We all know the sugar rush feeling after a particularly indulgent meal or beverage—a brief sensation of hyperactivity quickly followed by a sugar crash, that bone-weary exhaustion that makes you just want to crawl in bed. If this sounds familiar, you’ve had a glimpse into the roller coaster effect that sugar can have on our energy levels and how hard our body must work to keep it all in balance.
You see, we quite literally run on sugar—every cell and organ in our body requires glucose. The food we eat gets broken down into glucose for ready absorption into our bloodstream and insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, helps our body take glucose out of the bloodstream and put it into our cells to be converted into energy or stored for later use.
If we eat too much sugar or high-glycemic carbohydrates (think cakes, crackers, bread, and cookies), we experience a rapid influx of blood sugar. Our body must rush in to compensate with a spike of insulin to take care of the sudden overabundance of glucose, leaving us tired and irritable from the yo-yo effect.
Keeping your blood sugar levels within a normal range is one of the most important steps you can take for overall health and vitality. Besides eating a wholesome diet rich in low-glycemic whole fruits, vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates, you can maintain your blood sugar levels in a healthy range by including supplements that support glucose balance.
Here are our picks for the top 10 supplements you can take to support healthy blood sugar levels already in a normal range.
This fat- and water-soluble antioxidant addresses free radicals in the body, supporting our organs and tissues. Alpha-lipoic acid supports the conversion of glucose into energy in our body’s cells and can help maintain insulin sensitivity after just four weeks of supplementation1.
Banaba Leaf Extract
This extract, from the leaf of the Southeast Asian tropical Banaba tree, contains corosolic acid that supports transport glucose from the blood into cells for use as energy. In one study, subjects taking Banaba leaf extract for just two weeks were able to maintain glucose levels in a normal range2.
We need chromium for proper metabolism, but studies show that this trace mineral also supports healthy blood sugar levels when taken consistently3.
A spice made from the bark of Cinnamomum trees, cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant that can support slower stomach emptying after meals to help maintain insulin sensitivity4.
The seeds of this aromatic plant support blood sugar levels already within a normal range by supporting digestion and carbohydrate absorption. Fenugreek may also help to maintain insulin production due to an abundance of amino acids. In one study, three years of Fenugreek supplementation supported healthy blood sugar levels5.
American ginseng, a North American root often used in herbal medicine, has been shown to help maintain after-eating blood sugar levels when taken before or with a meal6.
Native to the tropical forests of India, the leaves of Gymnema Sylvestre support blood sugar already within a normal range by supporting insulin levels, glucose absorption, and sugar uptake7.
Magnesium is a mega-important mineral responsible for more than 300 chemical reactions in our body, so it’s no surprise that it supports normal blood sugar levels as well. Supplementation of this vital mineral can maintain insulin sensitivity and support healthy glucose levels8.
By interacting and communicating with our cells, the beneficial bacteria in our body are responsible for supporting a countless number of bodily functions, including supporting digestive, metabolic, and immune health and helping to maintain our blood sugar levels already within a normal range9.
There is a correlation between vitamin D levels and the body’s ability to effectively metabolize glucose; those with blood sugar issues often have low vitamin D levels. This is because vitamin D supports insulin sensitivity, which means that you’ll need less insulin to properly maintain blood sugar levels. Studies show that correcting a deficiency of this important vitamin can support sensitivity10. In one recent trial, one year of vitamin D3 supplementation was associated with significant balancing of fasting glucose levels in adult participants11.
As you add supplements to your regimen, make sure to look for a high quality formula like Hyperbiotics Glucose Support. With seven targeted probiotic strains, vitamin D3, and Banaba leaf extract, Glucose Support includes three of the top ten nutrients for support, as well as BIO-Tract®, a patented time release delivery method that delivers the good bacteria deep into your gut where they can get to work supporting your health.
Because every cell in our body needs glucose to function, having the right balance of sugar in our blood is imperative. From our brain function and mood to energy,endurance, and weight, our blood sugar affects nearly every aspect of our health.
Like our blood sugar, life is truly a balancing act—eating well, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and taking targeted supplements will go a long way towards health and harmony for your body and mind!
References: 1. Kamenova, P. (2006). Improvement of insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus after oral administration of alpha-lipoic acid. Hormones, 5(4), 251-258. 2. Judy, W. V., Hari, S. P., Stogsdill, W., Judy, J. S., Naguib, Y. M., & Passwater, R. (2003). Antidiabetic activity of a standardized extract (Glucosol™) from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves in Type II diabetics. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 87(1), 115-117. 3. Anderson, R. A., Cheng, N., Bryden, N. A., Polansky, M. M., Cheng, N., Chi, J., & Feng, J. (1997). Elevated Intakes of Supplemental Chromium Improve Glucose and Insulin Variables in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes, 46(11), 1786-1791. 4. Lu, T., Sheng, H., Wu, J., Cheng, Y., Zhu, J., & Chen, Y. (2012). Cinnamon extract improves fasting blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin level in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes. Nutrition Research, 32(6), 408-412. 5. Gaddam, A., Galla, C., Thummisetti, S., Marikanty, R. K., Palanisamy, U. D., & Rao, P. V. (2015). Role of Fenugreek in the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus in prediabetes. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders, 14(1). 6. Vuksan, V., Sievenpiper, J. L., Koo, V. Y., Francis, T., Beljan-Zdravkovic, U., Xu, Z., & Vidgen, E. (2000). American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L) Reduces Postprandial Glycemia in Nondiabetic Subjects and Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Archives of Internal Medicine, 160(7), 1009. 7. Kumar, S. N., Mani, U. V., & Mani, I. (2010). An Open Label Study on the Supplementation of Gymnema sylvestre in Type 2 Diabetics. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 7(3), 273-282. 8. Guerrero-Romero, F., Simental-Mendía, L., Hernández-Ronquillo, G., & Rodriguez-Morán, M. (2015). Oral magnesium supplementation improves glycaemic status in subjects with prediabetes and hypomagnesaemia: A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Diabetes & Metabolism, 41(3), 202-207. 9. Karamali, M., Dadkhah, F., Sadrkhanlou, M., Jamilian, M., Ahmadi, S., Tajabadi-Ebrahimi, M., . . . Asemi, Z. (2016). Effects of probiotic supplementation on glycaemic control and lipid profiles in gestational diabetes: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Diabetes & Metabolism. doi:10.1016/j.diabet.2016.04.009 10. Osati, S., Homayounfar, R., & Hajifaraji, M. (2016). Metabolic effects of vitamin D supplementation in vitamin D deficient patients (a double-blind clinical trial). Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews. doi:10.1016/j.dsx.2016.01.007 11. Sun, X., Cao, Z., Tanisawa, K., Ito, T., Oshima, S., & Higuchi, M. (2016). Vitamin D supplementation reduces insulin resistance in Japanese adults: A secondary analysis of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition Research. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2016.07.006