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Supporting Blood Sugar Regulation



Did you know that sugar has an effect on your brain health? As high sugar intake may increase inflammation, sugar intake is associated with cognitive impairment. So reducing sugar intake is one of the most important preventative steps in keeping your brain healthy.


Cognitive Decline and Blood Sugar Management

Approximately 60% of cognitive decline can be prevented by managing blood sugar, so it’s vital to get your fasting blood sugar, fasting insulin and Hba1c markers checked and help ensure they are all within a healthy range.


Alzheimer’s and the High Blood Sugar Connection

Amyloid plaque is a toxin that can accumulate in the brain and is associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. The body has its own natural abilities to fight toxins that build up in the body, especially when we sleep via the glymphatic system. However, when the body is constantly trying to defend itself against the daily ambush of stresses and environmental toxins of modern life, these toxins may build up.


Our body is able to clean up brain toxins with an enzyme called insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE), which is the same enzyme that the body uses to metabolise insulin. Unfortunately, if the body is overwhelmed with high insulin, IDE is utilized to reduce the insulin and its other functions take a back seat. If amyloid beta builds up beyond a certain point, it can become toxic to nerve cells, destroys synapses (the connections between nerve cells), and promotes brain inflammation, which becomes a vicious cycle.


Optimal Blood Sugar Levels Recommendations


Diet, Supplements and Lifestyle Interventions that Lower Blood Sugar

Diet modifications and nutrition are always a must in my recommendations and to being with, supplements are usually included to help nudge the body in the right direction. Dietary modification include low GI carbs, avoid refine sugars, eating good fats, highly plant based, avoid highly processed foods and good quality protein.


Some of my go to herbs for blood sugar regulation include cinnamon, fenugreek, schisandra, ginger, licorice, goats rue and berberine. Nutrients include zinc, magnesium, chromium and B’s.


Aim to exercise 30 mins each day (you can have a day off each week), with a mix a mix of cardio and weight bearing exercises.


Where possible, reduce stress levels so that cortisol doesn’t interfere with blood sugar regulation. Meditating, having good social connections and walking in nature can reduce stress levels.


References

Ye, (2011), “Habitual Sugar Intake and Cognitive Function Among Middle-Aged and Older Puerto Ricans Without Diabetes”

M. A. Schilling, “Unraveling Alzheimer’s: Making Sense of the Relationship Between Diabetes and

Alzheimer’s Disease,” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 51, no. 4 (2016): 961–77.

V. Kurochkin et al., “Insulin-Degrading Enzyme in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease,” Trends in Pharmacological Sciences 39, no. 1 (2017): 49–58

Haque et al., “Insulin-Degrading Enzyme: A Link Between Alzheimer’s and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus,” CNS & Neurological Disorders–Drug Targets 13, no. 2 (2014): 259–64; O. Pivovarova et al.

Zhang, Y., et al. “Treatment of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia with the natural plant alkaloid berberine.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 93, no. 7 (2008): 2559-2565

V. Teixeira et al., “Relation Between Aerobic Fitness and Brain Structures in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment Elderly,” Age 38, no. 3 (2016): 51.

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