Type II Diabetes & Nutraceutical Intervention
What Caused this Epidemic, and Why is Patient Education Important?
Non-insulin dependent Diabetes, or Type II Diabetes, is sometimes referred to as “adult-onset” diabetes. This disease has reached epidemic proportions all over the globe, with China as an “epicenter” of increased prevalence of Type II Diabetes. Diabetes is more than a disease involving just an elevation of blood sugar levels.
The CDC, in 2014, claimed that 1/3 of Americans are Pre-Diabetic, and 29 million people in the US are diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. In 2001, the established research model did not predict such a high prevalence until year 2050.
In 2012 alone, the financial deficit due to to Diabetes and Diabetes-related health problems in the United States was 245 Billion Dollars, after all health care costs and lost productivity figures were calculated. This disease and its co-morbid conditions are requiring more and more of our valuable resources.
What Is Type II Diabetes?
This type of Diabetes is not the result of insufficient insulin production; it is actually the result of too much insulin chronically produced, usually from excess dietary intake of carbohydrates (sugars). The constant overabundance of insulin levels make the body “resistant” to the signals sent by insulin acting on the receptors. The onset of Type II Diabetes, or non-insulin dependent Diabetes, begins with a cellular insensitivity to insulin, also called Insulin-Resistance.
This ineffective use of insulin allows high levels of glucose to build up in the blood rather than be transported to various tissues as a fuel source. Insulin resistance and the inability to utilize insulin essentially starves the cells within muscle, fat, and liver tissues from the primary fuel source, glucose. This cell starvation then signals the pancreas to increase its output of insulin.
Increase of weight occurs because insulin directly stimulates fat deposition. Insulin levels increase in response to blood glucose, after which fat is deposited in the belly area.
Most cases of Type II diabetes result from dysfunctional insulin receptor chemistry, and not due to actual insulin levels at all. Insulin has physiological actions other than managing blood sugar. Insulin is heavily involved in fat physiology and weight management. Insulin is designed to physiologically to push fatty acids into cells; as insulin levels increase, fat deposition increases as well.
Even if receptor sensitivity decreases in its response to insulin, the increasing concentration of insulin rises even as blood sugar levels remain within “normal” ranges. This chronic state of elevated insulin levels and receptor dysfunction will result in continued fat deposition. This is why it is difficult to lose weight to control diabetes– the diabetes may have caused the weight problem, not the other way around.
Insulin levels also modulate inflammation, so pain problems tend to worsen in those with Type II Diabetes, as well as worsen cardiovascular/peripheral vascular diseases.
Soon after the onset of Type II Diabetes, various bodily changes occur, including changes affecting the brain and cognitive function.
Prevalence of Type II Diabetes Linked to Diet
Primary drivers of diabetes are processed foods and added sugars. Fructose is directly linked to increased insulin levels and decreased glucose tolerance, which is a driver for pre-diabetes. It cases harmful fat storage, creating visceral fat deposits on the abdomen, and increases the risks for other health concerns.
Almost 90% of diabetics are non-insulin dependent (NIDDM). Metabolic Syndrome X and subsequent diabetic conditions are preventable.
Total daily fructose intake should never exceed more than 25 grams a day, or six teaspoons. Added sugars and processed foods are primary drivers of metabolic dysfunction. Refined fructose is degraded in the body similarly to the process of breaking down alcohol, which damages the liver and causes mitochondrial and metabolic issues due to toxin build up.
Recent research revealed that those who consume soft drinks and sweetened beverages have a higher risk of diabetes, regardless of body weight. The metabolic effects of sweetened drinks include rapid spikes and drops in blood glucose and insulin levels.
Through the awareness of various risks, proper diet, proper exercise, type II diabetes could change state from a national epidemic, to a manageable and minor disease.
Diagnosis & Approach to Treatment
Traditional means of diagnosis and the standard testing methods for Diabetes include:
- Insulin to glucose ratio, with a ratio of less than 1:10 being the goal.
- Glucose Tolerance Testing
- Hemoglobin A1C
Early diagnosis leads to easier control and correction. Diagnosis is best made using the insulin to glucose ratio. The treatment for a complicated medical condition like diabetes will likely require an approach combining both medicines and nutrients that best suit the patient’s needs.
Nutraceutical Treatment of Diabetes
Diabetes begins as a cellular insensitivity to insulin. By focusing on the nutritional treatment and/or prevention of diabetes centers around those nutrients influencing and/or modulating insulin activity. These include:
- Essential Fatty Acids & Oils
Down to Basics
The initial approach to treatment of Diabetes and/or Metabolic Syndrome “X” should first focus on supplementation of trace minerals and essential vitamins.Ideally, these minerals should be present in a balanced diet, but these elements have long since been depleted from farmlands, producing food crops that are deficient in these important nutrients.
As we age, the body’s ability to absorb nutrients declines gradually. This, in conjunction with consuming nutrient-poor foods, means that supplementation is absolutely essential to maintain health.
Trace minerals are inorganic elements that are found in the earth. Plant life, including food crops, absorb these minerals from the ground. However, repeated farming of the land depletes large amounts of these minerals, eventually yielding mineral-poor crops. Because our original sources for obtaining trace minerals no longer meets our dietary needs, nutritional supplementation can replace these missing minerals.
Zinc, Selenium, Magnesium, Manganese, Chromium, and Vanadium, are all co-factors that help maintain protein structural integrity. Vanadium and Chromium are necessary for proper insulin receptor function. Zinc, Manganese, and Magnesium, are important in the production of enzymes and proteins involving Thyroid Function.
Berberine is what is called a”plant alkaloid,” and is a component in GoldenSeal and the Oregon grape. The medicinal properties of Berberine have been utilized by mankind for thousands of years. It was often desired for its antibiotic properties and used to fight bacterial infections caused by: Staph, strip, chlamydia, diptheria, salmonella, cholera, gonorrhea, candida, pseudomonas, and many more.
Berberine may be more effective than Tylenol to lower a fever in some cases.
Peer reviewied articles in 2008 showed that it is equally effective, and much safer than Metformin when used in the treatment of Type II Diabetes.
Berberine vs. Metformin
They exhibit equal effect in the regulation of glucose metabolism (HbA1c, FBG, PBG, Fasting Insulin, and Postprandial Insulin).
As an oral regulation of lipid metabolism, the effects of Berberine are greater than Metformin.
How Does Berberine Improve Blood Sugar Control?
Berberine has a direct effect on insulin and insulin regulation. It exerts an indirect effect on blood sugar levels through effecting gastro-intestinal hormones called incretins. It increases the action of insulin by activating an enzyme, AMP-activated protein-kinase, or AMPK, which helps regulate the cellular uptake of glucose, the oxidation of fatty acids, and the synthesis of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4). Synthesis of GLUT4 is important because this is the insulin-regulated glucose carrier that transports the glucose out of the bloodstream into the cells.
Berberine increases the expression of insulin receptors. This increase in insulin receptor activity enables the same amount of insulin to be more effective than the same amount would have been prior to the increase in receptor activity.
Berberine also inhibits the enzyme, protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B, or PTP1B, which negatively impacts insulin receptor 9. Without this enzyme inhibiting insulin receptor activity, insulin receptors can function more efficiently, thereby further acting to decrease insulin resistance.
Incretins are hormones secreted by the stomach and gastrointestinal system that increase the amnount of insulin and inhibity the amount of glucagon to be released from the pancreatic islet cells after the process of eating, even before blood sugar levels have a chance to rise. They also slow the absorption of nutrients by the stomach by preventing it from emptying quickly, which also helps to reduce the amount of food intake.
Berberine inhibits DDP.4.11. GLP-1 and other gut secretory incretins aren’t broken down as rapidly, so they can keep stimulating insulin and inhibit the release of glucagon significantly longer.
Vanadium and Chromium are necessary for proper insulin receptor function. Zinc, Manganese, and Magnesium, are important in the production of enzymes and proteins involving Thyroid Function.
Adding Diabet-Stat to a daily regimen is most beneficial for patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes and ‘pre-diabetes.’ Diabet-Stat will lower blood sugars in diabetics by correcting chromium/vanadium insufficiency states that result in insulin resistance. Chromium is a necessary mineral in the formation of insulin receptors and vanadium improves Glut-4 transport. Alpha Lipoic Acid is helpful both for the insulin resistance and correction of cellular membrane pathology associated with diabetic neuropathy.
A True Combination of the Best Scientific Studies
Many products use Gymnema or Vanadyl Sulfate for blood sugar levels maintenance. However no other product uses correct scientific dosages of those ingredients plus an aggressive dose of 300 mg Lipoic Acid which has been shown to maintain healthy nerve function in target population groups. Used for over 30 years in Europe for maintaining blood sugar levels already within the normal range these ingredients offer the most well-rounded scientific combination of natural ingredients available.
The antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid (also called thioctic acid) is made by the body and directly supports detoxifying abilities of the liver. It enhances the antioxidant functions of vitamins C and E and glutathione. Alpha-lipoic acid has growth-stimulating properties prevents cell damage regulates blood sugar and chelates toxic metals out of the blood. In animal studies it has been shown to enhance cognitive function as well. It is also involved in the production of muscular energy and directs calories toward energy production. Because it is both water- and fat-soluble alpha-lipoic acid is able to function in almost any part of the body including the brain.
Vitamin D & Diabetes
Vitamin D deficiency may be associated with a wide range of illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, and type II diabetes. Although the precise biochemical mechanisms remain poorly understood in this day and age, but various studies have shown a relation between low Vitamin D serum levels and the presence of type II diabetes; vitamin d influences glucose homeostasis and directly impacts the pancreatic cells that secrete insulin.
Evidence from research and experimental studies have indicated that vitamin D treatment has a positive effect on glucose tolerance and lowers resistance to insulin. Glycemic control in the body is inhibited by insufficient Vitamin D levels–One study showed that returning Vitamin D serum levels back to normal concentrations decreased the risk and onset of type II diabetes by 55%.