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Supplements to Help You Manage Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a complex condition that can't be resolved with a single supplement. If left unchecked, insulin resistance may progress to type 2 diabetes and heighten your risk of other chronic conditions.

Diet plays a crucial role in managing this condition. A poor diet high in processed foods and refined carbohydrates worsens insulin resistance, while a metabolically healthy diet, along with exercise, good sleep, and stress management, can help control and even reverse. Food goes beyond fuel, providing essential vitamins and micronutrients crucial for bodily functions.

Certain supplements can play a significant role in rebalancing insulin-sensitizing pathways and, when paired with a healthy lifestyle, enhance and optimize metabolic health. Here are our 4 top supplement recommendations to consider if you’re battling insulin resistance alongside a healthy diet.

1. CoQ10

Mitochondrial dysfunction, a determining factor of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, results in ineffective handling of nutritional fuel sources, triggering a cascade of reactions leading to oxidative stress, inflammation, and impaired insulin signaling. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which chemically resembles a fat-soluble vitamin, plays a vital role in the energy-generating process of respiration inside mitochondria.

CoQ10 is naturally found in foods like spinach, broccoli, nuts, and meats. However, the body can only absorb a small amount of this micronutrient from food, about 2–5 mg/day, due to its particular chemical properties. For individuals with insulin resistance and diabetes, supplementation with CoQ10 may be beneficial.

2. Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids, widely studied and recommended for various health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and dementia, are also investigated for their potential in addressing insulin resistance due to their powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

The main omega-3s in question – alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – are essential fatty acids, meaning they have to be consumed through dietary intake or via supplementation since the body cannot produce them itself. Some health experts suggest up to 2,000 mg EPA/DHA daily can help achieve optimal results, particularly for addressing inflammation, and associated cardiometabolic issues.

3. Alpha-lipoic acid

Alpha-lipoic acid is a vitamin-like organic compound that acts as an antioxidant and is synthesized naturally in the mitochondria. Alpha-lipoic acid works by reducing oxidative stress, combating harmful free radicals, and preventing the development of chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and associated complications such as neuropathies.

Alpha-lipoic acid occurs naturally in various foods such as red meats, organ meats, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, and green peas, however, individuals with clinical conditions such as insulin resistance or diabetes may benefit from an additional boost via a supplement.

4. Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral, and activates enzymes crucial for vital biochemical reactions such as regulating vitamin D levels and thyroid function, and acting as an antioxidant to quell oxidative stress. Zinc is also necessary for the synthesis, storage, and release of insulin from pancreatic beta cells, making its deficiency a factor in insulin resistance.

Obtaining sufficient zinc is feasible through a well-balanced diet rich in meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, legumes, and dairy. For those with conditions like insulin resistance, supplements can ensure the recommended daily intake of elemental zinc.

It’s key to remember that optimal health outcomes are often achieved through regular dietary intake of minerals, especially when consumed in their natural whole food state. Lucky for our patients at Southeast Aesthetic + Wellness we have multiple choice to do what is best for you and your journey! We have you covered with our Virtual Dispensary. We also offer a variety of Wellness Testing. Schedule your Initial Consultation with Angel Turlington, WHNP now to see where to get started!

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