Hormone Balance, p1: Blood Sugar and Nutrition

This article is the first in a series authored by the health professionals of the ASEA Medical Professionals Board and the ASEA Science Council. Today’s author is Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., MS, CNS, a regular health contributor on several television shows and networks, including 20/20, Dr. Phil, The View, Good Morning America, Extra, FitTV, and The Early Show. In addition, her work has been featured on ABC, CNN, PBS, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CBN, Fox News, and the BBC.

The Power of the Body

Hormones are remarkable! These highly specialized chemical messengers control the activities of cells and organs throughout the body. Hormones virtually influence everything we think, feel, and do on a minute-to-minute basis right down to the cellular level. When they work synergistically in balance and in harmony with one another, we enjoy optimal health and a sense of well-being. But when they are out of whack, we can experience a myriad of seemingly disparate symptoms including mood, anxiety, weight gain, lack of energy, among others.

Thankfully, we can overcome much of this through the right diet, supplementation, lifestyle modifications, and exercise. The truth is that there are many different hormones we now know contribute to the optimal functioning of the human body. There are hormones that control your metabolism (thyroid hormones), some that control your appetite (adiponectin, cholecystokinin, leptin, and ghrelin), some for stress (cortisol), and some for reproduction (progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone).

What may be most fascinating of all is that the simple act of eating food evokes a hormonal response. Carbohydrates, for example, stimulate the secretion of the hormone insulin, which tells the body to absorb blood sugars. Protein triggers the hormone glucagon, which tells the body to release sugars into the blood. Certain fats provide the building blocks for tissues, while others linked to hormones known as eicosanoids, control cellular function throughout the body. It is the delicate balance of each and every one of these food-based hormones that determine well-being in the body.

How Insulin Affects Your Health

Insulin is the key hormone that controls blood sugar levels after you eat carbohydrates. Insulin helps muscle tissue use blood sugar as fuel for energy, and it helps store excess blood sugar in two ways. First, it stores blood sugar in the liver and tissues as sugar. But the body can store only a limited amount of glycogen. Any excess beyond what the body can store is converted to body fat. To increase glucagon relative to insulin, and thus enable the body to access body fat better, requires a more balanced proportion of carbohydrate, protein, and fat at each meal. Exercise also reduces insulin levels.

Keep in mind that all the carbohydrates that our bodies absorb from food are converted into blood sugar, even from the least sugary of foods. But carbohydrates from low-glycemic food sources are converted more slowly into blood sugar, thus avoiding a rush of blood sugar and an answering rush of insulin into the bloodstream. High-glycemic carbohydrates—rice cakes and bread not made from whole grains, for example—as well as simple sugars and processed carbohydrates—white rice and bagels, for example—produce these blood sugar and insulin rushes, with the consequent depletion of blood sugar, loss of energy and concentration, and renewal of food cravings.

Omega 3 oils and Omega 7 Oils

A blend of omega 3 oils, as well as omega 7s, has the full spectrum of omega power to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.* Several studies have shown that fish oil supplements can minimize the risk that your food will be stored as fat. Making sure the cells in your body are helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels* is a well-established key to a healthy weight. Taking an omega 3 supplement like ASEA VIA Omega is plain old good dietary insurance.

In this ongoing series, we will cover more information about sugars, both healthy and unhealthy, how to take better care of your health, and how ASEA supplements can aid you in your nutrition. Watch out for a follow-up article next week, which will cover glycogen, eicosanoids, and how they affect your hormone health.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.