Why are your body's levels of blood sugar, insulin, triglycerides and cholesterol key to understanding pre-diabetes and Type-2 diabetes?
Your body makes insulin so glucose - sugar in the blood - can be absorbed into your cells and turned into energy. Insulin also enables your body to absorb triglycerides - fat in the blood. Sometimes excess glucose and triglycerides can accumulate in the blood (i.e. insulin resistance and pre-diabetes) - most often due to lifestyle factors that you can control! The three most important lifestyle factors associated with high blood sugar and triglycerides are, being too sedentary (not exercising), poor nutrition choices (often due to stress in our lives) and an unhealthy weight and body composition (too high a percentage of fat). The other important risk factor is a family history of Type-2 diabetes - which is related to belonging to certain ethnic groups. A family history of Type-2 diabetes and certain ethnicities mean you are at higher risk of developing Type-2 diabetes in your lifetime than other Americans. If you are in this situation, exercise, better nutrition and healthy body weight and composition are critical.
How is cholesterol related to Type 2 diabetes?
Like tryglycerides, cholesterol is a type of lipid - a fat. LDL ("bad" cholesterol) is found in many foods we all eat. HDL ("good" cholesterol) transports LDL to the liver where it is eliminated. Type-2 diabetes is associated with impairment of this important HDL/LDL transport function. High LDL is an important warning sign of cardio-vascular disease - which is, not surprisingly, one of the leading complications for people with diabetes.
Clinical research indicates that persons with insulin resistance, the earliest indication of potential diabetes concern, often progress to a pre-diabetes state and persons with pre-diabetes typically develop Type-2 diabetes within 10 years. Unfortunately, many persons with insulin resistance or pre-diabetes may not even be aware of their elevated blood sugar, impaired insulin response, elevated triglycerides and impaired LDL transport. For this reason, the American Diabetes Association recommends regular screening for diabetes beginning at age 45 - even in the absence of any of the four risk major factors.
The latest estimates (June 2014) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tell us that 2 in 5 Americans (40%) will develop Type-2 diabetes at some point. The good news is, if we take action to address the lifestyle factors associated with Type-2 diabetes, it is possible for our body's levels of blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol to return to a normal, healthy range.
To read the full CDC report please click on this link.
Clinical research provides evidence certain natural compounds have important relationships to blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol. In this regard, for your consideration below, is a compilation of studies, all published in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals and sourced from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as major universities.
Author: Islam, MS
Authors: Dakhale GN, Chaudhari HV, Shrivastava M.
Authors: Anton SD, Martin CK, Han H, Coulon S, Cefalu WT, Geiselman P, Williamson DA.
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages may be one of the dietary causes of metabolic disorders, such as obesity. Therefore, substituting sugar with low calorie sweeteners may be an efficacious weight management strategy. We tested the effect of preloads containing stevia, aspartame, or sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels.
Authors: Fenercioglu AK, Saler T, Genc E, Sabuncu H, Altuntas Y.
Authors: Vuksan V, Rogovik AL, Jovanovski E, Jenkins AL.
Authors: Nagao T, Meguro S, Hase T, Otsuka K, Komikado M, Tokimitsu I, Yamamoto T, Yamamoto K.
Author: Anderson RA.
Authors: Gregersen S, Jeppesen PB, Holst JJ, Hermansen K.