Below is a list of supplements that will help reset your insulin. It is always best to do some research into the herbs you are considering taking. You may check out the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at http://nccam.nih.gov/health/, which provides an un-biased evidence based list of supplements including their use, safety, and adverse effects. You should also consult with your doctor or practitioner before taking any herbs. Finally, consider taking one supplement at a time so you are able to determine whether it is helping you. Give it at least 6-12 weeks and if it isn’t working after this period, move on to the next.
Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that significantly lowers blood sugar levels, and reduces nerve related symptoms from diabetes. Alpha-lipoic acid acts to prevent cell damage and restore the function of neurons in diabetes.
Berberine is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It helps to increase glucose uptake in insulin resistant cells, thus lowering blood sugar levels. It has been found to control blood sugar as well as prescription drugs for diabetes.
Chromium is a metal that helps to maintain blood sugar levels by improving the way our bodies use insulin. It is also necessary for proper sugar metabolism.
Fenugreek is a plant that lowers blood sugar by slowing the absorption of sugars in the stomach and stimulating insulin.
Cinnamon can help to lower blood sugar levels by reducing insulin resistance.
Bitter Melon is a medicinal plant that acts to improve glucose tolerance and reduce blood sugar levels. Specifically, bitter melon helps to lower HbA1c, a measure of blood sugar control.
Probiotics act to increase insulin sensitivity by modulating gut bacteria. Probiotics reduce inflammatory responses, oxidative stress and intestinal permeability. All these effects act to increase insulin sensitivity and lower autoimmune responses.
Vanadium is a mineral that acts like insulin, by lowering blood sugar and increasing insulin sensitivity. It also helps to increase the effects of insulin and improves glucose control.
Roll Call: Your Metabolic Hormones
- A group of hormones produced primarily in the ovaries to promote female characteristics such as menstruation, breast growth, and hip growth.
- Other sources of estrogen include adrenal glands and fat cells.
- Estrogen builds uterine lining to prepare for pregnancy and keeps women lubricated, from joints to vagina.
- Drives glucose into cells as fuel and deposits fat.
- Chronically high insulin increases estrogen (specifically estrone) and increases cells’ resistance to insulin.
- Regulates appetite, satiety, and adiponectin, which adjusts how you burn fat.
- The main stress hormone, member of the glucocorticoid family.
- Governs blood sugar, blood pressure, and immune function.
- Cortisol is produced in your adrenal glands under most conditions, stressful or otherwise.
- Essential to the smooth operation of hormone pathways.
- Adequate thyroid hormone is necessary to make pregnenolone from cholesterol, and then to further refine it into progesterone.
- Affects metabolism and energy, weight, and mood
- Helps burn fat and gain lean muscle. Determines how much fat is deposited on your belly.
- One of the sex hormones belonging to the androgen family.
- Although it is often thought of as the male hormone, women need to have some testosterone in their bodies as well. The difference between men and women lies in the quantity of testosterone (men produce much higher quantities).
- Hormone of vitality and self-confidence
- Producing too much is the main reason for female infertility in this country.
- Also involved in sex drive; producing too little is linked to low libido in women and men.
- Secreted by fat cells and adjusts how you burn fat.
- Raises appetite in order to initiate eating.
- Acts in counterpart to leptin.
- Produced in stomach cells.
- Both a hormone and a neurotransmitter, which means it acts as a brain chemical that transmits information from nerve to nerve.
- Called by some “the love hormone” because it increases in the blood with orgasm in both men and women.
- Oxytocin is also released when the cervix dilates, thereby augmenting labor, and when a woman’s nipples are stimulated, which facilitates breast-feeding and promotes bonding between mother and baby.
- Can convert into testosterone when needed; member of androgen family.
- Affects mood and sex drive.
- Too much DHEA has been associated with acne and depression in menopause.
- Regulates our sleep/wake cycle.
- Helps control the timing and release of female reproductive hormones.
Preparing for the Hormone Reset
For the measurements in chapter 2, use the following websites for handy calculators:
- Waist-to-hip ratio: www.healthstatus.com/calculate/waist-to-hip-ratio
- Body mass index (BMI): www.bmi-calculator.net
- Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR): www.health-calc.com/body-composition/waist-to-height-ratio
- Basal metabolic rate (BMR): www.bmi-calculator.net/bmrcalculator or www.bmrcalculator.org
These are my favorite devices for measurement:
- Sleep: Fitbit, UP by Jawbone
- Blood pressure: Omron for wrist or upper arm, Panasonic for upper arm
- Blood sugar: TrueResult Blood Glucose Starter Kit, OneTouch Ultra
- Steps: Fitbit, UP by Jawbone, iPhone
- Body fat: Omron Fat Loss Monitor, Tanita Body Fat Monitor
Recommended Baseline Tests
Estradiol level, in blood or saliva, ideally performed on Day 3 or Day 21 if you’re still menstruating regularly, and performed anytime if you’re irregular or menopausal.
Fasting glucose level, drawn by lab personnel in a laboratory or measured with your own glucose meter and a finger stick.
Fasting leptin level, drawn by lab personnel in a laboratory.
Morning cortisol level, in blood or saliva.
Thyroid panel, including thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free triiodothyronine (free T3, or FT3), and reverse triiodothyronine (reverse T3, or RT3).
Growth hormone level, typically measured in the blood as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).
Free testosterone level, in blood or saliva
- Quest Diagnostics
- Hunter Labs
Resources for Maintaining Your Hormone Reset
- To make sure that your seafood is safe from mercury and other toxins, check out Seafood Watch by the Monterey Bay Aquarium: www.seafoodwatch.org.
- To find a shake that’s compliant with the Hormone Reset, go to my store at www.DrGottfriedStore.com. I’ve personally formulated a delicious protein powder, fiber, and other supplements.
- For grain-free crackers, try flackers from Doctor in the Kitchen or dehydrated vegetable crackers from Lydia’s Organics.
- For collagen—a source of clean protein—check out Bulletproof: www.bulletproofexec.com/bulletproof-upgraded-collagen/.
- For high-powered blenders that will purée your vegetables but keep the fiber, try Blendtec, Magic Bullet, NutriBullet, or Vitamix. I like the Magic Bullet for travel!
- For extra-dark chocolate, a few of my favorite organic brands are Dagoba organic chocolate; Sacred Chocolate, founded by health expert David Wolfe; and Tazo.
- I formulated a delicious bar that’s compliant with the Hormone Reset. Find it at my online store: www.DrGottfriedStore.com.
- For coconut kefir, try Donna Gates’s recipe: bodyecology.com/articles/secrets-for-making-perfect-young-coconut-kefir.php.
My first book is called The Hormone Cure ( www.TheHormoneCureBook.com )
Against All Grain by Danielle Walker
The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet by Mark Hyman
The Disease Delusion by Jeffrey Bland
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne
Sugar Impact Diet, The Virgin Diet and The Virgin Diet Cookbook by JJ Virgin
WomanCode by Alisa Vitti
Your Personal Paleo Code by Chris Kresser