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  • Writer's picture Bowie Matteson

4 Supplements to Help Fight Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide and can have a significant impact on overall health and well-being. In this article, we will explore what exactly insulin resistance is, the negative effects it can have on your health, and delve into four supplements that have been shown to help combat insulin resistance.


What is Insulin Resistance?


Insulin resistance is a metabolic disorder in which the body's cells become less responsive to the hormone insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels. When cells become resistant to insulin, the body compensates by producing more insulin. This can eventually lead to elevated blood sugar levels, also known as hyperglycemia, and the development of type 2 diabetes.


How it Negatively Affects Your Health


Insulin resistance can have a profound impact on various aspects of your health and can increase the risk of developing several serious conditions.Believed to be stoked by chronic inflammation, insulin resistance causes numerous downstream effects in your hormonal and cardiovascular systems.


Here are some ways in which insulin resistance negatively affects your overall well-being:


Type 2 Diabetes: As mentioned earlier, insulin resistance is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, a chronic condition characterized by high blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes can lead to complications such as cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, kidney problems, and vision issues.


Weight Gain: Insulin resistance has been closely linked to weight gain and obesity. When insulin cannot effectively transport glucose into cells, the body compensates by storing excess glucose as fat. This can lead to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen.


Additionally, beta cells, which make insulin, also make a hormone called amylin. Amylin is responsible for regulating feelings of satiety and hunger to pace digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes. In states of insulin resistance, amylin, like insulin, is overproduced yet underutilized. This can contribute to overeating.


Cardiovascular Health: Individuals with insulin resistance are more prone to cardiovascular problems. High insulin levels can contribute to high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and the development of arterial plaque. Chronically high blood sugars can stiffen arteries and veins, especially in in the hands, feet and eyes. These factors increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Insulin resistance is commonly associated with PCOS, a hormonal disorder that affects women. PCOS can lead to irregular periods, infertility, acne, and excessive hair growth.


4 Supplements to Help Combat Insulin Resistance


Magnesium

Adequate magnesium levels play a vital role in maintaining insulin sensitivity.

  • Magnesium supports glucose metabolism, helping to improve insulin function.

  • Foods rich in magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds.

  • However, it can be challenging to obtain sufficient magnesium through diet alone, making supplementation an attractive option.

Consider taking a magnesium supplement, such as magnesium glycinate, -taurate, -threonate or -malate. Magnesium oxide and citrate are poorly absorbed and more prone to causing gastric distress. Consult with your healthcare provider before starting a supplement routine.


Copper

Copper is an essential trace mineral involved in various enzymatic reactions, including those related to glucose metabolism.

  • Studies have suggested a potential link between copper deficiency and insulin resistance.

  • Copper helps the body balance its iron levels, which have been linked to altered glucose metabolism.

  • Adding copper-rich foods like shellfish, organ meats, nuts, and seeds to your diet may help support insulin sensitivity.

Copper supplements should only be taken under professional guidance and supervision.


Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a powerful antioxidant that has shown promise in enhancing insulin sensitivity and reducing oxidative stress associated with insulin resistance.

  • Studies have demonstrated ALA's ability to improve glucose uptake in cells and promote better insulin signaling.

  • ALA can be found in small amounts in foods like spinach, broccoli, and organ meats.

  • ALA has been shown to diminish the damage caused by excess insulin and excess amylin.

However, to achieve therapeutic levels, supplementation is often recommended. Consult with your healthcare provider before starting an ALA supplement.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C, known for its immune-boosting properties, may also play a role in improving insulin resistance.

  • Studies have indicated that vitamin C supplementation can enhance insulin sensitivity, especially in individuals with low levels of vitamin C.

  • Incorporate vitamin C-rich foods into your diet, including citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, and leafy greens.

  • Its antioxidant properties have been shown to mitigate the inflammatory issues experienced by those with insulin resistance.

If needed, a vitamin C supplement can be considered after seeking professional advice.

 

While these supplements have shown potential in combating insulin resistance, it's essential to remember that they are not standalone solutions. Proper nutrition, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle are fundamental aspects of managing insulin resistance effectively. If you suspect you may have insulin resistance, consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized guidance.


Remember, always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure it is suitable for your individual needs and medical history.


Stay informed, take control of your health, and explore the possibilities of naturally supporting your body's fight against insulin resistance with these beneficial supplements.


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