Antiglycation Supplements for Diabetics

Q I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, for which my doctor recommends a rigorous exercise and diet program, along with a drug program, as the solution. Yet the diet program is less specific than the exercise regimen. Can you offer some advice?

RALPH, Des Moines, IA

A Your doctor is correct, but only in part. A few determined individuals manage to control their diabetes with exercise and diet. However, it is pretty difficult, given a lifetime of abuse, to overcome diabetes with just persistent will power, especially when it comes to diet. So you need to use additional strategies.

First, adopt a low-glycemic-index diet—see all the articles we’ve published on glycemic control foods and mechanisms (for example, see “Glycemic Control—Best for Weight Loss” in the September 2007 issue). You don’t want to be hungry! Also, consider taking a good anti-AGE (advanced glycation endproducts) supplement, one that employs significant amounts of benfotiamine, carnosine, histidine, alpha-lipoic acid, and rutin (see “Reducing Glycation Reactions for Better Health and Longer Life” in the February 2008 issue).

Before people develop type 2 diabetes—which is also associated with hypertension and obesity—they usually develop insulin resistance, a condition characterized by impaired responsiveness to the effects of insulin. This is likely to be caused, at least in part, by the damage that glycation causes to insulin’s structure and function. In addition, AGEs are now thought to interfere in the complex molecular pathways of insulin signaling, contributing on yet another level to insulin resistance and, ultimately, for many, type 2 diabetes.

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