My Nutritarian eating style, as described in The End of Diabetes, helps to normalize blood glucose levels by focusing on antioxidant-rich, high fiber, whole plant foods having only modest glycemic effects. I designed Glucotect™ as a supplement to accompany a Nutritarian lifestyle, to provide extra assistance if needed for those who are striving to achieve healthy blood glucose levels. Glucotect™ promotes healthy glucose levels safely and naturally, using a carefully selected combination of essential micronutrients and plant extracts.
Supplemental cinnamon powder and cinnamon extracts have been tested in numerous studies for their ability to normalize fasting blood glucose.1,2 Cinnamon extract, as utilized in Glucotect™, has been studied in human trials, and there is evidence that this extract supports healthy blood glucose levels.3-5 The bark of cinnamon trees contains phytochemicals that research suggests enhance insulin signaling and facilitate cellular glucose uptake and storage .6-9
Multiple species of evergreen trees belong to the cinnamon family. The most common culinary cinnamon is Cassia cinnamon, and this is the cinnamon powder that has most often been used in glucose-management trials. The major drawback to using a high dose of Cassia cinnamon is the presence of coumarin, a substance which may damage the liver. Powdered cinnamon supplements are known to contain amounts of coumarin that may approach the maximum recommended daily dose.1 Although no adverse effects have been reported in glucose-lowering trials, I have chosen not to use Cassia cinnamon in Glucotect™ as a safety precaution.10 Ceylon cinnamon, (“true” cinnamon) is preferable to Cassia for culinary uses because of its more complex flavor and the absence of coumarin; however, Ceylon cinnamon has not been adequately evaluated in human studies for its glucose-balancing effects.11 For the safest and most effective source of supplemental cinnamon, a purified cinnamon extract is utilized, designed to concentrate the effective phytochemicals and exclude the coumarin.
L-carnitine is an amino acid present in animal foods and synthesized in the human body from two other amino acids, lysine and methionine. L-carnitine is concentrated in skeletal and cardiac muscle, plays an important role in the chemical reactions of energy metabolism, and contributes to insulin sensitivity. Low carnitine levels can result in the accumulation of lipid metabolites during energy production, which is associated with insulin resistance.12-15
Thiamin is one of the B vitamins (vitamin B1) and plays an important role as a cofactor in the chemical reactions of glucose metabolism and insulin production. It is common for diabetics to excrete too much thiamin via the kidneys, and they are at risk of deficiency.16, 17 Thiamin deficiency can exacerbate diabetes symptoms, since thiamin is important for glucose metabolism and insulin production.18 Furthermore, thiamin deficiency over time may damage the arterial walls and promote the dangerous complications of diabetes, including neuropathy, nephropathy and retinopathy.16, 18, 19 Consequently, it is imperative for those with diabetes to maintain adequate thiamin levels; however, the amount obtained from foods and multivitamin supplements may not be enough. A higher dose of thiamin than that generally recommended of the Institute of Medicine is likely required by diabetics, to counteract the increased thiamin losses.20 High-dose thiamin supplements are available, but those excessive doses are not necessary on a Nutritarian program. A conservative dose of thiamin is included in Glucotect™, in order to prevent deficiency without unnecessary levels of supplementation.
Chromium is an essential mineral, and similar to thiamin, it is an important cofactor in the chemical reactions that produce energy from glucose. In addition, chromium enhances insulin signaling, allowing insulin to efficiently transport glucose from the bloodstream into the body’s cells. The standard American diet, rich in refined carbohydrates, promotes chromium loss, and it is common for diabetics to have lower chromium levels than healthy individuals. High-dose chromium supplementation has been shown to reduce fasting blood glucose and HbA1C levels in diabetics.21, 22 However, switching to a Nutritarian eating style will help to normalize chromium intake and reduce chromium loss. Similar to thiamin, excessively high doses are not required to maintain adequacy and allow for the proper functioning of chromium in the body. A conservative dose of chromium is included in Glucotect™ as chromium picolinate, which is more absorbable than other forms.23 This level of supplementation is designed to protect against deficiency while avoiding excess.
Additional plant extracts
Glucotect™ contains extracts of white mulberry leaf, banaba leaf, gymnema leaf and fenugreek seed. The leaves of the mulberry tree are the preferred food of silkworms, while the berries are often eaten by humans. Banaba is a common ornamental tree grown in Asia. Gymnema is a large, woody plant that grows indigenously in India, Africa, and Australia. Fenugreek is a deep yellow seed used as a spice in the cuisines of India and North Africa. Although effective doses have not been established and further research is necessary, preliminary studies suggest that these plant extracts may have glucose-balancing properties.24-38
Caution: If pregnant, nursing or on medication, consult with your healthcare practitioner.
Take 1-2 capsules three times daily. Best taken with food.
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3. Ziegenfuss TN, Hofheins JE, Mendel RW, et al: Effects of a water-soluble cinnamon extract on body composition and features of the metabolic syndrome in pre-diabetic men and women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2006, 3:45-53.
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22. Via M: The malnutrition of obesity: micronutrient deficiencies that promote diabetes. ISRN Endocrinol 2012, 2012:103472.
23. Lamson DW, Plaza SM: The safety and efficacy of high-dose chromium. Altern Med Rev 2002, 7:218-235.
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36. Ajabnoor MA, Tilmisany AK: Effect of Trigonella foenum graceum on blood glucose levels in normal and alloxan-diabetic mice. J Ethnopharmacol 1988, 22:45-49.
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38. van Dijk AE, Olthof MR, Meeuse JC, et al: Acute effects of decaffeinated coffee and the major coffee components chlorogenic acid and trigonelline on glucose tolerance. Diabetes Care 2009, 32:1023-1025.