According to the recently published National Diabetes Report, over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. That’s nearly 10% of the population. Perhaps more disconcerting is that nearly 30% of those folks go undiagnosed, unaware that they even have the disease. All told, adult type 2 diabetes accounts for 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.
Unlike type 1 diabetes — an autoimmune disease that shuts down your body’s insulin production — type 2 diabetes is caused entirely by a poor diet and lack of exercise. If you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it’s important to take it seriously. This is one disease that can be fully reversed by making changes in your lifestyle.
In addition to adopting a healthy diet regular exercise program, a high quality lipoic acid and acetyl-l-carnitine supplement can help you control blood sugar. These natural compounds lower uncontrolled blood sugar and restore insulin control by stabilizing your metabolism.
All roads lead to the mitochondria
In several studies, lipoic acid appears to help lower blood sugar levels — a hallmark of type 2 diabetes onset. Although it doesn’t affect insulin secretion, it does restore insulin sensitivity to cells.
Research suggests this is due to a change in insulin receptor activity, as well as altering the location and function of glucose transporters, residing on the surface of all cells.
Recall that glucose metabolism occurs inside the cell, but not inside mitochondria. That’s partly why sugar is a quick — albeit inefficient — fuel source. Mitochondria primarily metabolize fats as a fuel source, so constant glucose use actually put mitochondria offline. Lipoic acid combats pre-diabetic symptoms by making glucose transport more efficient and by metabolically “switching” the cell to mitochondria-powered fat burning.
ALC: Biochemical Shuttle
Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC) is a substance that helps the body turn fat into energy. In type 2 diabetes, the metabolism has been hijacked into mass conversion to glucose or sugar-powered energy production. In fact, there’s such an over abundance of glucose that cells actually ignore insulin.
One of the primary natural functions of ALC is to act as a biochemical ‘shuttle’ for fats into the mitochondria. So, like with lipoic acid, ALC combats pre-diabetic symptoms by metabolically “switching” the cell to mitochondria-powered fat burning over glucose.
In a number of research studies, ALC has been shown to reverse diabetes related damage in peripheral nerves and blood vessels. In turn, this improves circulation, especially in the limbs and also reduces symptoms of peripheral neuropathy– the nerve damage (and pain) that occurs in response to diabetes induced hyperglycemia.
Limiting Insulin Secretion
The human body operates best when insulin secretion is very limited– in response to the occasional fruit or sweet. Daily intake of excess carbohydrates — including starches or simple sugars –leads to weight gain, insulin resistance and diabetes.
Keeping blood sugar low is key to a healthy metabolism. If your body’s only means of lowering glucose is through insulin, you’re putting your metabolism at risk. Manage your blood sugar by limiting the intake of sugar and simple starches. With a proper diet, a moderate exercise regimen and a positive attitude, you can tackle and control blood sugar.
In addition to eating unprocessed, healthy foods, consider a mixed supplement of lipoic acid and acetyl-l-carnitine to repair damage and to jump-start your mitochondrial metabolism.
National Diabetes Statistics Report. 2014. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes
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