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Home > Quick Shop > Specialty Products > GlucoChrom > GlucoChrom Info

GlucoChrom: Product Information

Blood sugar

We hear a lot about the harmful effects of a poor diet on our health. We hear about how it leads to obesity, how it can lead to increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and how it can mean overall poor health due to lack of nutrition. Another risk of an unhealthy diet—especially if it includes large quantities of carbohydrates and simple sugars—is what it does to our blood sugar levels.

Blood sugar is, simply enough, the amount of sugar (glucose) we have in our blood. When we eat, the body breaks down the carbohydrates in foods to produce sugars. The sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, which carries it to every cell in the body. Blood sugar fuels the cells, providing them with the energy they need to keep us healthy. It is extremely important that blood sugar levels remain consistent and not be too high or too low.

How it works
The amount of sugar in the blood is largely controlled by insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas. When the body recognizes that we are eating and turning food into sugars, the pancreas secretes insulin. Insulin acts as a travelguide, escorting sugar through the bloodstream and allowing it to enter the cells and be turned into energy. When the pancreas, insulin, and the cells are not working in harmony, the result can be diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is a degenerative condition in which blood sugar levels are too high. The term diabetes describes either a deficiency of insulin or a decreased ability of the body to use insulin.

Diabetes results in frequent urination, extreme thirst, increased appetite, unexplained weight loss, dry skin and frequent skin infections, recurrent vaginitis, blurred vision, fatigue, drowsiness, and nausea. Diabetes has the potential for serious long-term complications that can lead to increased risk for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, visual problems and blindness, slow healing of injuries, kidney failure, and damage to the nervous system.

Diabetes is classified into two main types: Type I and Type II. Type I or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) commonly occurs in children and young adults and is also known as juvenile-onset diabetes. In this condition, the beta cells of the pancreas that manufacture the insulin that escorts blood sugar to the cells are not working, or not working well. There is not enough insulin produced to get the blood sugar to the cells and it remains in the bloodstream. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Type I diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness and lower limb amputations.

Type II or noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) commonly occurs in people over the age of 40 and is also known as adult-onset diabetes. In this condition, insulin is produced, but the cells remain resistant to it—they won’t allow insulin to bring in the blood sugar. This also results in high blood sugar levels. Type II diabetes is by far the most prevalent type, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Canadian Diabetes Association, an estimated 11 million Americans and 2 million Canadians have been diagnosed with diabetes. And, the NIH reports that an additional 5 million Americans have diabetes and don’t even know it. The World Health Organization estimates that by the year 2025, 300 million people worldwide will have developed the condition, with the majority of these cases occurring in developing countries. The NIH also reports that 200,000 people die every year from complications caused by diabetes; that’s enough to make it the sixth leading cause of death by disease in the United States and the seventh in Canada.

Diabetes impacts the physical, social, and financial well-being of society. It is estimated that the United States spends $98 billion annually on the direct and indirect costs related to diabetes. Canada spends $9 billion annually.

Support for blood sugar

In managing diabetes, it is important to prevent the complications mentioned previously by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. This can be done through diet, exercise, and nutritional support. Of special interest in terms of nutritional support are the minerals chromium and vanadium and the herbs bitter melon and Gymnema sylvestre. These substances have been used both traditionally and by health practitioners for years to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

AIM GlucoChrom™

AIM GlucoChrom™ is a unique combination of chromium, vanadium, bitter melon, and Gymnema sylvestre. Working together, they provide the body with a natural way to support healthy blood sugar balance.

A daily serving of 2 capsules of AIM GlucoChrom™ Contains:
  • 168 mg of LeafBrand™ barley, yielding 400 mcg of chromium
  • 0.394 mg of vanadium citrate, yielding 75 mcg of vanadium
  • 450 mg of bitter melon fruit powder
  • 500 mg of Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract
Chromium
Numerous studies have found that chromium is helpful in glucose management. (Aschwanden 2000) Indeed, a deficiency in this mineral can interfere with the production and utilization of insulin. A chromium deficiency can result in three conditions directly related to blood sugar: high blood sugar levels (hyperlycemia), an inability of the cells to pick up and use blood sugar (impaired glucose tolerance), and higher insulin levels.

Chromium actually mimics insulin. It is thought to improve the processing of insulin, especially in people with prediabetic tendencies. It increases the ability of insulin to bind to cells and leads to increased insulin sensitivity of body tissue. (Anderson 1998) This means that the body better absorbs and uses the blood sugar. In other words, chromium helps the insulin get to more cells, which allows more blood sugar to enter the cells. Doubleblind studies show that chromium improves glucose tolerance levels. The major benefit of chromium is seen when it is used in combination with exercise as it has been shown to help regulate the body’s use of glycogen, or stored sugar. (Mindell and Hopkins 1997)

Vanadium

Although as early as 1899 it was found that a form of vanadium resulted in a decrease in blood sugar levels, it was not until the late 1970s that vanadium’s insulin-like action was first described. Vanadium may activate insulin receptors—making the cells more receptive to insulin— and through this, exert insulin-like action.

This has been supported in two small clinical trials. In one, eight patients with Type II diabetes received 50 mg of vanadium sulfate two times per day for four weeks. The abstract of this study notes that the vanadium was well tolerated and resulted in modest reductions of blood sugar and hepatic insulin resistance. (Boden et al. 1996)

In another small trial, six patients with Type II diabetes were given vanadium. The authors note that after three weeks, insulin sensitivity was improved. (Cohen et al. 1995)

In another trial, the effects of vanadium were compared in moderately obese nondiabetic and Type II diabetic subjects. The authors note in their abstract that “In conclusion, small oral doses of vanadyl sulfate do not alter insulin sensitivity in nondiabetic subjects, but it does improve both hepatic and skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity in NIDDM [Type II] subjects in part by enhancing insulin’s inhibitory effect on the breaking down of fats.

These data suggest that vanadyl sulfate [vanadium] may improve a defect in insulin signaling specific to NIDDM.” (Halberstam 1996)

Vanadium is also thought to decrease hypersecretion of insulin. (Head 1997)

Bitter melon

Bitter melon does much the same as chromium: it improves the processing of insulin, thereby improving glucose tolerance levels—that is, the body’s ability to get the blood sugar into the cells. In one small study, using 100 ml of bitter melon juice was found to improve glucose tolerance by 73 percent in a standard glucose tolerance test. (Welihinda 1986)

In another small study, an aqueous extract of bitter melon fruit was found to decrease blood sugar levels by 54 percent. (Srivistava 1993)

In another study, bitter melon was shown to reduce blood sugar by improving glucose utilization by the liver. (Sarkar 1996)

Bitter melon also has an important additional benefit: at least one animal study has noted that bitter melon fruit juice results in an increase in the number of beta cells—the cells that produce insulin—in the pancreas of diabetic rats when compared with untreated diabetic rats. The authors of the study suggest that bitter melon may cause a renewal and recovery of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. (Ahmed 1998)

Gymnema sylvestre

Gymnema sylvestre also helps raise insulin levels, notably in the pancreas, thereby lowering blood glucose levels.

Gymnema has been used with patients suffering from both Type I and Type II diabetes. In one study with 27 Type I diabetic patients, the Gymnema extract reduced the insulin requirements and lowered the fasting blood glucose levels. The abstract notes that Gymnema extract enhances the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin, possibly by regeneration/revitalization of the residual beta cells in Type I diabetes. (Shanmugasundaram and Rajeswari 1990)

An animal study supports this. In diabetic rat pancreas, extracts of Gymnema were able to double the islet number (clumps of pancreatic cells) and beta cell number (insulin-producing cells). These results show that Gymnema may improve the health of the pancreas. (Shanmugasundaram and Gopinath 1990)

As far as Type II diabetes goes, in one study, Gymnema extract was administered for 18 to 20 months to 22 Type II diabetic patients taking conventional medication. All the patients showed a significant reduction in blood sugar levels, and five of the 22 diabetic patients were able to maintain their blood sugar levels without conventional drugs. Similar to the above studies, the results also showed higher levels of insulin in the blood, indicating that the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas may be regenerated/repaired in Type II diabetic patients on Gymnema supplementation. (Baskaran 1990)

Cardiovascular tie-in

Triglyceride and cholesterol levels are often elevated in diabetics. Both vanadium and Gymnema sylvestre are helpful in lowering these levels.

LeafBrand™ chromium—A new type of chromium supplement
When AIM discovered that barley grass is beneficial not only when juiced but also as a carrier of other nutrients, we developed a totally unique, revolutionary method for delivering important nutrients to the body.

In AIM GlucoChrom™, we use barley grass as the medium through which chromium is supplied.

Through a proprietary process, we are able to integrate chromium into the matrix, the core foundation, of the plant. The barley grass is grown in water rather than soil, and chromium is added directly to the grass’s water supply. This way, we can specify the amount of chromium present. The roots suck up the chromium with the water and the chromium is bound to the plants. The plants, roots and all, are harvested when they contain the optimum amount of chromium, shredded, dried at temperatures low enough to maintain enzymatic activity, and ground into a fine powder.

The body most readily and naturally recognizes nutrients that are plant-bound, like the chromium in AIM GlucoChrom™. When you use AIM GlucoChrom™, you are sure to get chromium your body can use easily and efficiently.


References

  • Ahmed, I., et al. “Effects of Momordica charantia Fruit Juice on Islet Morphology in the Pancreas of the Streptozotocin-Diabetic Rat.” Diabetes Res Clin Pract 40, no. 3 (June 1998): 145-51. Anderson, R.A. “Chromium, Glucose Intolerance, and Diabetes.” J Am Coll Nutri 17, no. 6 (December 1998): 548-555.
  • Baskaran, K.; B. Kizar Ahamath; K. Radha Shanmugasundaram; and E.R. Shanmugasundaram. “Antidiabetic Effect of a Leaf Extract from Gymnema sylvestre in Noninsulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus Patients.” J Ethnopharmacol 30, no. 3 (October 1990): 295-300.
  • Boden, G.; X. Chen; J. Ruiz; G.D. Van Rossum; and S. Turco. “Effects of Vanadyl Sulfate on Carbohydrate and Lipid Metabolism in Patients with Noninsulin- Dependent Diabetes Mellitus.” Metabolism 45, no. 9 (September 1996): 1,130-5.
  • Cohen, N.; M. Halberstam; P. Shlimovich; C.J. Chang; H. Shamoon; and L. Rossetti. “Oral Vanadyl Sulfate Improves Hepatic and Peripheral Insulin Sensitivity in Patients with Noninsulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus.” J Clin Invest 95, no. 6 (June 1995): 2,501-9.
  • Halberstam, M.; N. Cohen; P. Shlimovich; L. Rossetti; and H. Shamoon. “Oral Vanadyl Sulfate Improves Insulin Sensitivity in NIDDM But Not in Obese Nondiabetic Subjects.” Diabetes 45 (1996): 659-666.
  • Head, K.A. “Type I Diabetes: Prevention of the Disease and Its Complications.” Alt Med Rev 2, no. 4 (1997): 256-281.
  • Mindell, Earl L, R.Ph., Ph. D. What You Should Know About Herbs, Supplements, Trace Minerals, and Homeopathic Remedies, 2000.
  • Sarkar, S., et al. “Demonstration of the Hypoglycemic Action of Momordica charantia in a Validated Animal Model of Diabetes.” Pharmacol Res 33, no. 1 (January 1996): 1-4.
  • Shanmugasundaram, E.R.; G. Rajeswari; K. Baskaran; B.R. Rajesh Kumar; K. Radha Shanmugasundaram; and B. Kizar Ahmath. “Use of Gymnema sylvestre Leaf Extract in the Control of Blood Glucose in Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus.” J Ethnopharmacol 30, no. 3 (October 1990): 281-94.
  • Shanmugasundaram, E.R.; K.L. Gopinath; K. Radha Shanmugasundaram; and V.M. Rajendran. “Possible Regeneration of the Islets of Langerhans in Streptozotocin-Diabetic Rats Given Gymnema sylvestre Leaf Extracts.” J Ethnopharmacol 30, no. 3 (October 1990): 265-79.
  • Srivistava, Y.; H. Venkatakrishna-Bhatt; Y. Verma; and K. Venkaiah. “Antidiabetic and Adaptogenic Properties of Mormordica charantia Extract: An Experimental and Clinical Evaluation.” Phytotherapy Res 7, no. 4 (1993): 285-289.
  • Welihinda, J., et al. “Effect of Momordica charantia [Bitter Melon Fruit] on the Glucose Tolerance in Maturity Onset Diabetes.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 17, no. 3 (September 1986): 277-82.

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