Alpha Lipoic Acid And Chromium Picolinate Supplementation For Prediabetes
Prediabetes or the “pre-diagnosis” of diabetes should be considered a serious warning sign. Early symptoms include a constantly high blood glucose level, darkened skin on the neck, armpits, elbows, knees and knuckles, hunger, thirst, frequent urination, fatigue and blurred vision. Failure to treat (or make healthy lifestyle changes) prediabetes can quickly lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
The primary cause of prediabetes is a poor diet high in refined and processed flours and sugars. The constant influx of simple carbohydrates and sugar causes a consistently high blood sugar triggering a wave of insulin release. More sugar, more insulin released to “combat” it. Over time, three things happen:
- Adrenal Fatigue – Your body can no longer produce hormones (including insulin) to respond to the increased blood sugar levels.
- Insulin Resistance – The insulin released can no longer offset the blood sugar and your body eventually becomes to resistant to insulin leading to even higher blood sugar.
- Obesity – The sugar that can no longer be converted to energy is now converted and stored as body fat.
There are two supplements that have been found to be effective in the treatment of prediabetes, alpha-lipoic acid and chromium picolinate.
Alpha lipoic acid, or ALA is a water- and fat-soluble antioxidant produced by the body to assist in energy metabolism. ALA has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and enhance glucose uptake in the muscle cells of people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Alpha lipoic acid is effective in treating both prediabetes and diabetes as it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, reduces insulin resistance, and improves insulin sensitivity. Supplements of 600 mg, taken twice daily, can lower glucose and improve the efficiency of its burning as energy. A study conducted at Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport, demonstrated how alpha-lipoic acid raises levels of glucose-burning enzymes and doubles a cell’s ability to burn glucose. In addition, alpha-lipoic acid reduces levels of hemoglobin A1c, a marker of protein glycation (sugar-damaged proteins that age cells).
Learn more about how ALA improves glucose effectiveness in lean and obese patients with type 2 diabetes from the American Diabetes Association.
Chromium is a trace mineral that your body uses to aid glucose metabolism, it helps insulin work more efficiently. This effect is beneficial to people with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and diabetes. To learn more about the Role of Chromium in Human Health and in Diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association.
Chromium supplements have been found increasingly effective in helping prediabetic patients. In a study conducted at Wake Forest University, at-risk subjects who were moderately obese and had a family history of diabetes received 1,000 mcg of chromium (as chromium picolinate) daily. After four months of supplementation with chromium, insulin resistance was reduced by 40 percent.