Spectracell micronutrient testing (www.spectracell.com) does a comprehensive functional micronutrient panel of tests that includes a test of the glucose-insulin interaction. In this test, the patient’s lymphocytes (white blood cells) are grown in a complete culture media. Insulin is then added, and if the patient has poor glucose or insulin metabolism, the addition of insulin improves the uptake and utilization of glucose and amino acids, producing more cellular energy and the cells grow better. If adding insulin has no effect on cell growth, it can be surmised that your glucose and insulin metabolism is fine.
Another traditional way of assessing your glucose and insulin metabolism is the oral glucose challenge (glucose tolerance) test and a fasting blood glucose level, along with measurements of hemoglobin A1c. In most studies, lifestyle interventions (improved whole food diets, weight loss, and exercise) have the best improvements in health and glucose-insulin health issues.
SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY
Those of us suffering from abnormal glucose-insulin interaction, are most likely having periods of insulin over-production (due to insulin sensitivity) followed by symptoms of low blood sugar (dizziness, tremor, feeling faint, lethargic, disorientation, headaches, fatigue, nausea, cold extremities). The long term consequences are related to the metabolic syndrome, obesity, and the inflammatory state that results, leading to heart disease and stroke, increased cancer risk, etc.
The goal is to avoid refined carbohydrates and high gylcemic foods (bread, pasta, all things made of white flour, HFCS, sugar, corn syrup, and virtually anything in a bag or box). Make your diet full of whole foods, especially vegetables, nuts and seeds and some whole grains, fish, lean meats (if not vegetarian) and a modest amount of fruit, fresh and organic if possible. Frozen is always preferred over canned when fresh is not available.
SAFETY AND TOXICITY
As mentioned above, if you need to know your status as it relates to glucose-insulin, consider getting a glucose tolerance test, hemoglobin A1c, or Spectracell micronutrient test. For the diabetic, excess sugar and processed carbohydrate intake can lead to very high glucose levels which are dangerous for long term health. For the pre-diabetic, metabolic syndrome patient (many of us), managing our lifestyle by eating whole foods with lower glycemic index, and getting adequate rest and exercise will do more for our health and well-being than almost anything else we can do.
Chromium, is closely linked with insulin function and glucose tolerance. You may want to make sure you are getting enough chromium.
See my earlier post on chromium here…
Here are a few links that you may find useful: