Controlling Blood Sugar Using Natural Remedies

Controlling blood sugar using natural remedies, includes Q and A with leading natural health experts.

| September/October 2004

Learn about controlling blood sugar using natural remedies including American ginseng as an addition to your diet.

Read more about natural remedies for heart health: Prevent Artery Plaque Build Up Using Natural Remedies.

Controlling Blood Sugar Using Natural Remedies

I was wondering if you had any information on what herbs and natural remedies are used for glucose intolerance?
Columbus, Ohio

Keville responds: The term “glucose intolerance” means your body isn’t regulating sugar properly. Usually referred to as impaired glucose tolerance, it describes a pre-diabetic or borderline diabetic condition. The fault is usually an insufficient amount of the glucose tolerance factor (GTF), which acts with insulin to metabolize and regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. GTF also decreases LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL.

One of the best supplements to improve glucose tolerance is chromium. This trace element is a major component in GTF. Stresses on the body, such as illness, surgery and intense cold or heat, tend to increase the body’s need for chromium. Its availability also decreases with age and diabetes. Processed foods contain very little chromium, and sugary foods only increase its loss, which may be why chromium deficiency is so common in the United States.

Niacin is another essential component of GTF. Studies show it may help prevent the onset of diabetes. (Niacin sometimes disrupts blood sugar control in diabetics, so blood sugar needs to be monitored carefully.) Best results are with a form called inositol hexaniacinate. This form does not produce the flushing and stomach irritation that otherwise may be experienced. Biotin and vitamin E are other nutrients that improve the GTF and are thought to help prevent diabetes.

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