Managing blood sugar emerges as a top concern

Managing blood sugar emerges as a top concern

Consumers are very interested in foods that promote healthy blood glucose: 69 per cent of primary grocery shoppers are extremely or very interested in buying or using foods or drinks if they can help manage blood sugar. In addition, 43 per cent of primary grocery shoppers believe that "helps maintain healthy blood-sugar levels" is an extremely or very important claim on food labels, according to the 2009 HealthFocus Trend Report.

No disease is as closely linked to nutrition as diabetes. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in the US and contributes to higher rates of morbidity — people with diabetes are at significantly higher risk for heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and other chronic conditions.

Prediabetes is usually intertwined with being overweight and, of course, increases the risk by about 80 times of a bona fide type 2 diabetes diagnosis (not to mention heart disease). Indeed, blood-sugar issues and being overweight are usually the start of a host of health conditions. An estimated 121 million American adults (out of 184 million) are overweight, with about 60 million being actually obese — 30 pounds over their ideal weight. If trends continue, an incredible 80 per cent of Americans are estimated to be overweight by 2030.

About one-third of diabetics take supplements. The top ingredients include fibre, B vitamins, magnesium and chromium, according to Nutrition Business Journal.

A recent Swedish study found that taking a whey supplement with meals can help stimulate insulin release in type 2 diabetics. When diabetic subjects took whey at the same time as a high glycaemic-index breakfast and lunch, they had lower blood-sugar response and a higher insulin response. The findings suggest whey can help diabetics improve their blood-sugar control.

In another nod to the broad efficacy of vitamin D, insufficient and deficient levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome by 52 per cent, according to a 2009 Anglo-Chinese study.

This study backs an earlier study that found women in the 84,000-strong Nurses’ Health Study who consumed a daily intake of greater than 800IU vitamin D and 1,200mg calcium had a 33 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those to took in less than 600mg calcium and 400IU vitamin D.

Cinnamon makes insulin work more efficiently, which gets excess sugar out of the blood and into cells, where it can be burned as fuel. Cinnamon works in two ways. First, it inhibits the enzymes that cause insulin resistance. And second, it increases sensitivity to insulin.

Preliminary results from a University of Surrey clinical study found that the consumption of Hi-maize brand resistant starch, from National Starch, significantly increased insulin sensitivity in individuals with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

"These improvements are actually bigger than you get with most blood glucose-lowering drugs," says Denise Robertson, PhD, lecturer in nutritional physiology within the Postgraduate Medical School at the University of Surrey and the principal investigator of the study. "We are finding that subjects at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, such as those with metabolic syndrome, are more responsive to the insulin-sensitizing effects of resistant starch than people with normal blood-glucose levels.

Functional Ingredients

Alpha-lipoic acid

French maritime pine-bark extract


Banaba-leaf extract

Green tea



Gymnema sylvestre

Vitamin B complex

B vitamins


Vitamin C



Vitamin D


Momordica charantia

Vitamin E



Vitamin K2







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Select Suppliers

Cyvex Nutrition
>95% D-Chiro-Inositol
[email protected]
+1 949 622 9030
Irvine, California, USA

GLG Life Tech
Rebiana RA 97 Stevia Extract
Zero-calorie, 100 per cent natural, high-intensity sweetener extracted from stevia. Zero glycaemic index and stable under heat.
[email protected]
+1 604 641 1368
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Hughson Nut
Blanched almond flour
Early research suggests that almonds may reduce the impact of carbohydrate-rich food on blood-sugar levels. Eating almonds along with carbohydrate-rich foods creates a slower rise in blood sugar, which may increase satiety and help to keep insulin levels from fluctuating too dramatically.
[email protected]
+1 209 883 0403
Hughson, California, USA

Improve USA
A dehydrated powder from the Opuntia indica ficus, aka, prickly pear cactus. Processed in low-vacuum drying units where temperature and air flow are monitored to produce pure powder. Thought to aid in regulating blood sugar and to bind fats.
[email protected]
+1 972 230 9155
DeSoto, Texas, USA

Chromium nicotinate
Bulk manufacturer. Suitable for food supplements, diabetic medicines and products, and weight-reduction products. [email protected]
+91 22 26764207
Mumbai, India

All-natural, marine-based starch blocker with dual-carb blocking action that blocks both alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzymes at a high potency level. Promotes healthy postprandial blood glucose and optimal insulin response. Helps convert starch-rich meals from high to low glycaemic index.
[email protected]
+1 418 652 9598
Rimouski, Quebec, Canada

InterHealth Nutraceuticals
Patented biologically active niacin-bound chromium for dietary supplements, functional foods and beverages. Increases blood- sugar availability for energy production, helps insulin metabolize fat, promotes healthy blood lipids, and turns protein into muscle.
[email protected]
+1 800 783 4636
Benicia, California, USA

Nutra Bridge
Modulates the glycaemic index of foods by inhibiting alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzymes at a high potency level. In addition to reducing peak glucose levels by 90 per cent, can also eliminate the period of hypoglycaemia that is common after a high glycaemic index meal.
[email protected]
+1 651 245 8733
Shoreview, Minnesota, USA

Nutrition 21
Patented combination of chromium picolinate and biotin. Clinically shown to assist people who are insulin resistant.
[email protected]
+1 914 701 4500
Purchase, New York, USA

Extract from the leaves of Lagerstroemia speciosa (banaba), standardized to 18 per cent corosolic acid. A 1998 Japanese clinical study demonstrated that corosolic acid safely and effectively lowers blood-glucose levels.
[email protected]
+1 323 721 8300
Los Angeles, California, USA

San Francisco Herb & Natural Food
Gymnema sylvestre
May be used as the natural way to help control blood-sugar levels.
[email protected]
+1 800 227 2830
Fremont, California, USA

Tang-An Medical Company
Patented aqueous cinnamon extract. 10:1 yield. Proven safety and efficacy in published human clinical trials for glucose management.
[email protected]
+1 303 333 8361
Denver, Colorado, USA

Terry Laboratories
Provides the benefits of nopal. Purified essence of nopal has been clinically shown to help provide a healthy insulin response.
[email protected]
+1 800 FOR ALOE
Melbourne, Florida, USA

TSI Health Sciences
Promotes healthy glucose and insulin utilization, supports the pancreas by improving insulin sensitivity, and aids muscle recovery.
[email protected]
+1 406 549 9123
Missoula, Montana, USA

Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Antioxidant with an important rejuvenating function in the body. Re-energizes antioxidants as they deplete by restoring vitamins A and E, and glutathione.
[email protected]
+1 888 886 2588
Bellevue, Washington, USA

Improves glycaemic control and insulin sensitivity for prediabetics. Proprietary aloe extract combination promotes healthy glucose levels and controls sugar metabolism.
[email protected]
+1 360 486 8200
Lacey, Washington, USA

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