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?
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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]
Chromium (50mcg), magnesium (400mg) and manganese (10mg).
EPA (fish oil), Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Mg, White tea, Cinnamon, Policosanol
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.