Enhances Carb Metabolism for Diabetics
Source: Let’s Live, Feb. 2004
Author: Vera Tweed
An extract from Fenugreek enhances carb metabolism showing promise for dieters and those with diabetes and insulin resistance.
A new complex of amino acids derived from the herb Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) promises to facilitate glucose and insulin management for those with diabetes and enhance weight-loss efforts.
Benefit for diabetics and dieters: Helps control blood sugar swings and therefore, cravings. When there is a surge of blood sugar after carbs are eaten, our bodies are supposed to produce the necessary amount of insulin to shuttle the energy into muscle cells so that they can do their work. Where diabetes (or prediabetes) exists, the insulin isn’t able to do the job, possibly because insulin receptors have lost their ability to respond, leading to unhealthy levels of glucose circulating in the blood.
Weight-loss attempts are often foiled by sudden insulin spikes after carbohydrate consumption, followed by sudden drops in blood sugar, which stimulates intense cravings for more carbs. This, in turn, further debilitates the insulin-glucose role and sets dieters up for failure. Ultimately, the body can’t convert these additional carb calories into energy, and instead stores them as fat.
Fenugreek extract has the potential to speed the process of blood glucose being utilized for energy, thereby preventing unhealthy levels of glucose continuing to circulate in the blood. By this action, it can help to break the vicious cycle of impaired carb metabolism, which exacerbates insulin resistance and weight gain. Fenugreek extract produces these seemingly diverse benefits by supporting one fundamental mechanism: improving the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates, a function that has become impaired for many people. The American Diabetes Association estimates that at least one in five Americans suffer from prediabetes, a condition marked by elevated blood sugar levels that are not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes but are a precursor of the condition.
A pilot study also found that insulin levels did not increase, indicating that the supplement did not stimulate increased insulin production, but lowered glucose levels by another mechanism. It is theorized that Fenugreek extract increases insulin sensitivity, so that less insulin is required to metabolize increased blood glucose, and/or that the supplement improves the efficiency of glucose transport to muscle cells. In addition, the study showed that Fenugreek extract does not appear to lower blood glucose below optimum levels.
Fenugreek extract is an ingredient in weight-loss and antidiabetic formulas. Although it is not a substitute for a proper diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods, perhaps Fenugreek’s function of improving the body’s ability to metabolize carbs will take away some of the stigma “carbs” have endured in recent years.