Last month I described the dietary changes that can help your body repair some of the changes introduced by diabetes. I also mentioned that diabetes is one of the chronic diseases that are the result of the standard American diet (SAD). This month I will cover the nutritional regimen that may be necessary to assist the body in its repair of the damages from diabetes.

Diabetes is the result of a deficiency of vanadium and chromium. If you take these two minerals alone, with no other nutrition, you will find that you get no improvement. Our bodies require all 90 minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and amino acids to function at optimum. If you are missing some of these, replacing only certain substances will produce disappointing results. You need everything.

I will give you some guidelines to follow so you can select the supplements with the best options for you:

•Look for supplements that are “pharmaceutical grade.” Pharmaceutical grade means that the manufacturer analyzes the ingredients for purity before beginning the formulation. After product formulation, the product is sent to a 3rd party lab to validate purity and adherence to the contents listed on the label. Laboratory validation adds to the cost of course, but with so many things made outside of the USA, you want to be sure you are getting what is listed on the label. I’m not a big fan of many of the products on the shelves of the big box stores. The supplement company pays for the space they get on the shelves, and they also compete with the other similar products. How do they do that? Well, if you outsource the manufacturing to a 3rd world country and don’t do any quality control, it can be delivered very cheaply.

The best version of a supplement is a liquid version. If you can buy a powder that dissolves in water, that is also pretty good. Remember, many of the available supplements never break down in the stomach. You will need to read the label on the bottle to find out what the “serving size” is. Beneath this is a list of all of the ingredients in the product. Often the serving size is not for one capsule or tablet but multiple capsules or tablets. The serving size for liquids is usually in the metric system. A teaspoon is about 5 mL, and a tablespoonful is 15 mL, and an ounce is 30 mL. Powders are supplied with a scoop to help you measure the proper amount.

Because you are trying to improve a chronic disorder, you will need a therapeutic dose rather than the recommended daily allowance, which is a minimum dose. I suggest that you dose your supplements based on body weight, rounded to the nearest 100 pounds. If a person is less than 50 pounds, then the100-pound dose must be lowered proportionately. Here is a guide: 50-149 pounds take the suggested daily dose listed on the bottle, 150-249 poundss double the suggested daily dosage, 250-350 pounds triple the recommended daily dose.

There isn’t one supplement that contains everything. You will need to find a complete vitamin and mineral tablet, a calcium and magnesium supplement, a separate essential fatty acid supplement and a supplement designed to give you the vanadium and chromium.

Here are some things to consider:

If you are taking medication to thin the blood, you probably don’t want Vitamin K. Check with your pharmacist before you start looking if you are on any heart medication.

If you have MTHFR gene mutation and compromised methylation, then look for methylcobalamin for B-12 and methylfolate instead of folic acid. About 30% of the population has this gene mutation.

Free fatty acids – I prefer to use plant-based parent omega fatty acids rather than fish oil. Fish oil can complicate the regulation of blood sugar, which makes control more difficult. You can get this from either walnut oil or hemp oil (4 ml per 40 lbs. body weight). The ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 needs to be within a specific range, and these two oils are perfect. Flaxseed alone is too much omega-3. Because I travel, carrying liquids is a problem, so I buy capsules with parent omega 3-6-9 from Healthy for Life. I take one capsule for every 40 pounds of body weight.

There are many suitable nutritional supplement suppliers, and I am going to list a few so you can have a place to start.

Life Extension (lifeextension.com) A huge selection and I see their products sometimes in stores.

Youngevity (youngevity.com) This company has product bundles designed for specific conditions, including blood sugar issues.

Nature’s Way (www.naturesway.com) Some of these products are in local drug stores, or you can buy online.

Healthy for Life (healthyforlifeusa.com) Limited selection, but I like their Omega 3-6-9 and a couple of other items. Good resources are available on their website. You can buy online, or there is a retail store in Des Moines.

I know you would like me to give you a list of products to buy. I was going to do that, but I got bogged down with questions. Liquid or pills? Male or female? Do you take heart meds? Do you have the MTHFR gene mutation? Do you have a budget? Do you see what I mean?

I will post the list of the 90 essential nutrients on my blog. (scottcody.net)

Scott Cody, Pharm.D is a registered pharmacist with a passion for alternative or non-traditional pharmacy. He is also a computer consultant in pharmacy electronic medical records. He can be reached at 507-456-7843 or via email at scottcody@ToxicInAmerica.com. Follow him on Twitter at ToxicInAmerica or Facebook at scott.cody.12382.

Jeffrey Jackson is the managing editor of the Owatonna People's Press. He can be reached at 507-444-2371 or via email at jjackson@owatonna.com

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