T Nation

Recommended Supps for Over-50 Lifters?

Anyone have any Recommendations?

“Over 50” is about the 6th or 7th most important characteristic I would want to know when recommending supplements. More important would be:

Are you overfat?
Have any developing health issues?
Resistance train? How many years?
Eat appropriately now?
in shape?
Sleep well.
Normal T

If I know those things I’m not sure your I would recommend anything differently based on your age.

In shape
Been training for years
T2 Diabetes (runs in family) Arthritic foot (Turf toe late stage = hallux rigidus)
Clean-ish diet
Sleep fine (If sleep was an Olympic even I would have a gold)
I assume T is fine I asked the doctor and they said all is in order.

I have type 2 in my family but don’t have it, but I absolutely do take Indigo 3g. Since I started taking it, my A1C has dropped from 5.5 to 4.7. (I have also lost 28 pounds, but I was never under 5.0 before even when leaner.) If you are not needing to inject insulin yet, it could certainly help, but if you are taking metformin I am not sure how they go together. Even though I believe in getting saturated and monounsatured fat and omega-3 in your diet, cutting down fat for a period of time can actually improve insulin sensitivity because your muscle and liver cells will burn out fatty acids and take in glucose more readily. (My son has type 1 and a 2-3 day stretch of low fat every now and then makes him more insulin sensitive). A high carb and a high fat diet both require about the same amount of insulin to manage, a little more for high carbs, but you need more insulin per gram of carbs when you eat more fat. The main advantage of higher fat, lower carbs is lower post meal spikes and also less hypoglycemia for those who inject insulin.

So I guess I might ask whether you tend to eat more carbs, or more fat in your diet. I vary myself.

I would also recommend Flameout because it gets a higher percentage of its fat from Omega-3s than general “fish oil” (about 60% versus 30%) and it is the only Omega-3 supplement that has the ratio of DHA to EPA that is optimal for MEN. Even the newer brands coming out that are more concentrated have the “female” proportion of DHA to EPA.

I would also take ZMA as it is the only zinc (plus magnesium) supplement I have found that does not upset my stomach before bed.

I would definitely take D-3 which you may now can slow down the progression of diabetes. (Type 2 is now considered to have autoimmune components to its mechanism by the way).

Because they are inflammatory and can raise insulin needs, I would (do) eliminate all high omega-6 oils and I would also eliminate, AT THE VERY LEAST, HIGH gluten wheat products like Pasta and restaurant pizza crust because I know that my son requires 150%+ his normal insulin for high gluten wheat products. The more insulin, the more insulin resistance. Its just a waste, I have to throw 2-4 extra units of insulin at pizza and pasta for up to 12 hours.

I also like Superfood as an occasional backup source of fruit and veggie micro nutrients.

I use others for training. Mag-10 is the best protein supplement I have used, but you have to decide if it fits your needs.

Definitely for general well being, Flameout, Superfood, and ZMA and you can see if Indigo 3g works for you.

Thanks for the info
Yes I’m pretty much on track with all of this
My A1c is down to 5.6 with a very low dose of Metformin once a day.
The Doctor is trying to get 100% off of Metformin.
I take D-3 as per my Dr. as well as omega-3.
I started taking ZMA about 6 months ago.
So it looks like I’m pretty much where I should be.

Again thank you!!

I’m looking into Chromium and Vanadium to help with my T2 Insulin sensitivity

What is your general macro mix? Or perhaps the easiest number to work with: about what percentage of your daily calories come from carbs IF you are not in a calorie surplus or deficit?

Even though I prefer a baseline of about 25% carbs and 50% fat, when I try to reduce weight I will cut mostly fat from my maintenance, and when I train I will add mostly carbs. When carbs get below 30% on a maintenance diet, fasting blood sugar actually tends to ruse a little bit because muscles stay loaded with fatty acids to spare glucose for the brain and nervous system. For non-insulin resistant people that will tend to push their fasting blood sugar up to the 90s (non pathologically) but like I said before, cutting fat for 48-72 hours will burn fatty acids out of muscles and open them up to take in carbs more easily and if you train hard, you can get your muscles burning fat AND staying insulin sensitive afterwards.

Also, by the way, Alcohol and Fructose, (above a certain baseline, about 4% of maintenance calories) makes the liver more insulin resistant, and Fructose has an independent ability to raise A1C without showing up in blood sugar tests. Keeping fructose under about 25 grams a day can lower A1C by .3 to .5 without any change in blood sugar levels, for example, someone with a 110 average (round the clock) blood sugar will typically have an A1C of about 5.5, but if they eat high fructose it can be 5.7-5.8 and if they eat minimal fructose it can be 5.2-5.3. This is because fructose has 10x the glycosylating ability as glucose even though it is only present in the blood at about 1% of the level (about 1 mg/dl).

Another thing that people don’t realize is that high cortisol levels from stress, illness or intense fatiguing exercise, OR from inflammatory/allergenic foods (Omega 6 oils, wheat, legumes as well as other grains and foods to a lesser extend) makes you insulin resistant because cortisol makes blocks insulin’s effects and makes you have to release MORE to manage blood sugar levels. This makes you even more insulin resistant because your cells get overexposed to insulin. It also means that your body is flooded with insulin at night which blocks growth hormone, which prevents healing, which…raises cortisol levels and makes your more insulin resistant. In your case, you may have genetic or autoimmine insulin receptor resistance, but people can progress toward T2D even without a genetic receptor flaw and the basic mechanism is inflammation—>cortisol---->insulin resistance---->growth hormone blocked----->inflammation (even though growth hormone is actually inflammatory, it heals microtrauma which ends up helping your body to need less cortisol to counter chronic inflammation.

Personally, I used vanadium in the 90s, and my organic chemistry teacher told me about chromium around that time too, but besides getting a baseline level, I would say that the science does not suggest a major impact on insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon does increase insulin sensitivity. Also anything that reduces cortisol. I am trying Circumin and I was skeptical. I think has reduced some of my inflammation hot spots. Also, you may know that adding a sour element to every meal slows down the rate of blood sugar rise. A teaspoon of vinegar before a meal works well. Also, anytime you can be active for 15 minutes before breakfast, and for 15 minutes after your last meal of the day will improve insulin sensitivity, and a walk after an early dinner will help get your insulin levels down for bedtime so that you can get your “early night” growth hormone release. Since your body is probably releasing a significant amount of insulin at night just to keep fasting blood sugar good, I might consider taking Indigo 3g before bed, but definitely having some kind of evening activity that improves insulin sensitivity would help. Swimming may be the absolute best. My son has type 1 diabetes and swimming for an hour can make him more insulin sensitive all night long (I often have to turn off his basal insulin if he swims in the evening).