According to Consumer Reports, Americans spent nearly $27 billion on nutritional supplements in 2009, creating a behemoth out of the supplement industry -- and you thought you spent a lot on shoes! From health supplements to pills promising you the body of your dreams, there's no shortage of potions available for your purchase. With the rise of diabetes and obesity, many people are interested in supplements to reduce blood sugar and increase metabolism. There are many supplements that claim to offer these benefits independently, and a handful that may offer both blood sugar reduction and elevated metabolism. Remember to do your own research and talk with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
Chromium is typically taken in a 200 mcg daily dosage. Chromium may help to increase the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats while also increasing the effectiveness of the body's insulin. According to Dr. Oz, chromium may help to enable optimum metabolism. It does this by working with insulin to enable your cells to receive sugar from blood at a regular, controlled pace. This helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar.
Green tea has been a staple in Asian cultures for thousands of years. Long recognized for its cancer-fighting and anti-aging benefits, green tea may also be helpful in boosting metabolism and aiding weight loss. One cup of green tea can burn up to 70 extra calories a day. This is due to thermogenic properties in green tea which promote fat oxidation. Green tea also contains the antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which may help metabolize starches and limit spikes in blood sugar.
Other Blood Sugar Reducers
Gymnema Sylvestre is considered one of the most powerful herbs for blood-sugar control. It works by increasing enzyme activity that stimulates the production of insulin. Prickly pear cactus is an exotic fruit that may lower blood sugar because it contains properties similar to insulin. Add high-fiber fenugreek to your diet to boost insulin production and reduce insulin spikes. Ginseng, alpha-lipoic acid, magnesium and bitter melon are additional supplements that can have a favorable effect on blood sugar levels.
More Metabolism Boosters
Caffeine is one of the most widely studied metabolism boosters. A literature review in "Obesity Reviews" reveals that caffeine's thermogenic properties have been studied and proven to help boost metabolism. Raw cacao contains a natural stimulant and endorphin, which can rev up your metabolic burn. A cup of oolong tea, which contains powerful antioxidants and caffeine, can help you burn up to 100 extra calories a day.
Never begin any medications or supplements without your doctor's recommendation.
- Dr. Oz: 3 Ways to Improve Your Body's Metabolic Burn
- ShapeFit: Top 25 Reasons To Use Green Tea
- Reader's Digest: The Best Herbs and Supplements for Diabetes
- School of Sport and Exercise Sciences; Fat Burners: Nutrition Supplements that Increase Fat Metabolism; AE Jeukendrup and R Randell
- Penn State News: Drinking Green Tea with Starchy Food May Help Lower Blood Sugar Spikes
- Consumer Reports: What's Behind Our Dietary Supplements Coverage
- Bodybuilding.com: The 8 Wonders Of Matcha Green Tea
- User's Guide to Nutritional Supplements; Jack Challem
Jessica Bell has been working in the health and fitness industry since 2002. She has served as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Bell holds an M.A. in communications and a B.A. in English.