Condition Specific 2013: Diabetes

Condition Specific 2013: Diabetes



Twenty-six million American have diabetes and 79 million more are prediabetic, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This sobering fact suggests continued growth for the diabetes and blood sugar-management supplements market. Nutrition Business Journal estimates $1.412 billion in sales by 2014, up from $1.187 in 2012. We spoke with Jocelyn Bérubé, scientific director, Health and Nutrition at innoVactiv, Inc., in Quebec about the market. We knew she could offer some insight even though Canada has “only” nine million diabetics.


Fi: What are your projections for the diabetes and blood sugar category?

JB: We definitely see a growing trend in the need for products addressing healthy blood-sugar maintenance. Not only are people starting to get aware about the issue, but they are also becoming aware that components of the food we eat have a negative effect on our blood glucose. Sugar and starch, in particular, are present in high amounts and are generating large blood sugar and insulin peaks after every meal. At the same time, there is a growing body of evidence showing that a low glycemic-index diet (foods that generate smaller blood sugar and insulin peaks) are better for your health and help maintain body weight and sustain insulin sensitivity. Using natural blockers of alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase, like InSea2 from innoVactiv, is one way by which people can adhere and maintain a low GI diet and sustain normal blood sugar levels.


Fi: With the rate of obesity increasing (and being recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association), how can manufacturers reach non-diabetics with the message that managing blood sugar is not only a concern for people with a diabetes diagnosis?

JB: First, people need to understand that diabetes is not a disease like the flu, or the common cold. You don’t get diabetic instantly, or just because of a single bad meal. In fact, it is a continuous process between a healthy state and a state where the body cannot handle even small amounts of sugar. Truth is, when one person becomes diabetic, there is a definite need for therapy to manage the symptoms, prevent progression and damages. However, in the long process that transforms a healthy person into a diabetic one, there are numerous opportunities for action, be it a more active lifestyle, adhering to a low-GI diet, or using specific nutritional ingredients with strong demonstration of efficacy. 

In the case of InSea2, we showed that our ingredient was able to help healthy subjects experience healthier post-meal blood sugar and insulin responses to starch- and sugar-containing meals, mimicking the action of a low GI diet.


Fi: Where do you see emerging opportunities in this sector?

JB: I see tremendous opportunities, especially with people suffering from excess body weight. Excess body weight is a major risk factor for diabetes, as it disrupts insulin signalling and impairs the capacity of the body to quickly return glycemia to a fasting level after a meal. The use of alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors like InSea2 could help these people maintain healthy post-meal blood glucose and insulin responses.


Select suppliers



Gencinia is an ingredient for blood sugar management. It is an extract of coccinia Ccrdifolia, a vegetable long part of the human diet in India. A recent human clinical trial using Gencinia showed statistically significant reductions in levels of fasting blood glucose, post-prandial blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin.


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Anaheim, California


InterHealth Nutraceuticals, Inc.


InterHealth’s ChromeMate is backed by over 25 years of efficacy and safety research. Published clinical research shows that ChromeMate maintains healthy blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, body weight and lean body mass. ChromeMate is GRAS and backed by extensive safety research, including 2-generation reproductive safety studies. Choose ChromeMate for all your chromium needs.


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Benicia, California


The Scoular Company

Appl’in (Apple polyphenol extract)

Most consumers are familiar with the health benefits of apples. What they may not know is that research on phloridzin, a flavanol specific to the rosaceae family, shows that it has beneficial properties linked to limiting the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Appl’n contains 80% polyphenol content, including phloridzin.


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Minneapolis, Minnesota


Steviva Ingredients, Inc.

• FructeviaT

• SteviaSweet 95-60 stevia extract

• SteviaSweet RA98 stevia extract

• Steviva Blend

• Steviva Blend100 Mesh Fine Powder

• Erysweet non-GMO Erythritol

• Erysweet non-GMO 100 mesh fine-powdered Erythritol

• Nectevia stevia-fortified agave nectar

Steviva Ingredients, Inc. is a global ingredient supplier with a focus on all-natural high-intensity sweeteners and customer sweetening solutions for manufacturers.Steviva ingredients sweeteners and bulk ingredients are all-natural, GMO-free, soy-free, corn-free and allergen-free.


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