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About This Episode
Level | Controlling Your Blood Glucose Levels
In this episode of Discover | Dr. Dan Proactive Health, Dr. Dan discovers the secrets to naturally lowering and controlling blood glucose levels to prevent disease. This method should be practiced by all as a form of proactive wellness. Listen to the full podcast below to learn about the natural way to regulate glucose and insulin.
The New Age Plague
One of the biggest plagues affecting the modern world is diabetes, specifically Type 2 diabetes, due to overconsumption of added sugars. “10.5% of the US population is diabetic with the number of people undiagnosed, probably 35% or more.” According to Dr. Dan, these numbers can be lowered through proactive and preventative wellness. Nutritionists recommend that females should be consuming a maximum of six teaspoons of sugar per day; nine for males. The average person consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar every single day, totalling 66 pounds per person per year. It’s no wonder as to why diabetes has affected so many people, as these rates of consumption are simply unsustainable for the human body.
The way that sugar works is that once in the bloodstream, insulin levels spike to match the amount of sugar. Sugar peaks at about half an hour after consumption and then diminishes; however, insulin takes much longer to diminish back to the healthy base level. When we snack on sugary foods all day long, it keeps our insulin levels at a constant high, only to reset when we sleep. This is a vicious cycle that can cause lasting damage to the body and can be avoided through proactive habits that promote biosignaling and wellness.
Mythbusting: Fruit Doesn’t Have Too Much Sugar
Insulin causes inflammation in the body, and inflammation is recognized as the root cause of all disease. To prevent insulin spikes and inflammation, Dr. Dan suggests eating the right plants that promote biosignaling. The age old tale of fruits being unhealthy due to their sugar content isn’t true because the sugar from fruits and vegetables doesn’t have the same effect as added sugars on the human body. We have fiber to thank for this. Fiber from fruits and vegetables binds to sugars and stops it from entering the bloodstream, further preventing insulin levels from spiking. Inflammation due to insulin spikes has been tied to a number of diseases. “One thing that a lot of people don’t know is high sugar intake is directly correlated with an increase in cardiac events. Heart attack, stroke, and others are directly influenced by sugar intake.” Add obesity and high blood pressure to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a sugary sweet cocktail of disaster.
Harnessing the Powers of Bioactive Compounds
Dr. Dan and his team at Brilliant studied thousands of plants to create a product made of the best bioactive compounds that naturally regulate blood sugar and promote biosignaling. Their studies show that plants like jiaogulan vines, mangoes, and pomegranates had some of the biggest effects on the human body, which were combined into a supplement called Brilliant Level. In a clinical trial of this product, people were given Pop Tarts and juice and had their insulin levels monitored. Some participants were given Brilliant Level before eating the same sugary foods and the researchers found that blood glucose levels decreased by 32% at the 30 minute sugar peak. “So it actually goes down more quickly and that’s important if we can keep insulin levels low and shorten the window at which insulin is high.” With this fascinating information, Dr. Dan calls for new ways to naturally regulate blood glucose that proactively protect the body from inflammation. The science isn’t done yet and there is much more to be discovered.
To learn more about how sugar and insulin impact human health, check out the Discover | Dr. Dan Proactive Health podcast episode below, and be sure to subscribe for new episodes each Tuesday.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (00:09)
Welcome to Discover with Dr. Dan | The Proactive Health Podcast. This podcast is sponsored by Brilliant, an innovative proactive wellness company. Brilliant helps people to live a healthier and happier life by discovering and using bioactive natural ingredients from plants to help people discover and unleash their innate brilliance. See feelbrilliant.com for more information. Today we’re going to talk about novel ways to level out blood glucose levels. Blood glucose levels are obviously a big plague today leading to type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a big problem. 10.5% of the US population is diabetic with the number of people undiagnosed, probably 35% or more. So when you look at it, half of the population in the United States is either diabetic or pre-diabetic. So the cost of diabetes in the United States is estimated to be $327 billion. This is especially dangerous in developing nations. So developing nations, sugar and sugar laden drinks, sodas, are just starting to get into these countries and people are using them like gangbusters.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (01:27)
So diabetes levels, for instance, in Thailand, diabetes was, prevalence of diabetes 10 years ago was 5%. Now it’s 35%. Exponential growth. Cambodia, Philippines, India especially,` diabetes, huge problem there. And it’s this sugar glut. Pharmaceutical drugs like Metformin can lower blood glucose levels but it has negative side effects. Metformin can actually cause neuropathy, which is one of the problems with diabetes. You have tingling in your fingers, toes, extremities, and when it gets so bad cells die there and you have to amputate. Metformin can also cause liver damage. And so there’s a lot of not good things with Metformin. So we need better treatment options. Pharmaceutical drugs are great. That’s reactive wellness. Reactive wellness is really important when we’ve gone so far down the path and we’re in this death spiral, but really, ideally, we want to be on the proactive wellness side.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (02:28)
We want to nip these things in the butt before they even get started. And so that’s one of the things that we’ve been thinking a lot about in my research and here at Brilliant science. And when you look at it, obviously the real problem in order to help level out blood glucose levels is the excess sugar intake. The recommended daily intake amount of sugar is six teaspoons for women and nine teaspoons for men. It’s kind of weird. Men, I guess, can tolerate more sugar than women. But that’s the recommended intake. However, the average American consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar per day, which equals 66 pounds of added sugar per person per year. You think of that 50 pound sack of sugar that you buy at a bulk warehouse store and you carry – that’s heavy. And that is the amount of sugar, excess sugar, that we’re eating every year.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (03:22)
And just think about that. That’s that’s terrible. That makes my stomach turn. I had a really interesting experience when it came to sugar. I was in Germany with my family. We were touring a lot of the castles and we toured this castle. We went into the kitchen and it was really interesting. The guide was talking about different things, and I noticed there was a safe in the kitchen. And I thought that was weird. I mean, do they keep their jewels and stuff in the safe in the kitchen? And so I asked the tour guide about this and she said something that blew my mind. She said, “Well, that’s actually where they kept the pure sugar.” So pure sugar where you melt it down, you get a syrup, you concentrate it and you do a few other things to get the pure sugar molecules. She said that that was so valuable that they kept it in a safe.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (04:09)
And it’s ironic that today, sugar sodas is cheaper than water nowadays. And so sugar is so prevalent today. And so there’s been a big paradigm shift there, obviously. Sugar though, one of the interesting things is sugar is found in nature. Sugar’s in an apple. Sugar’s in a plum, fruits and vegetables. The thing though is when we eat an apple, apple has fiber and fiber complexes with sugar. They love to hang out with each other. They like each other. And so when you eat an apple that has fiber and sugar, you take that into the body. The amount of sugar that gets into the bloodstream is significantly reduced because the fiber holds onto the sugar. When we eat something without fiber, this just straight sugar, that sugar goes directly into the bloodstream.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (04:56)
When we take sugar into our body, what happens is sugar starts to enter the bloodstream. It peaks at 30 minutes, and then it starts to peter out at about two, 2.5 hours, it goes back to baseline. The thing though is when sugar rises and it hits its peak insulin rises to meet it. And insulin stays high for a long, long period of time. And when insulin levels are high, it’s impossible for the body to take sugar from the bloodstream into the cells. And that’s a big problem. So if insulin stays high for four to five hours, one of the issues then with high blood sugar and high insulin levels is continuous snacking. When we’re snacking throughout the day between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner, late night snacks and ice cream when we’re watching our favorite show. What happens is insulin stays high the entire day.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (05:51)
And when we go to sleep at midnight and we wake up at six in the morning, insulin has just started to go down and then the cycle happens again. And this is a destructive cycle. That blood sugar levels are always high. Insulin is always high. And insulin is one of the root causes of inflammation and inflammation, as you know, doctors will tell you, is the root cause of all disease. So when insulin is high, cardiac events are higher, diabetes, obviously, Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is actually known as type 3 diabetes in the scientific literature due to the insulin resistance and the high amount of sugar that we’re taking in. So excess sugar intake, obesity, that’s obvious. Excess sugar intake causes high blood pressure, one of the things for high blood pressure. One thing that a lot of people don’t know about is high sugar intake is directly correlated with an increase in cardiac events. Heart attack, stroke, and others are directly influenced by sugar intake.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (06:56)
Now, cholesterol and lipids are a big issue as well. And they’re a big component, but sugar is a huge component that a lot of us might not know about. So we need to rethink sugar intake and what we’re going to do in how to reduce blood glucose levels. So high sugar intake elevates the blood glucose levels and blood glucose levels, when we have a lot of sugar in our blood, it actually, the sugar molecules complex to proteins and fibers and other good components in our body enzymes, it gloms onto those. And it causes advanced glycation end products, which is just a fancy word for sugars getting on everything. It’s glomming up everything. And when sugar is on everything, it reduces the function of enzymes that help to catalyze all the reactions in the body. And when enzymes can’t do work, human health significantly goes down and suffers, obviously.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (07:54)
So these advanced glycation end products represented a novel mechanism by which we thought we could do some really interesting things to lower blood glucose levels. As you know, or you might not know, but I am a biosignaling nut. I am obsessed with the science of biosignaling. All the reactions in the body are controlled by biosignaling mechanisms. It’s like an electrical grid that sends signals throughout the entire body. Another way to think about it is a cascade of dominoes. You push one domino over and it starts this cascade event. Dominoes fall all the way over until it causes work to happen on the other end. And so we have all these signaling cascade pathways in the body. High sugar intake can actually pull these dominoes out of this sequence. And when dominoes are pulled out, the sequence is broken and these advanced glycation products are a big part of the problem.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (08:50)
Now, advanced glycation end products are a result of misregulated signaling. So when the signaling mechanisms in the body are broken, then we form a large amount of these advanced glycation end products. I’m going to call them AGEs. So we thought, what if we could find natural compounds from plants? We’re a plant discovery group. I love to travel around the world studying compounds in plants. And so we were thinking maybe, could we discover compounds in plants that could inhibit and restore signaling? Inhibit AGEs and restore signaling to the body? And so we screened a ton of natural compounds from plants, thousands of them. And in our screening, we found that there were several bioactive compounds and plants that could inhibit AGE formation and regulate related to high sugar.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (09:44)
One of the first ones that we found was a plant called gynostemma pentaphyllum. It’s a really cool plant. It’s a vine. It’s a green vine. It grows in the forest of Southeast Asia. I’ve done a lot of work on that plant in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai region. It’s famous. It’s been used in China and in traditional medicine in Southeast Asia for many, many years. The first recorded record of using this plant was in 1578 by a famous Chinese herbalist called Li Shizhen. So this plant has been around for a long time. It’s, the Chinese name for it is jiaogulan. It’s been used in many different properties. It’s traditionally brewed up as a tea and used for cardiovascular health and to control blood glucose levels. It’s used as a ingredient in Thai and Vietnamese cuisines. The bioactive compounds in this plant are called gypenosides. And gypenosides, as we did our research, are really potent biosignaling regulators of this AGE pathway.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (10:52)
So there’ve been some studies where type 2 diabetic patients took this jiaogulan tea, and they found significant results in blood sugar reduction after taking this for four weeks. And another really interesting compound is magniferron and magniferron comes from mango, from mango leaf. Mango is an amazing fruit. It’s been used in cultures for thousands of years. It’s called the king of fruits. It’s been cultivated for over 4,000 years. It’s brewed up as a tea and it’s an antibiotic that’s been used traditionally for liver health. It’s also been used traditionally to help people with diabetes and stomach ulcers. So we were interested in that plant. And when we studied it, we actually found that magniferron and other magniferides related compounds in mango, actually inhibited AGE and increased healthy biosignaling in the body. Another one is quercetin. Quercetin is found in trace amounts in all fruits and vegetables. It’s traditionally used for gastrointestinal health, liver health, wound healing.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (11:59)
And what we did is we went into plants and we selectively pulled out this quercetin molecule. So a lot of times in traditional herbal concoctions, they’ll use the entire herb, the entire plant material. And that’s great, but depending on what you’re trying to do, sometimes you want the individual compounds. So you want to pull it out. And that’s what we did with quercetin. There’s been several clinical studies, one clinical study on quercetin found that it did decrease the amount of methylglyoxal. Now, you don’t know, you don’t need to know what that means, but methylglyoxal is an AGE. It’s one of the AGEs, advanced glycation end products, in the body that cause problems. And so this research paper found that quercetin can reduce the amount of AGEs.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (12:45)
Pomegranate extract powder has been used in toiletry and skincare products for over 3000 years. It’s used in Iranian folk medicine. It’s been used for centuries as a diuretic and to support the liver. And in pomegranate, there’s bioactive compounds called punicalagins and in the research and the assays that we’ve done, punicalagins helped also to increase biosignaling related to AGEs and reduction of blood sugar in the body. So we incorporate all these into a patent pending product that we call, Brilliant Level. And we ran a clinical study. We had people take Pop Tarts and juice, and they took this and we monitored their blood glucose levels before. And then they took the Pop Tarts and juice, and then we monitored them for 30 minutes after, for four hours. And again, what we saw is glucose peaked at 30 minutes and trailed off and went down to baseline at two and a half hours. So we did that to get a control, a baseline measurement. And then we had people do the same thing, but before they took the Pop Tart and juice, we had them take this formulation, this AGE formulation, and then we monitored things.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (13:57)
And what we saw is that at the peak, there was a 32% decrease in glucose. So when you look at the peak without the product, and then the peak with the product, it was significantly reduced. And that’s vital because if the amount of blood sugar at 30 minutes is significantly lower, then that means the amount of insulin that’s produced is significantly lower. And if the amount of insulin that produce, that is being produced, is significantly lower, then that means that the amount of insulin is reduced at the end point. So it actually goes down more quickly and that’s important if we can keep insulin levels low and shorten the window at which insulin is high, then that’s a big deal. So we saw these results. We were really excited. There’s no other product out there that regulates AGEs and helps to regulate blood glucose levels.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (14:54)
And we’re excited. New methods need to be discovered to help improve human health. The definition of insanity, as we know, is trying to do the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. And so we need to get out of the red ocean of everybody doing the same thing, using things like Metformin and fiber, to try to help control glucose levels. We need to get into that blue ocean and regulating biosignaling related to blood glucose levels and these AGEs represents one novel way of doing that. We’re grateful that you would take time to listen with us as we are on this health journey to help us live proactively, to become the best version of ourselves. Thank you my friends, this is Dr. Dan signing off.