I've read about CLA and ALA (alpha lipoic acid) to help treat insulin resistance. Anyone have any experience with or knowledge of these supplements? I know diet and exercise are huge factors in increasing insulin sensitivity but I was wondering if there were any supplements I could take to aid the process?
CLA is worthless as a supplement. You need to get it from food because most supplements have omega 6 oils as a source of the CLA. You need higher oral and topic sources of Magnesium. You need a lot of things to optimize mitochondrial functioning. IR basically makes your mitochondria inefficient. There is a ton to do.
Here is a pretty complete list I use for diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
I concur with all the above. Great items! Exercise works synergistically (both cardio 60% of max, lifting and HIIT) with food/targeted nutraceuticals which lower inflammation. Stopping IR inducers are important (mental stress, sleep deprivation, physical stressors, and drugs (synthetic hormones, cortisone, certain BP drugs) and correcting deficiencies (healthy gut, omega-3, GLA melatonin, vitamin D/sunlight, testosterone, progesterone, etc). Also heavy metals cause IR; see handout.
From the handout above:
Intracellular glutathione is an important antioxidant. It can be increased by these foods (Houston, 2005; p. 300):
• Whey protein
• Cruciferous vegetables
• Green tea
• Onions and garlic can reduce glucose and increase free insulin (Houston, 2005; p. 302).
• Bitter melon reduces glucose and HbA1C (Houston, 2005; p. 302).
• Cinnamon, used liberally (up to 6 gm/day) can improve blood sugar and most parameters of CVD (Houston, 2005; p. 306).
EGCG (green tea extract) 500 mg 2 times daily
Gymnema sylvestre 400 mg of extract, divided doses
Ginseng 200–300 mg 2 times daily
Alpha lipoic acid (or 100–1800 mg R-lipoic acid) best with:
Chromium (GTF) 8 mcg/kg/day = 3.6 mg/lb
Vanadate Dose to 40–80 mcg/L in serum
Magnesium, with: 500 mg 2 times daily
Vitamin B6 50–100 mg
Niacin (inositol hexani- 25 mg/kg. = 11.5 mg/lb cotinate is best)
Biotin 8–16 mg
Vitamin E (mixed toco- 200–400 IU pherols and tocotrienols)
Vitamin D3 1200–2000 IU [personally I target serum 70 ng/ml] (Houston, 2005; p. 81)
Potassium 500 mg
Zinc 30–50 mg
Fish oil DHA-600 mg./EPA-900 mg
Selenium 200 mcg
Manganese 5–10 mg
GLA (gamma linolenic 500 mg 2 times daily acid)
CLA (conjugated no established dose linoleic acid) [I'd concur w/Quilt -- supplement here is synthetic and inferior]
L-carnitine 2 gm 2 times daily
Taurine 1.5–3 gm 2 times daily
N-acetylcysteine 1000 mg. 2 times daily
Pycnogenol 100–200 mg [this is $$$ but worth it as it detoxes gently heavy metals and great studies in a variety of different health conditions including improving even erectile dysfunction rapidly]
Drink some green tea in the afternoon. You'll find that green tea works better than ALA or Chromium combined in dopping blood sugar. I never saw much hypoglycemic effect from ALA nor Chromium, supposedly insulin mimetics. The effect is huge from the tea.