Saturday, January 3, 2015

Supplements for Sugar Addicts

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In a recent post, I talked about different ways to break the sugar addiction cycle and I didn't feel confident in many of the suggestions I found. One idea that I did find promising was eating more healthy fats. The other recommendation, I thought might work well for me was supplementing to help my sugar cravings. I decided to do a little more research about this to see what I could find. There actually was quite a bit of information on the subject. Below are some of the supplements recommended to assist with sugar withdrawal and carb cravings.


Vitamin D - Apparently, when Vitamin D is low, the hormone that curbs your appetite doesn't work very well and we feel hungry more often.

Vitamin B Complex
Has been shown to help some with carb cravings. Inadequate utilization of the carbs you consume can make you crave even more carbs.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is critical for the production of the hormone cortisol. Similar to B complex vitamins, cortisol helps keep blood sugar stable during stress. As a result, vitamin C decreases the symptoms of low blood sugar and reduces sugar cravings

Omega 3s
These super fatty acids are powerhouses in brain cell function, insulin control and inflammation reduction. The omegas found in fish oil can help curb carb cravings because it enhances insulin sensitivity

According to Doctor Julia Ross, author of The Diet Cure, many of us are so depleted in some neurotransmitters that shere willpower is not enough to break the sugar addiction. She recommends supplementing with L-Glutamine for one month, while eating whole foods and eliminating processed crap. After one month, your cravings will be gone and you will no longer need to supplement.

Chromium Picolinate 
This mineral has been shown to improve mood, help suppress appetite, reduce carbohydrate cravings and help regulate blood glucose levels. Chromium can act as an insulin mimicker, helping to clear the blood of glucose. A dose of 600 mcg to 1000 mcg per day may be beneficial to help reduce appetite and carbohydrate cravings.

Chromium Polynicotinate
Chromium polynicotinate is a type of supplemental chromium that contains vitamin B3, or niacin. Chromium helps with the metabolization of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. As seen on the April 18 episode of "Dr. Oz," chromium polynicotinate helps us avoid eating excess sugar by reducing our cravings. It does this by helping to keep our blood sugar levels from spiking or crashing. This supplement also regulates insulin production through its trace minerals. When these factors stay regulated, we don't get those extreme cravings that have us downing a six-pack of cola by the afternoon. You only need 200 mcg a day to start seeing results.

Assists with glucose metabolism, which is how you use carbohydrates as a fuel. It may also help to improve your insulin sensitivity

Lipoic Acid. Take Lipoic Acid to assist with blood sugar stabilization and also to speed up carbohydrate utilization.

This mineral is involved in the production of feel good neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, it is also known to regulate blood pressure.

Coenzyme Q10
This key component of the mitochondria is critical to carb utilization.

Lipoic Acid
Assists with blood sugar stabilization and speeds up carb utilization. Recommended doses are between 50-250mg Lipoic Acid daily to control carbohydrate cravings.

Formed by amino acids, this substance helps transport fatty acids into the mitochondria for energy. Essentially, it might help you switch to burning fats as fuel, as you start to reduce your carb intake.
The recommended dose is 500-2000 mg daily.

Lipase, which is found in many digestive enzyme supplements, is a common deficiency in people who have blood sugar fluctuations, and it can also help break down fat and burn fat as a fuel.

This is the same substance that is found in smaller quantities in turkey meat and milk, and makes you tired after a big meal. It can be helpful in reducing carbohydrate cravings. The recommended dosage is 500-1500 mg per day, however, it should not be taken if you are on anti-depressants.

This compound is found in grapes and red wine and reportedly improves insulin sensitivity
The recommended dosage is 100mg per day

Herbal Supplements

This herbal sweetener can help decrease the urge for sugar consumption.

A popular herb, found in South America. It is as sweet as sugar but does not have the same negative effects as sugar and does not have any calories. 

Ginseng Root
A popular tonic which may improve stamina and maintain blood sugar levels

Astragalus Root
Very popular Chinese tonic which improves stamina and decreases sugar cravings

Licorice Root
A very sweet, anti-inflammatory plant which can substitute for sugar in tea.

Ashwaganda Root
Popular Indian sedative and tonic known to improve the metabolic system

Gymnema Sylvestre
An Ayurvedic herb used to treat diabetes, digestion, obesity and hypoglycemia. It may block the taste of sugar and its absorption in the body. The structure of gymnemic acid is similar to that of glucose molecules, which can fill the receptor locations on the taste buds and in the intestine, blocking the sensation of sweet, but also the absorption of glucose! The result of supplementation is less sugar cravings and lower blood glucose levels. It is also possible that Gymnema exerts its hypoglycemic effect by increasing the secretion of insulin, increasing utilization of glucose and preventing glucose absorption from the intestine. Gymnema can be found in teas, gums and various weight loss support products

Garcinia Cambogia Extract
The fruit Garcinia contains hydroxycitric acid, which has been shown to be very effective for weight management, but also for curbing appetite and body fat metabolism. One way this unique acid works is by stimulating the release and availability of 5-hydroxytryptamine or serotonin, which is highly involved in the regulation of eating behavior and appetite control.

Carralluma Fimbriata
This edible cactus has been traditionally used by tribal Indians to reduce hunger and enhance endurance. The effect Carralluma was evaluated in overweight individuals by providing them with 1 g of Carralluma extract per day for 60 days. Carralluma extract was found to suppress appetite and reduce waist circumference when compared to placebo over a 2-month period.

White Kidney Bean Extract
Also known as Phaseolus Vulgaris, White Kidney Bean Extract has been shown to slow the absorption of carbohydrates by inhibiting the enzymes that are responsible for their digestion, specifically amylase. White Kidney Bean is an alpha-amylase inhibitor. This action has been shown to not only slow absorption of carbs but also cause weight loss at doses of 500 mg to 3 g. It has also been shown to reduce blood glucose spikes caused by carbohydrate ingestion.

Isolated from Griffonia Simplicifolia, 5-HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan, is a direct precursor to the neurotransmitter tryptophan. Tryptophan has a direct effect on serotonin levels and can affect mood as well as appetite. It has been shown in various studies that supplementing with 5-HTP can cause decreased hunger, decreased food intake and weight loss in obese subjects. What’s more, it also causes a reduction in carbohydrate intake and a consistent presence of early satiety. Clinically, doses of 750 mg taken once per day have been shown to be an effective dose. 5-HTP is sold as 50 and 100 mg doses and can also be found in other weight loss products.

Well, there you have it, a ton of different supplements that may be able to help you curb your sugar cravings. I find it ironic that many of these supplements are the very same ones recommended for controlling cortisol production, reducing inflammation and inducing your relaxation response. I have not yet posted about the herbal supplements recommended to induce the relaxation response, but, you guessed it, there are several of them on both lists.

To read more see the following recent posts:

The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only.  It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider.  Consulting with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.


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