October 12, 2020

7 benefits of stable blood sugar

The benefits of having stable blood sugar levels

Imagine just having come back from your trip to the supermarket. You stuck to your diet all week, exercised regularly and now, it's time for a treat. A couple of donuts, maybe chocolates or some other treat of your choice. A while later, you're super high on energy, feeling thirsty, possibly having a headache etc. This is the urban legend of Sugar High. While you might not have developed superhuman abilities after your sugary treat, carbohydrate rich food items can often cause a spike in a person's blood sugar, leading to an overall instability in our blood glucose levels.

We, the team at Veri are often asked, "Why should we track our Blood Sugar?", "What are the benefits of having Stable Blood Sugar?", etc. In this post we shall provide a brief insight into some of the benefits of Stable Blood Sugar and how it correlates to our day to day lives. The information has been derived mostly from scientific research which focused on the relationship between blood sugar and human metabolic functions.

Energy

Studies have shown that a high-glycemic load diet is associated with fatigue, higher depression symptoms, especially in overweight/obese, but otherwise healthy adults. (1) However, it's worth noting that fluctuation of glucose levels in either direction (spike or drop) can cause a slew of problems, including lightheadedness, fatigue, headache, sleepiness, etc.

Focus

Glucose is a type of sugar which the brain depends on for fuel. Studies show that dips in glucose availability can have a negative impact on attention, memory and learning, and that administering glucose can enhance these aspects of cognitive function. The brain also uses up more glucose during challenging mental tasks. Therefore, it may be especially important to keep blood glucose levels at an optimum level for good cognitive function. (2) (3)

Better skin

A spike in blood glucose causes a rise in insulin levels, which in turn increases the production of androgens (Hormone related to acne-production). These hormones lead to increased production of sebum and keratinocyte, causing breakouts. Studies have shown that have a low glycemic diet can lead to a reduction in acne problems. (4) (5)

Control over weight

Ever wondered why your diabetic aunt is always asked to exercise and keep her weight in check? Studies have shown that individuals with poor glucose control (making them susceptible to blood glucose spikes) are more susceptible to weight gain in comparison with those who have better control. (6) Additionally, in diabetics with excess weight, the cells in the body become less sensitive to the insulin that is released from the pancreas leading to complications.

Prevention of prediabetes & diabetes

The most commonly known diseases related to blood sugar are Insulin Resistance and Diabetes Mellitus. These along with a number of other complications can lead to prediabetes (borderline diabetes), which eventually leads to Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can cause a number of associated health conditions including heart disease, stroke, vascular problems, nerve damage, kidney disease, eye issues, and sexual dysfunction. (7) (8)

Reduced risk of degenerative health diseases

The Framingham Study showed that people with diabetes are more vulnerable to heart disease than those people who did not have diabetes. Numerous studies have found a correlation between fluctuating glucose levels (increases and decreases in glucose levels) and an increased risk of heart diseases with the most common being the hardening of the coronary arteries or atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of cholesterol in the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrition to the heart. (9) (10)

Improved brain function & performance

Insulin resistance, a common cause of diabetes, is also associated with significantly lower regional cerebral glucose metabolism, which in turn may predict worse memory performance. (11) Diabetes has been known to be a risk factor for dementia. Researchers suggest that increase in blood glucose levels can increase a risk of dementia, even for those without an history of diabetes. (12)

In this age of technology, we the common people have the tools and resources within the grasps of our palms. The first step is to take control of our own health, be educated and aware of what's happening within our body. We, the team at Veri believe in taking control by harnessing the power of trackable metrics, backed by scientific research. We envision a world wherein people will have access to tools and knowledge to be in control of themselves, empowering them to be in-charge of their own health. Veri is a device that provides real time continuous glucose monitoring data in an instant, enabling you to calibrate your blood sugar via tracking your diet, sleep and vice versa.

References:

  1. Breymeyer KL, Lampe JW, McGregor BA, Neuhouser ML. Subjective mood and energy levels of healthy weight and overweight/obese healthy adults on high-and low-glycemic load experimental diets. Appetite. 2016;107:253‐259. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2016.08.008
  2. Sünram-Lea SI, Foster JK, Durlach P, et al. (2001). Glucose facilitation of cognitive performance in healthy young adults: examination of the influence of fast-duration, time of day and pre-consumption plasma glucose levels. Psychopharmacology 157:46–54.
  3. Riby LM, Law AS, Mclaughlin J, et al. (2011). Preliminary evidence that glucose ingestion facilitates prospective memory performance. Nutrition Research 31(5):370-377.
  4. Kwon HH, Yoon JY, Hong JS, Jung JY, Park MS, Suh DH. Clinical and histological effect of a low glycaemic load diet in treatment of acne vulgaris in Korean patients: a randomized, controlled trial. Acta Derm Venereol. 2012;92(3):241‐246. doi:10.2340/00015555-1346
  5. Smith RN, Mann NJ, Braue A, Mäkeläinen H, Varigos GA. The effect of a high-protein, low glycemic-load diet versus a conventional, high glycemic-load diet on biochemical parameters associated with acne vulgaris: a randomized, investigator-masked, controlled trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007;57(2):247‐256. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2007.01.046
  6. Chiu CJ, Wray LA, Beverly EA. Relationship of glucose regulation to changes in weight: a systematic review and guide to future research. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2010;26(5):323‐335. doi:10.1002/dmrr.1095
  7. Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, Sarwar N, Gao P, et al. Diabetes mellitus, fasting blood glucose concentration, and risk of vascular disease: a collaborative meta-analysis of 102 prospective studies [published correction appears in Lancet. 2010 Sep 18;376(9745):958. Hillage, H L [corrected to Hillege, H L]]. Lancet. 2010;375(9733):2215‐2222. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60484-9
  8. Frankum S, Ogden J. Estimation of blood glucose levels by people with diabetes: a cross-sectional study. Br J Gen Pract. 2005;55(521):944‐948.
  9. DiNicolantonio JJ, OKeefe JH. Added sugars drive coronary heart disease via insulin resistance and hyperinsulinaemia: a new paradigm. Open Heart. 2017;4(2):e000729. Published 2017 Nov 29. doi:10.1136/openhrt-2017-000729
  10. Conget I, Giménez M. Glucose control and cardiovascular disease: is it important? No. Diabetes Care. 2009;32 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S334‐S336. doi:10.2337/dc09-S334
  11. Bloemer J, Bhattacharya S, Amin R, Suppiramaniam V. Impaired insulin signaling and mechanisms of memory loss. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2014;121:413‐449. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-800101-1.00013-2
  12. Crane PK, Walker R, Hubbard RA, et al. Glucose levels and risk of dementia [published correction appears in N Engl J Med. 2013 Oct 10;369(15):1476]. N Engl J Med. 2013;369(6):540‐548. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1215740

Needless to say, we're just getting started and are excited to share all our learnings in the future!

To optimal health,
Anttoni, Frans & Verneri

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