Nutrients for Correcting Imbalance

Doing Atkins is a crucial first step to dealing with glucose/insulin disorders, ranging from unstable blood sugar to full-blown diabetes. There are also many supplements that can assist. First and foremost is chromium, which is an essential part of the glucose-tolerance factor (GTF). This compound has such a profound effect on correcting sugar metabolism that I consider it essential for anyone who is overweight. Chromium (both chromium picolinate and chromium polynicotinate are effective forms for the assimiliation of this mineral) has an added benefit: It helps lower total cholesterol levels and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. The effective dose range of chromium is 200 to 1,000 mcg per day.

The second most important nutrient for individuals with blood-sugarfinsulin imbalances is vanadium. Most research, done with vanadyl sulfate, has shown benefits in combating both insulin resistance and lack of insulin. A typical dose range of vanadyl sulfate is 30 to 60 mg daily. Vanadyl is one of the very few nutrients that may place stress on the kidneys, so I always recommend that kidney function be monitored when using it.

The third most important mineral for blood-sugar disturbances is zinc. Other minerals probably advantageous for diabetics include magnesium, manganese and selenium.

Vitamins, especially vitamin C and the B complex group, are also important for diabetics and should be a liberal part of the nutritional supplement plan. Other promising nutrients are Co-enzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid and the essential fatty acids GLA and EPA (fish oil). To learn more about these and other diabetic control supplements, you may refer to Dr Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution.

As for the pharmaceutical approach, I have long opposed the unrestricted use of drugs such as insulin and the insulin-mimicking sulfonylurea type of oral anti-diabetes medications. Since the majority of Type II diabetics produce too much insulin, those drugs simply make matters worse. It is necessary to gradually lower the insulin-like medication dosage beginning the day carbohydrate intake is lowered to prevent abnormally low blood sugar so as to avoid a possible overdosage of the drug.

One currently available drug, however, has special merit, for it works to overcome insulin resistance, and to the extent that it's successful, lowers both blood-sugar and insulin levels. This is metformin, a pharmaceutical that also has positive effects for weight loss and can improve blood-lipid levels. If you have diabetes, you may want your doctor to consider it.

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