Sugar Balance

Sugar Balance Botanical Blend Plus is a medical doctor certified (MD-C)™ blend of high quality herbs, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that have been shown to have beneficial effects on healthy blood sugar.

Vitamin C and E are antioxidants.  People with diabetes have increased “oxidative stress”-that means they have higher levels of dangerous free radicals without adequate levels of antioxidants to counteract them. This causes damage in the body. Oxidative or free radical stress is associated with the onset of diabetes and the development of devastating complications, including eye diseases, kidney damage and nerve damage.

Biotin is a B-complex vitamin that stimulates liver glucose activity and absorption in muscles. Biotin appears to up-regulate genes that have a hypoglycemic effect. Biotin helps regulate insulin response via stimulation of the insulin receptor and the pancreatic and liver gluckokinase genes. In the liver, glucokinase is responsible for glucose uptake and metabolism. Thus, when glucokinase is activated, more glucose is utilized for energy as opposed to increasing systemic blood sugar levels. More specifically, biotin increases the activity of glucokinase which causes glucose to be taken up by the cells for utilization. Biotin also inhibits the expression of the hepatic phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) carboxykinase enzyme which is responsible in gluconeogenesis. During fasting or non-fed states, the liver will help to sustain blood sugar levels via upregulation of PEP carboxykinase enzyme. To put it simply, the liver will help make glucose (gluconeogenesis) so that blood sugar levels do not drop during the fasting state. Gluconeogenesis is vital and part of normal physiology, but in the case of type II diabetes, excess glucose levels can be produced alongside poor uptake into the cells (known as insulin resistance). If a biotin deficiency is present, the gluconeogenesis pathway becomes less inhibited, leading to impaired glucose tolerance. One theory as to why the diabetic population has a greater incidence of biotin deficiency is that renal loss of biotin is increased due to the fact that those with diabetes have increased urinary output. Ketone production remains higher in the diabetic population than in non-diabetic populations and ketones have been known to deplete biotin levels, which can further impair glucose tolerance. Therefore, biotin supplementation may be helpful in off-setting biotin depletion as a result of increased levels of ketones within diabetic populations.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant. Magnesium is absorbed in the intestines and then transported through the blood to cells and tissues. Most soil throughout the world is deficient in magnesium. Thus, most foods today, even those supposed to have a high content of magnesium, are low themselves.

Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps support healthy blood sugar levels and helps support healthy energy metabolism.

Zinc has been shown in laboratory studies to act like insulin when administered to insulin-sensitive tissue and that it seems to stimulate insulin action. It binds to insulin receptors, activates insulin signaling pathways, and more, all of which result in glucose uptake by cells and clearance of glucose from the blood.   Zinc is also necessary for the correct processing, storage, and secretion of insulin, and it can protect against ß-cell loss, a hallmark of diabetes. Because zinc is so closely tied to insulin functioning, zinc deficiency is associated with poor ß-cell function and higher incidences of insulin resistance.

Manganese:  Some studies seem to show that people with diabetes have low levels of manganese in their blood. But researchers don’t know if having diabetes causes levels to drop, or whether low levels of manganese contribute to developing diabetes. More studies are needed. One clinical study found that people with diabetes who had higher blood levels of manganese were more protected from LDL or “bad” cholesterol than those with lower levels of manganese.

Chromium is called a trace mineral and is essential to the human body. It’s needed to help process carbohydrate, protein, and fat, and it enhances the action of insulin.  The link between chromium and diabetes originated in the 1950s, when researchers were able to prevent diabetes in rats by feeding them brewer’s yeast. Chromium was deemed to be the magic ingredient and was thereafter called a “glucose tolerance factor,” or GTF for short. Since then, quite a bit of research has been done to study the effect of chromium on various health conditions, primarily in the areas of diabetes, lipid control (including cholesterol and triglyceride levels), and weight loss.

Guggul (Myrrh) has been used for centuries as a bitter herb to help regulate metabolism of sugar, and modern scientific research is beginning to assess both its effects on metabolic conditions and how it works . As early as 2001 results of an animal study published in the International Journal of Obesity demonstrated that guggulipid significantly increased insulin sensitivity in a mouse-model of type-2 diabetes, normalizing blood sugar in only two weeks. In addition, the guggul-treated mice lost an average of 1.5 grams of weight while the control group of mice gained 2.6 grams. Another animal study was conducted on diabetic rodents modeling type-2 diabetes and elevated cholesterol levels brought on by 16 weeks of a high-fat diet. Administration of guggulsterone demonstrated its hypoglycemic effect. Recent research has identified a new component in guggul, commipheric acid. While oral administration of pure commipheric acid to diabetic rats did not affect glucose tolerance, both guggulipid and commipheric acid ethyl esters lowered fasting blood glucose and cholesterol levels without affecting food intake or body weight.

Bitter Melon is a that fruit contains at least three active substances with anti-diabetic properties, including charantin, which has been confirmed to have a blood glucose-lowering effect, vicine and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p. These substances either work individually or together to help reduce blood sugar levels. It is also known that bitter melon contains a lectin that reduces blood glucose concentrations by acting on peripheral tissues and suppressing appetite – similar to the effects of insulin in the brain. This lectin is thought to be a major factor behind the hypoglycemic effect that develops after eating bitter melon.

Licorice Extract: At the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, researchers have now uncovered substances in licorice root that have anti-diabetes benefits. These substances are called amorfrutins, and the scientists have shown they have an ability to lower blood sugar levels and fight inflammation without causing undue side effects. Amorfrutins may also prevent a disease caused by a diet rich in fat called fatty liver. Licorice has also been shown to support adrenal function. The adrenals produce gluco-corticoids that have an effect on blood sugar and sugar cravings.

Cinnamon Powder has been used for several thousand years in traditional Ayurvedic and Greco-European medical systems. A study performed at the US Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center isolated insulin-enhancing complexes in cinnamon that are involved in preventing or alleviating glucose intolerance and diabetes. Three water-soluble polyphenol polymers were found to have beneficial biological activity, increasing insulin-dependent glucose metabolism by roughly 20-fold in vitro. The nutrients displayed significant antioxidant activity as well, as did other phytochemicals found in cinnamon, such as epicatechin, phenol, and tannin. Moreover, scientists at Iowa State University determined that these polyphenol polymers are able to up-regulate the expression of genes involved in activating the cell membrane’s insulin receptors, thus increasing glucose uptake and lowering blood glucose levels. These benefits of cinnamon have been confirmed in animal experiments. For example, when rats were given two different doses of an oral cinnamon supplement for three weeks, glucose infusion into their cells more than doubled, even with the lower dose studied. The extract improved insulin action by enhancing the insulin-signaling pathway in skeletal muscle, resulting in increased glucose uptake.

Gymnema Sylvestre extract derives from the leaves of a climbing plant native to the forests of central and south India. An effective natural treatment for diabetes, gymnema leaves have been used in traditional medicine since the 6th century B.C. The leaves of the Gymnema sylvestre plant contain gymnemic acids, which have been shown to slow the transport of glucose from the intestines to the bloodstream. This, in turn, helps to: Lower blood sugar Lower hemoglobin A1c Some research also suggests that gymnema sylvestre extract can help repair and regenerate the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. In one clinical trial, 22 people with type 2 diabetes who were taking oral diabetes drugs also took Gymnema sylvestre extract daily. Participants experienced significant reductions in blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c and glycosolated plasma protein levels. More remarkably, at the end of the 18-month study, the participants were able to reduce their drug dosages, and five of the study subjects were able to effectively maintain normal blood sugar levels with the Gymnema alone. The researchers concluded, “the beta cells may be regenerated in type 2 diabetic patients on (Gymnema sylvestre) supplementation.” In another study, researchers gave 27 people with type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes Gymnema sylvestre extract. After 10 to 12 months, Gymnema sylvestre extract conferred a number of benefits, including reductions in fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c and glycosylated plasma protein levels. Insulin requirements were also reduced.

Alpha Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant specifically helpful for individuals with elevated blood sugar. Alpha-lipoic acid also is therapeutic for diabetes because it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, reduces insulin resistance, and improves insulin sensitivity. Sushil K. Jain, Ph.D., of the Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport, has demonstrated how alpha-lipoic acid raises levels of glucose-burning enzymes and doubles cells’ 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). One of the common complications of diabetes is neuropathy (damage to nerve cells), and alpha-lipoic acid is a superior treatment for this condition. Research indicates that alpha-lipoic acid protects against nerve damage in several ways. High glucose levels characteristic of diabetes are potent generators of free radicals, and as a blood-sugar balancer, alpha-lipoic acid restores normal glucose levels. As an antioxidant and regenerator of antioxidants, alpha-lipoic acid also directly and indirectly reduces the free radical damage nerve cells are subject to. Alpha-lipoic acid also increases blood circulation, so more nutrients (and antioxidants) can be delivered to nerve cells, and it increases nerve conduction-that is, the speed of transmitted nerve signals.

Banaba Leaf, not to be confused with “banana” leaf, has been used for thousands of years in India and the Philippines to naturally treat diabetes and low blood sugar levels. It turns out these cultures were onto something — banaba leaf and blood sugar control go hand in hand. The blood sugar regulating properties of corosolic acid, the active ingredient in banaba leaf, have been demonstrated in cell culture, animal, and human studies. In isolated cells, it is known to stimulate glucose uptake. In fact, some studies have shown that it can help lower blood sugar within sixty minutes. It has also been shown to help correct leptin problems and food cravings that are typically found in overweight individuals who have elevated blood sugar. The average human response is a 10-15% decrease in blood sugar within two hours of ingestion. In diabetic mice, rats, and rabbits, banaba feeding reduces elevated blood sugar and insulin levels to normal. In humans with type II diabetes, banaba extract, at a dose of 16-48 mg per day for 4-8 weeks, has been shown to be effective in reducing blood sugar levels (5%-30%) and maintaining tighter control of blood sugar fluctuations. An interesting “side-effect” of tighter control of blood sugar and insulin levels is a significant tendency of banaba to promote weight loss (an average of 2-4 lbs. per month) – without significant dietary alterations.

Juniper Berry is high in natural insulin and therefore lowers blood sugar levels. It can also help heal the pancreas as long as no permanent damage has occurred on the organ.

Vanadyl Sulfate has an insulin-like effect in the body, stimulating glucose uptake and its oxidation in the cells. That’s why it is such an effective therapy for diabetes and insulin resistance. More specifically, it has been shown to: Increase insulin sensitivity Lower blood sugar Lower hemoglobin A1c Reduce insulin requirements in people with type 1 diabetes In studies in which cholesterol was measured, vanadyl sulfate also lowered LDL cholesterol. This is another important benefit for people with type 2 diabetes, since they are at greater risk of heart disease. There are hundreds of studies—some dating back more than 20 years—that demonstrate vanadyl sulfate’s profound benefits for managing diabetes and controlling blood sugar. Here are a couple of examples: In one study, eight people with type 2 diabetes received vanadyl sulfate twice a day for four weeks, followed by a placebo for four weeks. They were found to have a 20 percent reduction in average fasting blood sugar, which lasted well into the placebo period after the mineral was discontinued. In another study, patients received vanadyl sulfate for three weeks. Overall, patients experienced less insulin resistance and greater glucose uptake.

Yarrow Leaf is a well-known endocrine system balancer.

L-Taurine has the positive side effect of potentially reducing insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that helps regulate the levels of blood sugar in the body. When insulin is released into the bloodstream, it promotes a reduction in blood sugar levels. Individuals with insulin resistance fail to respond properly to insulin, and their blood sugar levels remain high, which can lead to diseases such as diabetes over time. A study published in “Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome” in 2010 indicates that taurine supplementation can help protect against insulin resistance in rats fed a consistently high-sugar diet. Although the effect of taurine on insulin resistance has not yet been tested in humans, further research may explain the role of taurine in blood sugar regulation, insulin resistance and diabetes.

Huckleberry: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, huckleberry extract can lower blood sugar levels shortly after taking it. Huckleberry can also stimulate the production of insulin.

Cayenne: a study published in the July 2006 issue of “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” found that blood glucose levels were lower between 20 minutes and 120 minutes after a cayenne-containing meal in human subjects. Lower blood glucose levels were accompanied by lower blood insulin levels, especially in a subgroup of subjects that had consumed a cayenne-containing diet for an entire month prior to the test. Therefore, over a period of time, cayenne may improve the sensitivity of your tissues to insulin, and less insulin will be required to efficiently cause the movement of glucose from your blood into your tissues.