Attention diabetics: Find out how to lower blood sugar levels and prevent cardiovascular complications
(NaturalHealth365) Over 30 million Americans are currently affected by diabetes, which is strongly associated with increased risk of heart disease – and with a corresponding loss of life. In fact, the American Heart Association recently reported that at least 68 percent of diabetics age 65 or older die from some form of heart disease, while 16 percent die of stroke. Now, an Australian study reveals that a natural nutrient, vitamin C, can safely decrease blood sugar levels.
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is already valued for its powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune system-boosting effects. To learn more about this amazing nutrient’s role in Cellular Medicine as a potential weapon against type 2 diabetes and heart disease, keep reading.
Study: Vitamin C slashes elevated blood sugar levels
In a placebo-controlled crossover study conducted by Deakin University and published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, researchers found that just 500 mg of vitamin C – twice a day – for nine months lowered elevated glucose (blood sugar) levels of participants with type 2 diabetes.
The nutrient decreased blood sugar by an average of 40 percent – a dramatic improvement.
And, the regulating influence persisted throughout the day – meaning that the vitamin C helped to control harmful after-meal blood sugar spikes, as well.
As an added ‘bonus:’ the researchers reported that vitamin C also provides a benefit to the cardiovascular system by lowering blood pressure by an average of 7 mm/Hg in the systolic and 5 mm/Hg in the diastolic.
The systolic, or top number, measures the pressure exerted with each heartbeat, while the diastolic measures pressure in between beats. High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The team concluded that the research provided evidence for the usefulness of vitamin C as an adjunct therapy for type 2 diabetes.
But this wasn’t news to many natural health experts – including to German physician and researcher Matthias Rath, M.D.
New research supports the central tenets of Cellular Medicine
According to Dr. Rath, the founder of the Dr. Rath Research Institute, Cellular Medicine teaches us that heart disease and type 2 diabetes are caused by shortages in cellular bio-energy caused by chronic long-term deficiencies of vitamins, minerals and amino acids – and that the diseases can be addressed by providing these micronutrients in specific amounts.
In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t efficiently produce or utilize insulin, a hormone that helps to manage the conversion of sugar to energy. This causes sugar to build up in the blood, eventually causing type 2 diabetes and associated cardiovascular problems.
Diabetes affects heart health due to the fact that a high concentration of glucose (sugar) in the blood prevents cells in the arterial walls from receiving sufficient vitamin C.
Long-term deficiencies of vitamin C, in turn, can lead to cracks in arterial walls, which the body attempts to repair by depositing cholesterol. This cholesterol buildup can eventually trigger atherosclerosis, a major cause of heart attack and stroke.
Other consequences of vitamin C deficiency in diabetics include the formation of atherosclerotic deposits in the legs and eyes, which can cause diabetic complications, such as amputation and blindness.
Cellular Medicine corrects the micronutrient deficiencies that can cause diabetes and heart conditions
According to Dr. Rath, a specific regimen of vitamins, mineral and amino acids can prevent the chronic deficiencies that trigger such life-threatening conditions as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Central to Cellular Medicine are Dr. Rath’s Cellular Recommendations, which revolve around supplementation with specific micronutrients (vitamins C, E and B, along with various amino acids and minerals) to help prevent diabetes and normalize blood sugar levels.
Additional research supports the positive effects of vitamin C. For example, studies dating back to 1937 have shown that 300 to 500 mg of this nutrient – a day – can significantly improve glucose balance.
And research conducted at the Dr. Rath Research Institute showed that its vitamin C-rich micronutrient supplementation program decreased blood sugar by 23 percent, while lowering HbA1c levels – a measure of blood sugar levels over time – by 9 percent.
Alert: Magnesium deficiency is widespread – and can threaten blood sugar control
Vitamin C is not the only nutrient that can help lower blood sugar. The essential mineral magnesium also appears to have the ability to regulate glucose and insulin in the body.
Due to a variety of factors – which can include poor nutrition, certain medications, modern farming practices and soils that are increasingly depleted of magnesium – almost half of all Americans are low in this indispensable nutrient.
And, yes, seniors fare even worse, with a stunning 80 percent of adults over 70 suffering from a magnesium deficiency.
Because insulin resistance affects the intracellular transport of magnesium, diabetics are particularly susceptible to magnesium deficiency – which is clinically identified as levels under 1.8 mg/dL.
In a study published last January in Nutrients, researchers found that 250 mg of supplemental magnesium a day for three months improved glycemic response and reduced blood sugar by an impressive 37 percent. HbA1c levels dropped significantly as well.
The National Institutes of Health currently advise a recommended daily amount of 420 mg of magnesium for men and 320 mg for women. Naturally, in order to reach these levels, your integrative physician may recommend magnesium supplements.
As always, please consult with your doctor before making any change to your diet or supplement routine.
As a side ‘note,’ you can increase your intake of dietary magnesium with healthy amounts of dark leafy greens, cashews, almonds and sunflower seeds. Whole grains, beans and dark chocolate are also good sources of magnesium. But, (don’t forget) – for maximum benefit – always opt for organic foods, as much as possible.
You can up your dietary intake of vitamin C with a wide range of organic fruits and vegetables, including bell peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries and leafy greens. Surprisingly, potatoes are fairly rich in vitamin C as well. But, some people may want to avoid the ‘nightshade family‘ of foods.
And, finally, getting sufficient exercise, eating an organic diet and eliminating or sharply reducing refined (processed) sugars are also important lifestyle choices that can help combat diabetes and help you to avoid a heart attack.
Sources for this article include:
American Heart Association