5 Supplements to Help Reduce Insulin Resistance and Improve Health

on Mar 28, 2023| Modified on May 17, 2023
Insulin Resistance Supplements.

Insulin resistance (IR) is not commonly discussed on Earth Clinic, despite its prevalence and significant impact on our health. It is important to note that IR is not solely associated with diabetes, as it can occur in people without diabetes, and some people with diabetes may not have IR. While IR can lead to diabetes, it can also result in other health issues, as listed below.

Insulin resistance (IR) is often overlooked by doctors, resulting in missed opportunities for early intervention and prevention of associated health problems. Despite its prevalence in various disease states beyond diabetes, such as cardiovascular disease and fatty liver disease, many doctors do not test for IR. This can lead to the worsening of existing conditions and an increased risk of developing new health issues. Therefore, it is crucial to advocate for yourself and request that your doctor test you for IR to address any potential problems early on.

For example, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Insulin resistance (IR) contributes to the development of CVD and can worsen the condition. This is discussed in detail in the following review article:

https://cardiab.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12933-018-0762-4#:~:text=Overall, insulin resistance contributes to, effects lead to heart failure.

Insulin resistance has several negative effects on the body, including an imbalance in glucose metabolism, which can result in chronically elevated blood sugar levels. This can trigger oxidative stress and inflammation, causing damage to cells.

Additionally, insulin resistance can affect how the body processes lipids, leading to dyslipidemia. This condition is characterized by high levels of triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein, and the appearance of small, dense low-density lipoproteins. When combined with endothelial dysfunction, which can also be caused by insulin resistance, dyslipidemia can contribute to the development of atherosclerotic plaque.

Insulin resistance can have detrimental effects on cardiac health through multiple mechanisms. Three ways in which it can cause damage to the heart are:

  1. Altering signal transduction
  2. Impairing regulation of substrate metabolism
  3. Affecting delivery of nutrients to the heart

Insulin resistance (IR) can exacerbate cardiovascular disease (CVD) if unmanaged. However, IR often goes undetected unless specifically tested for by a doctor, meaning that an individual may already be experiencing serious health issues like a heart attack or stroke before learning of their IR. Fortunately, IR can be treated to reduce the risk of severe CVD complications. Unfortunately, there are currently no FDA-approved drugs specifically for treating IR, and many doctors are hesitant to prescribe diabetic medications to non-diabetic patients due to concerns about liability in the event of complications. This creates a frustrating situation where obtaining appropriate treatment for IR and CVD can be challenging.

This is just an inkling of the health complications that IR can cause, and this is not just limited to CVD. The following study is entitled "Patients with psoriasis are insulin resistant" :

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0190962215000079#:~:text=•-, Patients with psoriasis have increased risk of type 2 diabetes, systemic inflammation causes insulin resistance.&text=Our data suggest that psoriasis, patients who are not diabetic.

Conditions Associated with Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance (IR) can be found in multiple conditions, including:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Certain types of cancer have an increased risk associated with IR.
  • IR is common in people with end-stage kidney disease.
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common liver diseases and is characterized by IR as its pathophysiological hallmark.
  • 40% of patients with mood disorders also have IR.
  • Covid-19 can trigger IR.
  • IR can increase the risk of developing asthma-like symptoms.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis flares have been linked to IR.

Insulin resistance (IR) is a significant factor that can negatively affect our health, even if we don't have diabetes and have a lean body. The following are some of the potential negative effects of IR:

  1. Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels)
  2. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  3. Dyslipidemia (elevated cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood)
  4. Visceral adiposity (excess fat stored around the organs in the abdomen)
  5. Hyperuricemia (elevated levels of uric acid in the blood)
  6. Elevated inflammatory markers
  7. Endothelial dysfunction (dysfunction of the inner lining of blood vessels)
  8. Prothrombotic state (increased risk of blood clotting)
  9. Arterial damage
  10. Development of diabetes

https://www.iherb.com/blog/insulin-resistance-causes-signs-supplements/1297

From the above list, it is clear that IR can significantly impact our health and well-being.

Signs That You Should Ask Your Doctor to Test You for Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance (IR) often goes undetected in many individuals, especially if their doctor hasn't tested them for it. However, some signs may indicate that you should ask your doctor to test you for IR. These signs include:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Skin tags, especially around the neck or groin
  • High cholesterol levels
  • High triglyceride levels
  • Fatty liver
  • Prediabetes or diabetes
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Heart disease
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (abnormal periods)

If you have any of these signs or risk factors, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor about the possibility of testing for IR.

Addressing Insulin Resistance: Importance and Approaches

Insulin resistance (IR) is a critical factor in a cascade of negative health effects that can lead to conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and organ damage. This cascade is accompanied by increased oxidative stress levels and inflammatory markers in the body, which can further worsen health.

A healthy diet is an excellent starting point for reducing insulin resistance and improving insulin sensitivity. However, sticking to such a diet can be challenging for some individuals. Regular exercise is another effective way to reduce insulin resistance and increase insulin sensitivity. However, some people may find exercise difficult or impossible due to health conditions.

It is important to address insulin resistance to prevent the negative health consequences that can arise from it. While a healthy diet and regular exercise are beneficial, individuals may need to explore other options with their healthcare providers if these interventions are not feasible or effective.

5 Supplements to Improve Insulin Sensitivity and Reduce Insulin Resistance

Some supplements can help to reduce IR. One that I have written about before is Berberine which can reduce insulin resistance while increasing insulin sensitivity, as discussed here:

1. Berberine

Berberine is a supplement that potentially reduces insulin resistance and improves insulin sensitivity. It works by improving the physiological stimulation of glucose through a cascade reaction of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which leads to insulin secretion in the body. This, in turn, reduces insulin resistance and improves the sensitivity of liver, muscle tissues, and fat to insulin.

Berberine has also been discussed as a beneficial supplement for Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) due to its multiple pathways and mechanisms.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6434235/#:~:text=Berberine improves physiological stimulation of, fat to insulin (16).

2. Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract

Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract (GSPE) is another supplement that has been found to have the ability to reduce insulin resistance in humans. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) found that after the intervention, participants who took GSPE had a significant reduction in Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) and insulin levels compared to the placebo group.

Although changes were observed in other variables, they were not statistically significant. Overall, GSPE has shown promise in improving insulin sensitivity and reducing insulin resistance in humans.

3. Magnesium

Magnesium is a supplement that has been found to have potential benefits in reducing insulin resistance, especially in advanced ages without obesity and in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who are at an increased risk of getting diabetes.

A recent study found a significant negative correlation between magnesium and Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) in advanced ages without obesity, particularly in men with low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) levels, which is a marker of kidney function.

Another study demonstrated that magnesium supplementation reduced fasting blood sugar (FBS), insulin, and HOMA-IR levels in RA patients, potentially preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. This study suggests magnesium supplementation may be an alternative method for preventing diabetes in RA patients.

Magnesium is an underrated supplement for diabetes and can potentially improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance.

4. Ceylon Cinnamon

Cinnamon, specifically Ceylon Cinnamon, is another supplement that has shown the potential to reduce insulin resistance.

A study found that consuming metformin or cinnamon significantly decreased Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) compared to the placebo and ginger groups. Additionally, weight and body mass index (BMI) decreased significantly in all intervention groups.

5. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a supplement with many positive health effects, including improving insulin sensitivity and reducing insulin resistance. Recent studies have highlighted the significant role of vitamin D in insulin resistance.

One study found that high-dose vitamin D supplementation for six months significantly improved peripheral insulin sensitivity, as assessed by the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, and beta-cell function in individuals at high risk of diabetes or with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the study showed a statistically significant positive change in M-value, the value used for insulin sensitivity.

Summary

In conclusion, these five supplements - berberine, grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE), magnesium, cinnamon, and vitamin D - have been found to reduce insulin resistance and/or increase insulin sensitivity in humans. This benefits overall health, regardless of an individual's health condition. However, incorporating these supplements may be especially advantageous for those with health issues.

Compared to other supplements, these five have good safety profiles, are relatively inexpensive, and can offer other health benefits with less chance of negative side effects. Additionally, studies support their use for reducing insulin resistance. Therefore, these supplements may be worthwhile for individuals looking to improve their insulin sensitivity and overall health.

Art


About The Author

Art Solbrig is a researcher who has been reading scientific studies and testing natural remedies for over 30 years, searching for useful studies and alternatives that apply positively to human health issues and natural treatments using minerals, vitamins, amino acids, essential oils, herbs, homeopathy, colloidal silver, combination treatments, and other alternatives to improve the quality of life of others by writing about his findings and test results in places like Earth Clinic. He documents and writes about many of his experiences in helping others. Art is a native of sunny California.

Related Links:

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Melatonin
Diabetes Type II and Berberine: Dosage and Research
Effective Natural Remedies for Managing PCOS
Magnesium for Diabetes Type II
Metabolic Syndrome Treatment with Metabolic Theory
Natural Cures for a Fatty Liver
Natural Remedies for Diabetes Type II
Two Supplements for Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)




Supplement Combinations for Diabetics

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%

Posted by Looms (Hawaii ) on 03/30/2023

I found the diet part quite silly, to suggest to gorge on flesh. Everyone knows that one can drop our rates of diabetes by over 50% by avoiding animal foods. That's been shown over and over in so many studies and is mainstream knowledge now.

Replied by Art
(California)
03/31/2023
2076 posts

Looms,

Regarding me saying that people should gorge on flesh, well, I simply never said that in what I wrote and I don't know where you got that from. I mentioned that eating a healthy diet is helpful as is exercise for reducing insulin resistance.

The article was about the prevalence of Insulin Resistance (IR) in people in general and how to potentially treat that condition, not just for diabetics and it was not really focused on treating diabetes. There are diabetics who are not insulin resistant and there are many more non diabetics who are insulin resistant and that is where I was directing this.

Yes, a vegan diet can reduce IR and diabetes, but clearly, many people are not going to give up meat products. So these 5 supplements offer other practical options for most people who are insulin resistant. Up to 46.5% of adult people in the world are thought to be insulin resistant which shows how big of a problem IR is worldwide. Compared to diabetics in the world at just 9.3% it becomes much clearer how serious a problem insulin resistance is. Add to this the fact that doctors don't regularly test for IR and it emphasizes the importance of being proactive if you have one or more of these symptoms that I listed in the original post :

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Skin tags, especially around the neck or groin
  • High cholesterol levels
  • High triglyceride levels
  • Fatty liver
  • Prediabetes or diabetes
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Heart disease
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (abnormal periods)

Clearly insulin resistance goes well beyond just diabetes and being aware of the signs and symptoms as well as being aware of steps you can take to ameliorate IR is of significant importance for our health and that is part of the reason why I regularly take 4 of the 5 supplements listed and why I wrote about it, to share this information with the EC community, visitors and readers.

Art

Sam
(Miami)
04/01/2023

Insulin resistance is a canary in a coal mine.

The concept of insulin resistance is relatively easy to understand, but determining precisely who is insulin resistant is more complicated. The relationship between glucose and insulin is quite complex and involves the interaction of many metabolic and regulatory factors. The hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp technique is the most scientifically sound technique for measuring insulin sensitivity, and it's against this standard that all other tests are usually compared.


Supplement Combinations for Diabetics
Posted by Debbie (Santa Rosa, CA) on 03/29/2023
★★★★★

I'm interested if anyone knows of a combo of these supplements? My 38 year old daughter is diabetic with high blood pressure, obesity and several other symptoms listed in the article. She recently had a heart attack!!!! She's in the process of figuring how to have a healthier lifestyle. I want to send her these supplements and I know the fewer pills she has to swallow the more likely she'll stick with it.

Replied by Art
(California)
03/29/2023
2076 posts

Debbie,

Your daughter has quite a few health issues going on. The berberine will also be very helpful for her diabetes to lower her blood sugar, HbA1c, oxidative stress levels and act as a heart, liver and kidney protectant among other things. Berberine has also shown synergy with some prescription medications used for diabetes. I previously wrote about the value of berberine in diabetes here :

https://www.earthclinic.com/cures/berberine-for-diabetes.html

The magnesium, aside from its many uses by the body, will also be good for her diabetes which I previously wrote about here :

https://www.earthclinic.com/cures/magnesium-for-diabetes-art-solbrig.html

Since she has had a heart attack, melatonin would be very useful and I previously wrote about the protective effects of melatonin in cardiovascular disease here :

https://www.earthclinic.com/cures/melatonin-for-cardiovascular-disease.html

Obviously vitamin D is going to be important for all of us as most people are insufficient or deficient and supplementing to bring her 25 OH d level into the optimal range will be important to improve her insulin sensitivity. You said your daughter is obese and this will likely require higher dosing of vitamin D which her doctor can monitor to get her 25 OH d level into the upper half of the reference range of 30~100 ng/ml.

The Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract (GSPE) will help with insulin resistance and offer protective effects for her heart.

Most importantly, because of your daughter's current medical conditions, it is imperative that she have her doctor approve her use of each of these supplements and to make sure that they will not conflict with any of the medications she is taking.

Art

Deb
(Edgewood, Nm)
04/01/2023

Hi Art,

Is GSPE the same thing as GSE (grape seed extract)? I want to make sure I get the correct thing. TIA

Replied by Donna
(Dunedin FL)
03/29/2023

I've tried all the supplements, i.e. berberine, gymnema, chromium, vanadium, magnesium, Vit D, but none have kept my BS down. The only answer is the keto diet and exercise, especially exercise (not heavy exercise), as muscle creates metabolites, and as you lose muscle, you develop metabolic syndrome, which drives up BS, triglycerides and BP. It's not an easy problem to fix.

MAXINE
(Alabama)
03/30/2023

Hi Donna, This is exactly what I believe. I also had significant changes in the numbers by intermittent fasting. I've had tremendous success with low carb lifestyle (basically keto) not only affecting my weight but consequently all my numbers into a healthy range. However, I've since remarried a foodie and now 15 years later I've regained the weight but fighting it with weight bearing exercise and next will be good bye bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and sweets. Good luck to you!

Art
(California)
04/01/2023
2076 posts

Deb,

GSE and GSPE are the same thing. I mainly use GSPE so that there is no confusion between it and Grapefruit Seed Extract which is referred to as GSE.

Art

Replied by Chris
(New York, NY)
05/17/2023

Hello,

An MD has a channel on YouTube called, “Beat Diabetes”. He's an endocrinologist, I think. He sells supplement formulations for diabetics.


Supplement Combinations for Prediabetics

Posted by sher (Missoula, USA) on 04/28/2023

I am prediabetic. I notice that my blood sugar on a CGM spikes more on foods that it used to not spike on since I removed all the fruit and other carbs that normally it spikes on. Can anyone direct me to information that might help me understand this and what to do about it? Another weird thing is if I exercise between meals when my blood glucose is good, the exercise makes it go up. Info on why and what to do to keep it on a nice even run? Seems the more I try to focus and do everything right a new leak springs! Which supplement would help with the seemingly extra sensitivity. I can have a good blood sugar reading 30-40 minutes after eating and yet if it has gone up more than 18 pts from my pre-meal level I get overwhelmingly sleepy. Is there something I can do to not experience this sleepy feeling. Would one of the supplements help with this?

Replied by Art
(California)
04/29/2023
2076 posts

sher,

Consider starting with the vitamin D and magnesium glycinate and give it one to two months and see how your readings are doing. If that isn't quite enough improvement, add the cinnamon in and that should help improve your glucose control.

Art

Bill
(Philippines)
04/30/2023

Hi sher,

The reason you feel so sleepy after you eat is because the body must work hard -- and has to use considerable energy -- to digest your food after a big meal. And since most off your blood is automatically redirected to your gut region to achieve digestion, other parts of your body may not be receiving enough oxygen going to the brain, which would certainly be enough to make you feel sleepy.

Here are some suggestions that should help alleviate your sleepiness and pre-diabetic disposition:

Methylene Blue(MB): This well known chemical is good for a plethora of problems including Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and Diabetes. MB also has the rather remarkable ability to increase oxygen to the body's peripherals, including the brain. As well as preventing sleepiness and increasing energy, MB also increases insulin sensitivity:

The Surprising Health Benefits of Methylene Blue

As regards MB dosage, I now regularly use MB at a higher dosage than Ted recommends because his advised dose range of between 8 to 12 drops of 0.1% MB does nothing for me. Also I much prefer talking and expressing the MB dose in milligrams because I find it less confusing than talking about MB dosages as just drops and percentages. All you have to remember is that 1% Methylene Blue contains 0.5 mgs of Methylene Blue per drop. So, for example, in order to supplement 15 mgs of MB per day would require taking 30 drops of 1% MB(@0.5mgs per drop) on a glass of water. This is the MB dose that wakes me up and works for me. I take this MB dose first thing in the morning and sometimes I take the same dose again in the afternoon as well, depending on what I'm doing. I take Methylene Blue to help prevent Alzheimer's, Parkinsons', COVID-19 infections and it also acts as a useful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic. And for me, at the dosages I've mentioned, it seems to wake me up and gives me lots of energy as well. When I'm uding this preventative MB protocol I deliberately come off the protocol for one day a week to allow my body to reset back to normal.

Other natural minerals that you can take that should help your pre-diabetic disposition are:

Vanadyl Sulphate is supplemented at 7mgs - 10 mgs per day or more. This mineral increases the sensitivity of your cell's insulin receptors and it also helps to regenerate insulin-producing Beta cells within the Islets of Langerhan region of your pancreas. So this one is good for treating both Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes.

Chromium Picolinate helps greatly to aid insulin by helping to efficiently escort sugar into the cells for energy. I currently take chromium picolinate at 1000 mcg every other day(i.e. once every two days).

Diabetes is the #1 Shame of the "Orthodox" Doctors - Chromium & More

It might benefit you to also take Selenium(@200 mcg twice a day with meals) and Magnesium as the citrate or chloride form(@250mgs twice a day with meals) as well.

And -- as an afterthought -- if anyone wants to know how to use Dr Deepak Golwalkar's highly successful sub-lingual and nebulizer Methylene Blue protocols that he has used so successfully to cure both COVID-19 and Tuberculosis, you should visit these links for more information:

Treatment for COVID-19 using Methylene Blue

Dr Golwalkars Methylene Blue dosage for Patients & for Prophylaxis

Interview by TV9 Gujarati on Treating COVID-19 with Methylene Blue

Dr Golwalkar has successfully used 0.1% Methylene Blue for both his sublingual and nebulizer protocols. He is renowned for having already saved thousands of lives using his own Methylene Blue protocols at his pulmonary clinic in Gujarat, India.



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