Currently, diabetes affects more than five hundred million people worldwide and the numbers are projected to increase. Conventional management of diabetes is essentially limited to lowering blood sugar (glucose) levels by means of insulin and other pharmacological drugs. In recent years, certain plant extracts (micronutrients) have been studied for their effects on diabetic metabolism. These studies, however, were largely conducted with individual micronutrients, thereby neglecting the superior synergetic effects of these bioactive molecules in the prevention and therapy of diabetes.
Our study shows that specific combinations of vitamins, minerals and other active plant derived compounds have significant beneficial effects in the simultaneous control of key cellular aspects of sugar (carbohydrate) metabolism and diabetes. These beneficial effects include a significant increase of glucose uptake by skeletal muscle cells of up to 450%. In the presence of insulin, the micronutrient combination tested further enhanced this effect up to 1445% over controls. . The micronutrient combination tested had a comparable efficacy to insulin in facilitating glucose uptake by skeletal muscle cells. Moreover, the same combination of bioactive molecules also stimulated insulin secretion by pancreatic cells by over 230%. In addition, it demonstrated protective effect on glial cells against damage resulting from advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the damaging byproducts of long-term diabetes.
This study confirms that a specific combination of micronutrient formulas can effectively and simultaneously address several cellular mechanisms associated with dysregulated sugar metabolism and diabetic disease. Notably, glucose uptake by human cells could be significantly increased also in the absence of insulin, a finding with relevance to the treatment of type II as well as type I diabetes. These results imply that micronutrients efficacy expands beyond pharmacological treatments by substituting for and supporting insulin in blood sugar metabolism and exercising cellular protection against damage resulting from dysregulated glucose metabolism and diabetes.Thus, properly designed micronutrient compositions can simultaneously address major aspects of diabetic metabolism way beyond the lowering of blood glucose levels and should be considered as a safe and effective measure in both the prevention and management of diabetes.