An integral part of making healthy lifestyle choices is to simultaneously adopt a supplement program, with a multi vitamin formula, that contains certain nutrients -- including chromium, pantethine, selenium, vanadium and biotin -- which play a role in regulating blood sugar and insulin, as well as in burning fat. It should also include additional amounts of antioxidants.
- Chromium, which deserves the most attention, helps activate the uptake of insulin at its receptor sites. It is best assimilated in the form of chromium polynicotinate. A spate of studies has shown that chromium will build muscle, decrease body fat and lower cholesterol levels1. Dose: 300 mcg is sufficient for most individuals while others may need up to 800 to 1,000 mcg per day.
- Pantethine (vitamin B5) is a remarkable nutrient that helps control cholesterol, supports the adrenals and produces "friendly" bacteria in the intestine, making it a valuable tool in preventing yeast overgrowth2. Dose: 20 mgs should be sufficient for most people; those who are metabolically resistant in the extreme may need to take an additional supplement.
- Selenium is a powerful antioxidant. It may also play a beneficial nutritional role in preventing diabetes. Dose:50 mcg is sufficient.
- Vanadium (vanadyl sulfate) is a trace mineral that dramatically aids diabetics, apparently by helping cells absorb blood sugar more effectively and thereby decreasing the need for insulin. Dose: 40 mcg; people with diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions may require as much as 100 mcg daily.
- Biotin is an unsung B vitamin whose nutritional role was emphasized by a study that noted a significant drop in diabetics' blood-sugar levels after taking the supplement3. Dose: 150 mcg of biotin.
- Evan, G.W., "The Effects of Chromium Picolinate on Insulin Controlled Parameters in Humans," International Journal of Biosocial Medical Research, 11, 1989, pages 163-180.
- Cattin, L., "Treatment of Hypercholesterolemia With Pantethine and Fenofibrate: An Open Randomized Study on 43 Subjects," Current Theories in Research, 38(3), 1985, pages 386-395.
- Coggeshall, J.C., Heggers, J.P., Robson, M.C., et al., "Biotin Status and Plasma Glucose in Diabetics," Annals of New York Academy of Science, 447, 1985, pages 389-392.