T Nation

John Berardi Question-insulin sensitizers

In your recent column “Appetite for Construction” you recommended ALA, fish oils, glucosol (colosolic acid and inzitol (d-pintol). Why did you choose the glucosol and inzitol and how do they compare to other insulin sensitizers? I am a physician who has used (in addition to ALA and fish oil)chromium, biotin, vanadium and gymnema sylvestre(sp?) with diabetic pts. Cy Willson in his previous column “The Taming of Insulin” also recommended taurine, bitter melon, epicatechin and Quercetin.

Also, why do you recommend taking the ALA, glucosol, and inzitol during separate carbohydrate meals? One can argue that the ALA should be taken divided throughout the day since it is an antioxidant and its half life is only about a half hour.

Thanks for your time.

John, I am also very interested in these insulin sensitizing supplements, and would be very interested to hear a response to this question. Also, what do you think of using soluable fibers such as gar gum to incerease insulin sensitivity. Also, in regards to cardio and increasing insulin sensitivity, what is the min amount of time required to elicit the increased insulin senstivity response, and are mutiple cardio sessions a day acceptable if the minimal amount of cardio time is used?? Thanks!!

I’ll bump this for ya JB, since you haven’t been around to see it lately. I think this is a very interesting topic!!

This is a good question…I am very excited about d-pintol and colosolic acid. My buddies down at kent state are doing a study on these and are finding some impressive results (even in those with “normal” glucose tolerance) that should be published this summer. So I think they may be a great advantage to diabetics in lowering blood glucose. These guys act as insulin independent glucose uptake promoters but this helps with both glycemia and in lowering insulin levels. So I am really big on ALA, Fish Oils, Inzitol, and Glucosol right now. Of course the supplement you choose all depends on your needs. Gymnema increases insulin release and blocks glucose absorption. Inzitol/Glucosol act in an insulin independent manner, fish oils act in changing membrane structures. It gets complicated and it’s not advisable to lump them all into one category. About the ALA/Glucosol/Inzitol at separate times, I suggest this to avoid any potent hypoglycemic effects of a combo of glucosol/inzitol mostly. You dont want any acute acting supplements dropping sugar too low. I guess ALA could be taken whenever you want though. That’s assuming there arent profound actue effects of ala (which I dont think they are).

I wanted to clarify one thing with my last post. ALA does have some acute effects. But I think it is the cumulative effects that make the most profound difference in diabetics.