Trying to boost insulin production is a common concern for type 2 diabetics. As the diabetic pancreas begins to emit less insulin, researchers have worked on ways to increase this production. There has also been a push to discover if certain ancient natural or herbal remedies can assist in boosting insulin.
First, let’s take a look at current medications that have been found to help increase insulin production. There are two broad classifications called Sulfonylure and Maglitinide.
Both of these medications signal the pancreas to increase the insulin production. The difference is that they both go about this process in a different chemical manner.
Sulfonylure‘s are the most common diabetes medications that boost insulin production. Here are several generic examples of this medication classification with its brand name in parenthesis: Glimepiride (Amaryl®), Glipizide (Glucotrol®), Glyburide (Micronase®, PreTab®, Glynase®, Diabeta®).
Meglitinide‘s are the less common type. Here are several generic examples of meglitinide’s with their brand name equivalent in parentheses: Repaglinide (Prandin®), Nateglinide (Starlix®).
Obviously, you will want to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects with these medications. Nonetheless, please be aware that they can be too effective! They can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. If you are exercising hard, changing your diet, skip a meal, etc., please be on the look out for signs of hypoglycemia.
Natural Ways to Boost Insulin
Switching gears, lets take a look at some more natural ways to increase insulin.
Herbal or natural remedies that are said to increase insulin production, including American ginseng and Yoga.
Ginseng is an interesting herb. Studies have shown that it can be effective for helping increase both the secretion and production of insulin. The result is a lowering of blood sugar after consuming meals. Incorporating a little ginseng into your diet to help naturally lower your glucose levels and raise insulin production would be a great alternative to popping more pills.
I also find that the possibility of using yoga to stimulate the effectiveness of internal processes to be fascinating.
There are numerous studies that really offer some promising results for developing a regular yoga practice. The other good thing about yoga is that it is exercise, as opposed to just popping a pill. If it doesn’t work to increase your insulin production, it still offers the exercise benefit.
There are also some recent studies done by Japanese scientist using gene therapy to increase insulin production in mice. Further study is ongoing to see if these results can be replicated in humans.
American Ginseng Stimulates Insulin Production
Evid. Based Complement Alternative Med. 2006 September; 3(3): 365–372. (accessed March 2013)
By Erich Schultz – Last Reviewed March 2013.