MEN’S HEALTH: Exercise and Supplements Combat the Diabetes Epidemic

mh-10.jpgSimple supplements can improve men’s health and longevity by helping eliminate type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes, a rare condition until recently, is now running rampant. There are estimates that 20 million people currently have type 2 diabetes and as many as 45 million have varying stages of ‘pre-diabetes.’ Some suggest the cause as purely dietary and related to obesity, others say it’s associated with the immunological insult we receive with childhood vaccines, weakening the functional abilities of the pancreas. Either way, it eventually manifests as diabetes. The tragedy is that this condition hinders men’s health, slowly disabling our bodies and shortening our lives.

But it also costs us more than our physical health and longevity. The financial cost is outrageous to all Americans. Put into perspective — hurricane Katrina caused $150 billion in damage, the war in Iraq costs America that much annually, and yet our diabetes epidemic costs us $174 billion each year! There are about a million new cases annually, as more people become obese. It’s estimated that diabetes killed 284,000 Americans just in 2007.

It is not a disease of blood sugar, but a loss of sensitivity to insulin and leptin. The body fails to recognize insulin (which allows needed sugars to be transferred into the cells, to be used as an energy source), keeping high levels of unabsorbed sugars in the blood (hyperglycemia). This initially leads to fatigue, heart disease and blurred vision, which can eventually result in blindness, kidney failure and death.

The absurdity of all this is that type 2 diabetes can usually be avoided with stringent lifestyle changes. Being responsible for our own healthy lifestyle and fitness can nearly eliminate our chance of developing diabetes.

Cinnamon helps your body regulate blood sugar by increasing glucose metabolism up to 20X. The Human Nutrition Research Center (a branch of the USDA) reports that cinnamon bark contains a compound that activates an enzyme which causes insulin to bind to our cells and makes them responsive to insulin again.

You can add cinnamon to your diet through your food (spread a little raw honey on your morning toast and sprinkle it with cinnamon), or take a cinnamon supplement.

Science Daily published results from a study showing that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) also has been shown to increase cells sensitivity to insulin, also improving type 2 diabetes.

For most people, eating a low-carbohydrate diet (consisting primarily of fish and lots of vegetables), losing 10-20 pounds of weight (chronic obesity leads to insulin resistance), exercising, consuming cinnamon and CLA daily could help avoid diabetes and improve men’s health overall.

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