Lynn Laboranti, M.S., R.D.
Glucose in the blood, acts as the primary source of energy used by our bodies. A healthy blood glucose level is vital to maintaining overall good health. One of the important components of effectively managing blood glucose health is a proper diet. Nutritional supplements can be an easy and beneficial way to help maintain blood glucose levels already within the normal range.
Learn how the following nutritional supplements may be appropriate to help achieve and maintain normal, healthy blood glucose levels for optimal health:
• Alpha lipoic acid
• Omega-3 fatty acids
Chromium -- Chromium has been found to affect the action and effectiveness of insulin (a hormone that helps regulate blood glucose levels in the body and assist with the metabolism of carbohydrates). It also plays a role in the sensitivity of the body’s cells to glucose. Essentially, chromium helps convert the glucose that we obtain from the foods we eat into energy. A chromium supplement containing at least 200 mcg can be a beneficial addition to the diet, particularly for those who are challenged with maintaining healthy blood glucose levels.
Alpha Lipoic Acid—People with elevated blood glucose levels are known to have an increased rate of free radical production in their bodies. Supplementing the diet with antioxidant nutrients such as alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can be useful in protecting the body’s healthy cells from compounds that can injure them and cause complications.
Magnesium—More than 300 reactions in the body depend on the mineral magnesium. One of those many processes involves how your body uses glucose. Magnesium has been shown to promote normal insulin activity. It is also a key nutrient in supporting stable glucose levels in a healthy diet. Observational studies have shown that low magnesium intake can have a negative impact on glucose control. In addition, studies have found that people challenged with maintaining normal glucose levels tend to have low blood magnesium levels due to their body’s increased excretion of magnesium in the urine.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids — Practicing heart-healthy habits supports the management of healthy blood glucose levels as well. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the two long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids that have been widely recognized for their beneficial role in cardiovascular health. Some healthcare professional organizations recommend 500 mg of EPA and DHA per day for healthy adults and 1000 mg per day for adults with documented heart health concerns. EPA and DHA can be found in fish-oil supplements and some oily fish sources such as salmon, sardines and tuna.
Lutein—Supporting healthy blood glucose levels helps protect the health of our eyes . The carotenoid, lutein is considered a key nutrient for helping to maintain healthy eyes. The majority of our body’s supply of lutein is found in the eyes. Lutein helps protect our eyes by filtering out high-energy blue light. To promote healthy vision, consider adding lutein to a daily supplement regimen.