10 Ways to Prevent the Progression of Prediabetes Naturally

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For those living with prediabetes, the search for effective, natural ways to manage glucose levels is an ongoing journey. A recent study has shed light on a promising ally in this quest: the humble cinnamon spice.

Prediabetes, a condition characterized by elevated blood glucose levels that are not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes, affects millions of people worldwide. While lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise are the cornerstone of prediabetes management, the discovery of natural substances that can aid in glucose control is an exciting development. Enter cinnamon, a spice that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and culinary applications.

The Study: A Closer Look

In a recent 4-week randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover trial, Zelicha et al. investigated the effects of cinnamon consumption on glucose changes throughout the day in participants with prediabetes and obesity.1 The study included 18 participants who were randomly assigned to take 4 grams of cinnamon or a placebo daily for 4 weeks, followed by a 2-week washout period, and then crossed over to the other intervention for an additional 4 weeks.

Glucose changes were measured using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), a powerful tool that captures glucose fluctuations throughout the day. The participants also underwent oral glucose tolerance testing (OGTT) at 4 time points during the study to assess the acute effects of cinnamon or placebo ingestion.

The Findings: Cinnamon's Glucose-Lowering Potential

The results of the study were promising for those with prediabetes. When compared with the placebo, 24-hour glucose concentrations were significantly lower when cinnamon was administered. Similarly, the mean net area under the curve (netAUC) for glucose was significantly lower than for placebo when cinnamon was given. Cinnamon supplementation also resulted in lower glucose peaks compared with placebo.

Interestingly, while cinnamon did not significantly affect glucose levels during the OGTT, it did lead to an increase in glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) concentrations and a decrease in triglyceride levels. GIP is an incretin hormone that stimulates insulin secretion and promotes the survival and proliferation of pancreatic beta cells, while also enhancing the activity of lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that breaks down triglycerides.

The Implications: A Potential Tool for Prediabetes Management

The findings of this study have significant implications for individuals with prediabetes. By incorporating cinnamon into their daily diet, they may be able to achieve better glucose control and potentially delay or prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.

The 4-gram daily dose of cinnamon used in this study is equivalent to about 1 teaspoon, making it easy to incorporate into meals and beverages. Cinnamon can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, or even savory dishes like stews and curries.

It's important to note that while this study provides evidence of cinnamon's glucose-lowering potential, it should not be viewed as a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight remain crucial components of prediabetes management.

Beyond Glucose Control: Other Potential Benefits

In addition to its effects on glucose levels, cinnamon has been shown to have other potential health benefits. Some studies have suggested that cinnamon may help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve lipid profiles.2 These additional benefits make cinnamon an even more attractive option for those looking to support their overall health.

A Spicy Addition to the Prediabetes Toolkit

The findings of this study offer hope and a tasty tool for those navigating the challenges of prediabetes. By incorporating cinnamon into their daily routines, individuals may be able to better manage their glucose levels and potentially delay or prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.

As with any dietary change, it's essential to consult with a healthcare provider before adding cinnamon supplements to your regimen. While cinnamon is generally safe, it can interact with certain medications and may not be suitable for everyone.

The journey towards better glucose control is an ongoing one, but with the help of natural allies like cinnamon, those living with prediabetes have a new reason to be optimistic. By embracing the power of this humble spice, they may be one step closer to achieving their health goals and savoring a sweeter future.

The Power of Nature: Preventing the Progression of Prediabetes

The GreenMedInfo.com database is a treasure trove of research on natural substances that may help prevent the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.1 With 17 unique research articles specifically focused on prediabetes, and many more on related conditions like insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, this resource offers valuable insights for those seeking to manage their blood sugar levels naturally.

Here are the top 10 most compelling studies from the GreenMedInfo.com database on natural substances that may help prevent the progression of prediabetes:

1. Aloe vera: A meta-analysis and review found that the current evidence suggests some potential benefit of Aloe vera in improving glycemic control in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.2

2. Black raspberry: A human study showed that black raspberry supplementation had beneficial effects on the control of glycemia and vascular inflammation in prediabetic patients.3

3. Cinnamon: A human study found that cinnamon usage is associated with better working memory in people with prediabetes.4 Another study showed that a combination of cinnamon and banaba was efficacious in improving insulin sensitivity and preserving the performance of β-cells.5

4. Curcumin: A human in vitro study demonstrated that curcumin extract may help prevent type 2 diabetes.6 Animal studies have also shown that curcumin improves pancreatic glucose sensing, insulin gene expression, and insulin secretion.7

5. Fenugreek: A human study found that supplementation of fenugreek in prediabetic subjects was associated with lower conversion to diabetes with no adverse effects.8

6. Olive oil: A human study showed that extra virgin olive oil improves post-prandial glycemic and lipid profiles in patients with impaired fasting glucose.9

7. Vegetables: A human study found that higher serum β-carotene levels, associated with higher intake of green and yellow vegetables, confer beneficial effects against insulin resistance.10

8. Vitamin K: A human study demonstrated that vitamin K1 supplementation for 4 weeks in prediabetic and premenopausal women had beneficial effects on glycemic status and insulin sensitivity.11

9. Yerba mate: A human study showed that mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) improves glycemic and lipid profiles of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes individuals.12

10. Yoga: A human study found that yoga offers a promising lifestyle intervention for decreasing weight-related type 2 diabetes risk factors and potentially increasing psychological well-being.13

These studies highlight the potential of natural substances and lifestyle interventions in managing prediabetes and preventing its progression to type 2 diabetes. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms and optimal dosages, these findings offer hope for those seeking to support their metabolic health through natural means.

It's important to note that these natural approaches should be used in conjunction with, rather than as a replacement for, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and medical supervision. By combining the wisdom of nature with modern medical knowledge, we may be able to effectively combat the growing epidemic of metabolic disorders and empower individuals to take control of their health.


References

1: GreenMedInfo.com. (n.d.). Prediabetes. Retrieved from https://greenmedinfo.com/disease/prediabetes

2: Suksomboon, N., Poolsup, N., & Punthanitisarn, S. (2016). Effect of Aloe vera on glycaemic control in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 41(2), 180-188. doi:10.1111/jcpt.12382

3: An, J. H., Kim, D., Lee, T., Kim, K. J., Kim, S. H., Kim, N. H., ... & Kim, S. G. (2016). The beneficial effects of black raspberry on the control of glycemia and vascular inflammation in prediabetic patients. Phytotherapy Research, 30(11), 1837-1843. doi:10.1002/ptr.5692

4: Wahlqvist, M. L., Lee, M., Lee, J., Hsu, C., Chou, Y., Fang, W., ... & Andrews, Z. B. (2016). Cinnamon users tend to have a better working memory in Chinese adults with pre-diabetes. Nutrition Research, 36(4), 305-310. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2015.12.003

5: Manaf, A., Tjandrawinata, R. R., & Malinda, D. (2016). Insulin sensitivity and β-cell performance improvement by DLBS3233 treatment once daily. Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 10, 1279-1289. doi:10.2147/DDDT.S97568

6: Chuengsamarn, S., Rattanamongkolgul, S., Luechapudiporn, R., Phisalaphong, C., & Jirawatnotai, S. (2012). Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 35(11), 2121-2127. doi:10.2337/dc12-0116

7: Naijil, G., Anju, T. R., Jayanarayanan, S., & Paulose, C. S. (2015). Curcumin pretreatment mediates antidiabetogenesis via functional regulation of adrenergic receptor subtypes in the pancreas of multiple low-dose streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Nutrition Research, 35(9), 823-833. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2015.07.001

8: 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). doi:10.1186/s40200-015-0208-4

9: Carnevale, R., Loffredo, L., Del Ben, M., Angelico, F., Nocella, C., Petruccioli, A., ... & Violi, F. (2016). Extra virgin olive oil improves post-prandial glycemic and lipid profile in patients with impaired fasting glucose. Clinical Nutrition, 36(3), 782-787. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2016.05.016

10: Higuchi, K., Saito, I., Maruyama, K., Eguchi, E., Mori, H., Tanno, S., ... & Tanigawa, T. (2015). Associations of serum β-carotene and retinol concentrations with insulin resistance: The Toon Health Study. Nutrition, 31(7-8), 975-980. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2015.02.015

11: Rasekhi, H., Karandish, M., Jalali, M. T., Mohammad-Shahi, M., Zarei, M., Saki, A., & Shahbazian, H. (2015). The effect of vitamin K1 supplementation on sensitivity and insulin resistance via osteocalcin in prediabetic women: a double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 69(8), 891-895. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2015.17

12: Klein, G. A., Stefanuto, A., Boaventura, B. C., de Morais, E. C., da S Cavalcante, L., de Andrade, F., ... & da Silva, E. L. (2011). Mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) improves glycemic and lipid profiles of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes individuals: a pilot study. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 30(5), 320-332. doi:10.1080/07315724.2011.10719975

13: McDermott, K. A., Rao, M. R., Nagarathna, R., Murphy, E. J., Burke, A., Nagendra, R. H., & Hecht, F. M. (2014). A yoga intervention for type 2 diabetes risk reduction: a pilot randomized controlled trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 14(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-212

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