Your Road to Wellness

Glucose

Can your blood glucose regulation affect your memory?

Posted by on 12:45 pm Bloodsugar, Cognition, Dementia, Diabetes, Diet, Eating, General Health, Glucose, Health Risk, Insulin resistance, Memory, Wellness | 0 comments

This study investigated how the ability to control the levels of blood glucose was related to mood and cognition (Young H, Benton D, 2014).

155 adults, aged 45-85 years,  without a diagnosis of diabetes, were given an oral glucose tolerance test and cognitive tests. 

The researchers found that those with poorer glucose tolerance forgot more words and had slower decision times, but only if they were 61 years or older. 

The next study on the same topic included 93 healthy male and female non-diabetic participants who ranged in age from 55 to 88 years (Messier C, 2010). 

The researchers measured cognitive function as well as other things. The participants also had a glucose tolerance test during which glucose and insulin were measured.This was done after drinking a saccharin solution and on another occasion after drinking a glucose solution (50 g).

The results showed that progressively worse glucose regulation predicted poorer performance on measures of working memory and executive function.

The researchers stated that the results suggest that cognitive functions may be impaired before gluco-regulatory impairment reaches levels consistent with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

The change from being insulin sensitive to being insulin resistant is a gradual process. This shows that it is really important to keep your blood glucose at a low and normal level not only after you have fasted, but also after eating. Ideally it should be below 90 two hours after a meal.

The sooner you  implement strategies to stay insulin sensitive the better it is.

You can stay insulin sensitive by making changes to the way you eat and by incorporating exercise into your routine.

References

Messier C, Tsiakas M, Gagnon M, Desrochers A. Effect of age and glucoregulation on cognitive performance. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2010 Oct;32(8):809-21.

Young H, Benton D.The nature of the control of blood glucose in those with poorer glucose tolerance influences mood and cognition. Metab Brain Dis. 2014 Sep;29(3):721-8.

 

 

 

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What damage can high blood sugar and oxidative stress cause?

Posted by on 10:33 am Blood Pressure, Bloodsugar, Energy, General Health, Glucose, Health, Stress, Supplements, Wellness | 0 comments

It is common knowledge that having high blood sugar levels is damaging to our health, but in what way is it harmful to us?  

Having high blood glucose levels causes oxidation of glucose and a reaction causing glycation of proteins.  These reactions cause tissue damage and create a lot of free radicals. This also decreases the activity of superoxide dismutase–which is the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.  This decrease in antioxidant activity again will increase the oxidative stress in a seemingly endless cycle.

This oxidation and glycation reaction chain has shown to alter the mitochondria–which are the energy-producing entities of the cell–and has shown to be involved in a variety of diseases (Edeas, et. al., 2009).  The damaged mitochondria will produce less ATP (energy) than a normal mitochondria. Additionally, the damaged mitochondria cannot use glucose or lipids in a normal way. This means that a person with high blood sugar is unable to produce as much energy as they should.  

So what can be done to offset the production of these advanced glycation-end products?  The researchers of this study show that curcumin could suppress the advanced glycation-end products and also stimulate the synthesis of glutathione (Stefanska, 2012).

It is also important to eat food with a high nutrient content and low glycemic index, but you can take curcumin to help reduce damage from higher glucose levels. Just be sure that the curcumin you take is well absorbed since regular curcumin is not.  

Taking S-Acetyl Glutathione is also an excellent way to get protection from the negative effects of elevated blood glucose, it works really well.   Taking regular glutathione is not effective since it is oxidised in the stomach and not very bioavailable. Don’t waste your money.

References

Edeas, M, et al. “Maillard Reaction, Mitochondria and Oxidative Stress: Potential Role of Antioxidants.” Pathologie Biologie, Academic Press, 23 Dec. 2009, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0369811409001898.

Stefanska, B. “Curcumin Ameliorates Hepatic Fibrosis in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – Insights into Its Mechanisms of Action.” Addiction & Health, British Journal of Pharmacology , Aug. 2012, europepmc.org/articles/PMC3448887.

 

 

 

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Your blood glucose level affects the health of your blood vessels.

Posted by on 9:49 am Bloodsugar, Diet, Diseases, Eating, General Health, Glucose, The Learn to Eat Plan, Wellness | 0 comments

Everybody agrees that to be able to function well and live a long life, we need good blood circulation. This necessitates a healthy vascular system.

Your vascular system is especially important for your heart, brain, and the rest of your body because the blood delivers nutrients and oxygen. Without a supply of nutrients, the tissue will degenerate. So what can you do to keep your vascular system healthy?

Books can be written on that topic, but here is a simple strategy you can implement that can make a big difference.

First, since most of us eat several meals daily and the after effect of a meal can have a pronounced effect on your blood vessels, think about how the meal will affect your blood glucose level.

The reason you should be concerned with this is that high glucose levels after a meal and insulin resistance cause damage to the endothelium–the inner layer of the blood vessel wall (Shi Y, Vanhoutte PM, 2017).

Endothelial dysfunction is characterized by decreased release of nitric oxide, increased oxidative stress, increased production of inflammatory factors, and impaired endothelial repair.

This is one of the reasons you can end up with atherosclerosis and reduced blood circulation.

Since one of the reasons for endothelial function can be that the blood glucose level after a meal is too high, many are now recommending low carbohydrate meals. This is done as an attempt to lower the blood glucose.

This, however, may not be the the best strategy.

Research to date suggests that diets that are low in carbohydrates may negatively impact vascular endothelial function (Jovanovski E, et.al., 2015).

It appears that it is more favourable to maintain the carbohydrate intake and instead use low glycemic index foods. This generates more benefits for the vascular system.

An easy way to do that is to add some beans or lentils to the meal and reduce the amount of a higher glycemic index item.

References

Shi Y, Vanhoutte PM.Macro- and microvascular endothelial dysfunction in diabetes.J Diabetes. 2017 May;9(5):434-449.

Jovanovski E, Zurbau A, Vuksan V, Carbohydrates and endothelial function: is a low-carbohydrate diet or a low-glycemic index diet favourable for vascular health?Clin Nutr Res. 2015 Apr;4(2):69-75.

 

 

 

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Your Blood Glucose Level after You Eat can Affect Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease.

Posted by on 11:19 am Bloodsugar, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Eating, General Health, Glucose, Health, Heart disease | 0 comments

Your blood glucose level after you eat can affect your risk for cardiovascular disease. Several studies show a correlation between blood glucose levels and what happens to your arteries. The most common ways to evaluate the blood glucose metabolism is to measure fasting blood glucose and Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Hemoglobin A1c is usually used to monitor long-term glucose control, 2-3 months.

Image result for blood glucoseMore and more research is, however, documenting the importance of also knowing what the blood glucose level is after a meal, and that is not checked routinely.

In the following study, the participants were divided into 4 groups based on coronary angiography (Sasso FC, et.al., 2004). One group had no significant stenosis (calcification), the other groups had documented disease in 1 and up to 3 vessels. Several tests were performed to evaluate the glucose metabolism, including the glucose and insulin levels after eating.

For patients with a so-called normal glucose tolerance, it was interesting that the most important test correlating with cardiovascular risk was the glucose level after eating, and the next was Hemoglobin A1c.

In patients with coronary artery disease the researchers showed that even with normal Hemoglobin A1c levels, the participants with an abnormal glucose tolerance test (glucose after a meal) had greater progression of coronary artery lesions (Wang H, et.al., 2014).

It was not even a difference in risk between patients with an impaired glucose tolerance and patients who had type 2 diabetes. This shows that you don’t have to have progressed to having diabetes to have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Researchers have found that there is a linear relationship between the risk of cardiovascular death and the 2-hour glucose tolerance test (Leiter LA, et.al., 2005).

Image result for cardiovascular disease and glucose level

The 2 -hour glucose tolerance test measures the blood glucose level 2 hours after a test drink has been ingested.

These researchers found increased mortality at an oral 2-hour glucose tolerance test of approximately 90 mg/dl which is well below the level of what type 2 diabetes patients have.

Research is showing us that what we used to think of as normal and good test results are not good enough. That’s probably why we see a lot of people dying from a cardiovascular disease with laboratory values in the normal range.

References
Leiter LA, Ceriello A, Davidson JA, Hanefeld M, Monnier L, Owens DR, Tajima N, Tuomilehto J ; International Prandial Glucose Regulation Study Group. Clin Ther. 2005;27 Suppl B:S42-56.

Sasso FC, Carbonara O, Nasti R, Campana B, Marfella R, Torella M, Nappi G, Torella R, Cozzolino D, Glucose metabolism and coronary heart disease in patients with normal glucose tolerance. JAMA. 2004 Apr 21;291(15):1857-63.

Wang H, Tang Z, Li X, Hu B, Feng B. Angiographic evaluation of the effects of glucose metabolic status on progression of coronary artery lesions in patients with coronary artery disease. J Diabetes. 2014 Nov;6(6):541-6.

 

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3 Important Benefits of Flax Seeds

Posted by on 12:26 pm Anti-Aging, Anti-aging, Antioxidents, Blood Pressure, Bloodsugar, Body fat, Bone density, bone loss, Diabetes, Flaxseeds, General Health, General Health, Glucose, Green tea, Happiness, HDL, HDL Level, Health, Health Risk | 0 comments

 

One of the impressive health benefits of flax seeds is the ability to decrease blood pressure (Rodriguez-Leyva D, et.al., 2013).

In a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, 30 g of flax seeds daily for 6 months reduced the systolic blood pressure of 10 mm Hg and the diastolic blood pressure with 7 mm Hg.

 This is as good as some blood pressure medications, and instead of side-effects, you get even additional benefits.

13 g of flax seeds daily has shown to decrease blood glucose and insulin and improve insulin sensitivity in obese individuals with pre-diabetes (Hutchins AM, et.al., 2013).

Flax seeds can also lower cholesterol. 

In just 7 days a drink made of flax seeds lowered total cholesterol by 12% and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) 15% (Kristensen M, et.al., 2012).

Even if many people are not aware of these health benefits, it’s been known for a long time that flax seeds can reduce total cholesterol, LDL and decrease the blood glucose after a meal (Cunnane SC, et.al., 1993).

 

It is very important to keep the blood glucose in a good range even after a meal, it is not enough to only have good fasting blood glucose.

I recommend grinding 2 tablespoons of flax seeds in a coffee grinder and put them in a glass with water, stir it and drink it thick. You can of course also sprinkle it on food, like a salad if you prefer.

 

References

Cunnane, S. C., Ganguli, S., Menard, C., Liede, A. C., Hamadeh, M. J., Chen, Z. Y., … & Jenkins, D. J. (1993). High α-linolenic acid flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum): some nutritional properties in humansBritish Journal of Nutrition69(2), 443-453.

Hutchins, A. M., Brown, B. D., Cunnane, S. C., Domitrovich, S. G., Adams, E. R., & Bobowiec, C. E. (2013). Daily flaxseed consumption improves glycemic control in obese men and women with pre-diabetes: a randomized study. Nutrition research33(5), 367-375.

Kristensen, M., Jensen, M. G., Aarestrup, J., Petersen, K. E., Søndergaard, L., Mikkelsen, M. S., & Astrup, A. (2012). Flaxseed dietary fibers lower cholesterol and increase fecal fat excretion, but the magnitude of the effect depends on food typeNutrition & Metabolism9(1), 8.

Rodriguez-Leyva, D., Weighell, W., Edel, A. L., LaVallee, R., Dibrov, E., Pinneker, R., … & Pierce, G. N. (2013). Potent Antihypertensive Action of Dietary Flaxseed in Hypertensive PatientsNovelty and Significance. Hypertension62(6), 1081-1089.

The effects of elevated blood glucose and what you can do about it.

Posted by on 9:45 am Glucose | 0 comments

Elevated blood glucose induces what is called non-enzymatic glycation of proteins, yielding advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).

This happens when the glucose reacts with proteins in the body.

It leads to tissue damage.

We have receptors for AGEs and one type is associated with oxidative stress and inflammation.

In other words, we end up with both increased oxidative stress and inflammation when we have elevated blood glucose.

We also have another type of receptors which are involved in detoxification and clearance of AGEs.

Research has been done in this area to see if anything could affect these processes.

In the liver, AGEs can activate certain cells which through several steps can lead to fibrosis of the liver. That’s not a good thing. 

One study found that curcumin could eliminate the effect of AGEs on these cells (Tang Y, Chen A, 2014).

This through some other steps elevate the level of cellular glutathione, leading to a reduction in oxidative stress.

This research indicates that by taking curcumin you may be able to greatly reduce the side effects of high glucose levels.

By also taking glutathione, you may be able to protect yourself even more.

The best thing would, of course, be to avoid walking around with high blood glucose levels in the first place.

You also need to remember that curcumin is not well absorbed, you need a formula with improved absorption.

When it comes to glutathione, you need a formula containing S-Acetyl Glutathione which gets into the cells, since regular glutathione is oxidized (destroyed) in the stomach.

Tang Y1, Chen A1. Curcumin eliminates the effect of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) on the divergent regulation of gene expression of receptors of AGEs by interrupting leptin signaling. Lab Invest. 2014 May;94(5):503-16. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2014.42. Epub 2014 Mar 10.


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