When type 2 diabetics visit my clinic, they’ve usually already heard about the importance of macronutrient balance— getting the right amount of carbs, proteins, and fats. However, when going over nutritional benefits, they haven’t usually heard of micronutrients.
Type 2 diabetes is a result of inflammation, and an imbalance of these metals exacerbates the root problem by increasing free radical production.
We get them from our diets, and these micronutrients are really important for regulating blood sugar and pretty much every biological function in our bodies. It’s mind-boggling, really, that conventional practitioners rarely mention micronutrients, especially given that there’s a ton of research out there demonstrating how it can help type 2 diabetics regulate their glucose levels.
Metals such as magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, chromium, and manganese are crucial components for managing your glucose levels. When your micronutrient levels are off, so is your blood sugar. And when I say “off,” I mean that even if you have excessive levels of these essential metals like zinc, for instance, you may encounter some pancreatic damage, which would ultimately damage your insulin production.
Micronutrients are essential minerals that are also referred to as metals.
These free radicals can damage DNA and pancreatic cell functions.
It’s important to spot a metal imbalance, but it’s a little easier than it sounds because the reasons behind it aren’t always so obvious. For example, zinc and copper are antagonists– if you have excessive levels of one, it will deplete the other. If you find that you’re deficient in either one of these metals, it can also cause a variety of diabetes complications in both your body and brain. And unfortunately, type 2 diabetics are at a higher risk of having a micronutrient imbalance.
The reason why type 2 diabetics are more susceptible to a micronutrient imbalance is a combination of a couple of things. It can stem from a poor diet that lacks sufficient micronutrient content, or it could also be a result of your body’s lost ability to regulate the balance of these metals once you do ingest them. Either way, it’s important that you keep an eye on these 5 crucial micronutrients.
Iron (Fe) helps the body transport oxygen to tissues throughout the body. For those with diabetes, excess iron can hinder the pancreas from secreting insulin, which leads to insulin resistance.
Magnesium (Mg) is the most prevalent micronutrient found in humans. It’s responsible for aiding glucose regulation, DNA production, and communication between nerves. Diabetics who suffer from a magnesium deficiency will also find that it will inhibit insulin from moving glucose into cells.
Copper (Cu) protects your body against free radicals. A copper imbalance is commonly seen in individuals who have high cholesterol because this metal plays a role in LDL and HDL regulation. For the body to turn food into fuel, it requires sufficient levels of copper. Abnormal levels could mean diabetic complications such as neuropathy.
Zinc (Zn) is vital when it comes to cell development and regulation. Those with type 2 diabetes typically have low zinc levels because of the excessive expulsion through urine. Unfortunately, this can cause serious problems because zinc is necessary for the body to store and secrete insulin. If you’re going to manage your blood sugar effectively, maintaining sufficient zinc levels is crucial.
Your body uses chromium (Cr) to pull glucose into your cells so that it can be transformed into energy. That being said, when you have low levels of chromium, the glucose can’t go anywhere and becomes stuck in circulation, which leads to high blood sugar. Research has shown that increasing your chromium intake can help decrease blood sugar levels, but these results also depend on how you maintain your other micronutrient levels.
As you can see, your micronutrient intake is just as important as your macronutrient consumption, so you should make sure that your doctor is monitoring both if you’re going to have an effective treatment plan.
At my clinic, I utilize cutting-edge testing methods to pinpoint your specific imbalances so that we can tailor a treatment with you and your individual needs in mind.