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Tag: alpha lipoic acid
As we age our brain function starts to decline but the MIND diet and supplements can help to enhance that. So read more about it now!
Written by Melissa Bistricer, MS, RDN
For further questions or concerns email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The average American is consuming an average of about 17 teaspoons of sugar per day, which approximately adds up to 60 pounds of added sugar yearly. To put that into perspective for you that is about 6, 10-pound bowling balls!†
So How Does Blood Sugar Affect Our Bodies?
Sugar can damage our joints, bones, skin, eyes, and almost every part of our bodies. Too much sugar in the body can lead to hyperglycemia when the body is overloaded with sugar in the blood and the body lacks enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is made by the pancreas and helps to control the amount of sugar in the bloodstream and move it into the cells for energy. Hyperglycemia is commonly seen with disease states such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Although medications like steroids, being inactive, consuming excessive carbohydrates, or not getting enough insulin can lead to hyperglycemia. Not taking care of high blood sugars can lead to long term and short term damages. The long term effects can include macrovascular (large) and microvascular (small) blood vessels. This can further lead to a heart attack, stroke, or problems with kidneys, eyes, gums, feet, or nerves. Routinely we want to measure the average blood sugar levels in the blood within the past 3 months called the Hemoglobin A1C value. The hemoglobin A1C level commonly is used to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes to help manage prediabetes or diabetes.†
Nutrients, herbs and protein are beneficial to helping keep blood sugar levels balanced and limit sugar cravings. The foods we eat today will affect us hours, weeks, days, years later. We have the ability to change our lifestyles to limit the chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes or metabolic syndrome through diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications!†
Medical Nutrition Therapy For Blood Sugar
Carbohydrates which turn into glucose are our main source of energy and we need it for our brains to function properly. Different types of carbohydrates will have a different effect on the body. We have two types of carbohydrates which are simple to understand: complex and simple carbohydrates.†
Complex carbohydrates have long chains of sugar molecules that take longer to break down providing longer lasting energy to the body. The body has the ability to break glucose down slower because the body has to first break down the fiber in complex carbs to access the energy. Simple carbohydrates have shorter chain sugar molecules which break down faster into the body for energy causing a spike in our blood sugars. This initial spike is sometimes referred to as a “sugar rush” from sugary foods such as a chocolate bar or a can of Coca Cola. The function of the carbohydrate is to provide our bodies with energy, where complex carbohydrates do this more effectively.†
Let’s consider the types of food containing carbohydrates as complex and simple can be important for a healthy balanced overall diet. Sugar comes in many forms and is generally hidden in packaged foods. It is important to be aware of this and shop smarter not harder.†
So Which Is Better: Complex Carbohydrates or Simple Carbohydrates?
There is no right or wrong answer here as simple carbohydrates are presented in beneficial foods in our diets such as fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products. Foods we may want to limit or avoid from our diet are candies, sugary beverages, syrups, table sugar, fruit juice concentrates, processed foods with added sugar, such as baked goods or some cereals. Complex carbohydrates like white flour, white bread or cornmeal are missing the bran and germ resulting in lower fiber content having a lower nutritional value than whole grain foods. High complex carbohydrates that may help reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes are brown rice, barley, oats, spelt, legumes, vegetables, and nuts.†
We learn that it is important to look at the whole food rather than the type of carbohydrate as complex and simple carbs both have beneficial foods to consume when looking to reduce the risk of a high blood sugar spike in the bloodstream.†
Vitamins, Minerals & Herbs
While we know that there is nothing like replacing a balanced diet rich in whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and unrefined/unprocessed foods there are several studies to show supplements supporting healthy blood sugar balance, aiding insulin production, and working to reduce insulin resistance.†
–Chromium has been shown to aid in the regulation of insulin action and its effect on carbohydrates, protein, and lipid metabolism. Chromium picolinate has been studied to help with insulin resistance and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.† 1
–Gymnema Sylvestre shows that the nutrient may have therapeutic uses specifically on blood glucose-lowering potentials. Gymnemic acid has been shown to prevent the absorption of sugar molecules by the intestine, leading to a reduction in blood sugar levels.†2
–Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a powerful antioxidant that plays a role in supporting healthy blood sugar levels. ALA has the ability to help diabetics with peripheral neuropathy in pain due to free radicals being killed off. †3
–Cinnamon Bark Extract has been recently studied to assess if the consumption has an effect on fasting blood glucose, HgbA1c, and body mass index (BMI). The results indicated in national and international literature that cinnamon has an impact on reducing blood glucose levels in healthy individuals.†4
–Banaba Leaf extract comes from a native planet in the Philippines and Southeast Asia and has been researched to have an impact on anti-diabetic and anti-obesity factors. Corosolic acid in the Banaba extract has shown beneficial properties in various factors involving glucose regulation and metabolism. This includes cellular uptake of glucose, improved insulin sensitivity, and decreased gluconeogenesis, therefore lowering blood glucose levels.†5
The Blood Sugar Health Program has these nutrients within to unique formulas called Gluco HxⓇ and C-Betics HxⓇ. They are comprehensive supplements to help to support healthy blood sugar levels in conjunction with a healthy balanced diet.†
For further questions or concerns related to dietary and nutritional supplement recommendations email me at email@example.com
- A scientific review: the role of chromium in insulin resistance. Diabetes Educ. 2004;Suppl:2-14. PMID: 15208835.
- Khan, F., Sarker, M., Ming, L., Mohamed, I., Zhao, C., Sheikh, B., Tsong, H. and Rashid, M., 2022. Comprehensive Review on Phytochemicals, Pharmacological and Clinical Potentials of Gymnema sylvestre. [online] frontiers in pharmacology. Available at: <https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.01223/full> [Accessed 22 March 2022].
- Mount Sinai Health System. 2022. Alpha-lipoic acid Information | Mount Sinai – New York. [online] Available at: <https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/alpha-lipoic-acid#:~:text=Several%20studies%20suggest%20alpha%2Dlipoic,and%20legs%20from%20nerve%20damage.> [Accessed 9 June 2022].
- Nildem Kizilaslan, Nihal Zekiye Erdem, “The Effect of Different Amounts of Cinnamon Consumption on Blood Glucose in Healthy Adult Individuals”, International Journal of Food Science, vol. 2019, Article ID 4138534, 9 pages, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/4138534
- Miura T, Takagi S, Ishida T. Management of Diabetes and Its Complications with Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa L.) and Corosolic Acid. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:871495. doi:10.1155/2012/871495
More than 20% of Americans deal with fatigue. The good news is that there are nutrients that can help!
Don’t wait until something is wrong to pay attention to your blood sugar levels and kidney health. Learn about the nutrients you need to help keep them both in balance.
Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.
What Is Brain Fog? – InViteⓇ Health Podcast, Episode 517
Hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed healthcare professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that InViteⓇ Health has to offer at www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code PODCAST at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started!
Amanda Williams, MPH:
[00:00:40] When it comes to brain health, we all want to try and do everything that we can in terms of making sure our brains last a lifetime for us, right? But many folks experienced something known as brain fog, and I want to talk about brain fog in some detail today and some nutrients that can be beneficial when it comes to the issues that arise with brain fog. So I’m Amanda Williams, MD, MPH, and brain fog in general. When we just hear that term, like, “I just feel like cloudy in the head.” And oftentimes people feel like this after they’ve been sick or while you’re sick. So you get the flu and you just feel like, ugh, your head feels kind of stuffy and you feel like you just can’t focus. What we recognize brain fog to be is a general decrease in mental energy and focus. Now, who wants to have that? Who wants to feel mentally fatigued and feel like you can’t focus? Not too many folks out there. So we oftentimes just kind of put it into this reference of like a fog. And if you’ve ever had a drive in fog before, you know that that’s not a fun experience. So this clouding that can lead to forgetfulness or just kind of feel fuzzy and maybe a little confused, or maybe you’re trying to do a task and you’re having a difficult time concentrating with this. This can be incredibly annoying.† [00:02:03]
[00:02:04] So when it comes to brain fog, we always want to try and figure out what is the root cause of this and how do we address it? Well, we know that there are many different conditions that can drive up this kind of mental taxing load in our brains. We think about inflammatory disorders. There can be sensitivities to certain foods that maybe create this. So when people eat maybe dairy, they feel kind of cloudy in the brain, and this is actually a lot more common than we recognize. We know that when people have brain fog on a regular basis, we must always look at histamine and the over release of histamine, which can drive this irritation and inflammation within the brain. And what happens is we’re actually creating this imbalance in our neurotransmitters. And so the little tiny neurons in the brain that are responsible for releasing these very important neurotransmitters, they’re not working very efficiently.† [00:03:07]
[00:03:08] So we want to think about ways that we can target this. How can we utilize different nutrients that can be beneficial when it comes to neuroinflammation or inflammation that’s occurring in the brain? So we know that there’s a lot of different things out there, including things like resveratrol, for example. They’ve done multiple studies with resveratrol and seeing how that actually works by a couple of different pathways for targeting the inflammation and helping to enhance the way that our brain is functionally working in a much, much more efficient way. Phosphatidylserine, one of those key phospholipids in the brain that helps to support the, the actual structure of your neurons or the brain cells. But also when we think about making acetylcholine, phosphatidylserine’s very important for this. We know that when our brains are stressed out, say, for example, you’re going to do a big interview or you have a big exam at school or whatever might be driving up your stress in your life, we know that when we utilize phosphatidylserine, this key membrane fat, that it does a couple of different things for us. Number one, it helps to make sure that those brain cells aren’t getting dinged around. That’s key. The other thing that we know it does is it helps with the regulation of our adrenal glands. And this is really important because we have to recognize that it’s not only a neurotransmitter slash inflammation process that drives up brain fog, but it’s certainly linked to hormonal imbalance. So you have a lot of people who have thyroid dysfunction who will experience brain fog, and this is one of the big complaints that folks who have like underactive thyroid will say, “I just feel foggy in the brain all of the time.” Or here’s probably the biggest example is women going through menopause or postmenopausal women will complain oftentimes about having brain fog, like “I just feel like I have cobwebs in my brain and I can’t think as quick as I used to, and I just don’t feel as focused,” and this can be really detrimental to our health because then you’re just irritated all the time because your brain is not feeling as youthful as it once used to.† [00:05:23]
[00:05:23] So we know that balancing our hormones is certainly important, and there’s a lot of different ways we can do this, even outside of doing actual hormone replacement therapy. We can utilize different nutrients that can help when it comes to the regulation of different hormonal pathways. So one more thinking along the adrenal pathway, we can think about things like rhodiola. This is a really nice way for us to get our brain back in check. They’ve done studies with rhodiola where they find that when they put people in a high stress environment and they give them rhodiola, their mental capability to be able to focus on their task without letting that exterior stressor basically kind of screw everything up, that rhodiola works really good in this setting. Now, the nice thing about rhodiola is that it also generates up energy, so you’re going to feel like you have more energy, and at the same time, you’re going to have this much more acute focus. So hence that brain fog is leaving.† [00:06:22]
[00:06:23] Now, if we’ve got problems with our blood glucose, we know that this can impact our brain. So if we have insulin resistance, then we want to make sure that we’re incorporating in things like chromium, alpha lipoic acid. Certainly things that we know can help our body when it comes to waking up those insulin receptors. And this is very important. Now, we have to always be cognizant of the foods that we’re eating. If we’re having bad foods, high sugar foods, this is going to just exacerbate that brain fogginess. So we want to have high fiber foods, foods that are packed with powerful antioxidants. So what am I talking about? Fruits and vegetables. We know that the fruits and vegetables really can do so much when it comes to our brain health. Look at blueberries, for example. Those are like a super brain food. So keeping in check the amount of added sugars and bad carbohydrates and bad fats that we have in our diet, that’s one aspect of it. Then targeting whatever particular hormonal pathway, or sometimes it’s multiple hormonal pathways that can be linked to that brain fog. And I said, if it’s post-menopausal, women definitely want to maybe go in and have your DHEA sulfate level tested many times. If your DHEA sulfate level’s incredibly low and you take a small dose supplement, maybe 25mg three or four days out of the week would be incredibly advantageous.† [00:07:55]
[00:07:56] Now, for significant amounts of brain fog, then we can look at other hormonal options, such as pregnenolone, but definitely DHEA. For many women who are going through that perimenopause and menopausal symptoms, they’ll find that when they add in just a small amount of DHEA, it helps to create an awful lot of balance for the brain, for your mood, for your adrenal glands because remember that DHEA is an adrenal hormone. So we want to take a food-based approach. We certainly want to utilize nutrients that we know can help wake that brain up. So that’s your rhodiola, things that are going to help those brain cells from getting dinged around, so that’s where your phosphatidylserine comes in. That resveratrol, which kind of goes in and through these different pathways works is like a little house cleaner goes in and make sure that where things are dunked up in your brain kind of goes in and scrubs it all away. So this is just a simplified approach to dealing with brain fog, which we know is much more common than we give it credit for. And we don’t want to allow things such as inflammation and hormonal imbalances to create havoc in our life. And if it’s on that aspect of histamine and maybe it’s an allergic component, then you’d want to look at things such as the Black Seed with Rosemary Extract. That is a wonderful way. Rosemary, we know, is incredibly beneficial when it comes to regulating how much histamine our body releases. So definitely think about it. Think about if you experience brain fog, maybe it comes and goes. Maybe you feel like you have chronic brain fog. There are many different nutrients that can help to support that mental fatigue and that cloudiness that you may be experiencing.† [00:09:47]
[00:09:48] So that is all that I have for you for today. I just want to thank you so much for tuning in to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. Remember, you can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting invitehealth.com/podcast. Now, do you make sure that you subscribe and that you leave us a review. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and we will see you next time for another episode of the InViteⓇ Health podcast.† [00:09:48]