those under 20 years old with diabetes number about 208,000. For all of these individuals, monitoring blood glucose is an important daily concern — and should be a priority for all of us.
The Glucose – Insulin Balance
Normally when you eat, some of your food is broken down into sugars in the stomach. One of these sugars is glucose, your body’s main source of energy. From there, glucose enters the blood stream, raising the blood sugar level, which the body detects and sends a signal to the pancreas to produce the hormone insulin. The pancreas sends insulin into the bloodstream, where it acts as a key to unlocking paths for the glucose to enter cells. The cells then use the glucose for their energy needs.
When this system is defective, glucose builds up in the bloodstream because it cannot enter the cells without insulin being taken up. Without fuel for the cells, the body becomes weak. We experience this symptom sometimes when we wait too long to eat because there isn’t enough glucose in the bloodstream. With diabetes there is plenty of glucose; it’s just not able to get into the cells.
About 90-95% of adults with diabetes suffer from type 2 diabetes. It begins with insulin resistance, where cells (mostly in the muscles, liver and fatty tissue) fail to take up insulin properly. As a result, they signal a greater need for insulin, overworking cells in the pancreas until they are unable to produce a sufficient amount. The specific imbalance of the disorder varies in each individual — some individuals’ type 2 diabetes comes primarily from insulin resistance (cells not taking up insulin), while others’ comes mostly from a defect in insulin secretion.
Genes play a significant role. If a close relative has had diabetes, you are at greater risk of also developing insulin resistance and diabetes. Also, age increases our risk (type 2 diabetes is now being seen in children as well, though not at such a high rate as adults). Lifestyle choices also contribute to the disease. Insulin resistance is often seen together with a group of conditions known as the metabolic syndrome – abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Researchers recently discovered a new lipid that could help in diabetes prevention by improving blood sugar management. These ‘good fats’ are called fatty acid hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFAs) and are produced and broken down in our bodies. Studies showed humans in the early stages of diabetes had low levels of FAHFAs, but diabetes-resistant mice had high levels of FAHFAs. The researchers also found that when the mice ate FAHFAs, their blood sugar levels dropped and their insulin levels rose. When blood sugar levels rose, the FAHFAs stimulated hormone secretion that signaled the pancreas to secrete more insulin and directly stimulated sugar uptake into the cells. These therapeutic effects still need to be tested in humans. These lipids have also been found to reduce inflammation in fat tissue and throughout the body.
Reliv’s Metabolic Dynamic Duo
Test subjects recorded a lessening in weight gain and a 65% reduction in free fatty acid (FFA) levels, a biomarker associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. While previous experiments had demonstrated LunaRich X’s ability to lower LDL cholesterol, FFA levels remained relatively unchanged with LunaRich X supplementation alone. Only when combined with Reliv Now did researchers see a significant reduction in FFA levels.
The decrease in FFA levels was accompanied by coordinate increases in plasma levels of the hormones leptin (+64%) and adiponectin (+60%). Leptin signals the brain when the body had enough food, producing the feeling of fullness. Adiponectin (ADP) is a hormone from fat cells that controls energy metabolism, increases insulin sensitivity and supports weight loss. The two hormones perform complementary actions and can have additive effects on weight management. View the study.
Take Steps Now
As usual with health risks, prevention is the best route. The more we learn about insulin resistance, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, the more solutions we can discover.
A Note from Dr. Carl: Supporting healthy blood sugar levels, one can at a time
Diabetes is a serious health concern in our country and around the world. Those suffering from diabetes and metabolic syndrome need all the support they can get. Here at Reliv, we’ve developed a product specifically for supporting healthy blood sugar levels: patented GlucAffect® with LunaRich®.
In an 8-week placebo-controlled clinical study, four servings of GlucAffect lowered the fasting glucose levels of overweight individuals by 30%. Plus, these individuals were able to lose an average of 16 lbs. in those 8 weeks. Losing weight can be a tremendous help in the fight against diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
With GlucAffect and the combination of Reliv Now and LunaRich X, Reliv is leading the way in delivering cutting-edge nutritional solutions for the metabolic health challenges we face today.
To your health,
Dr. Carl W. Hastings
Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer
This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. Reliv products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
- National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014 http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/statsreport14/national-diabetes-report-web.pdf
- MedicineNet – Insulin Resistance http://www.medicinenet.com/insulin_resistance/page2.htm#what_causes_insulin_resistance
- Lilly Diabetes www.lillydiabetes.com
- Discovery of a Class of Endogenous Mammalian Lipids with Anti-Diabetic and Anti-inflammatory Effects http://www.cell.com/cell/abstract/S0092-8674(14)01223-9