DB-7 is a physician formulated dietary supplement which incorporates gymnema sylvestre, a standardized herbal extract supplying 25% gymnemic acids, the amino acids alanine and glutamine, and the minerals chromium and vanadium. These nutrients have been reported to help stabilize blood sugar and glucose metabolism.
Gymnema Sylvestre 750 mg
Vitamin C 250 mg
Alanine 250 mg
Glutamine 100 mg
Zinc 30 mg (l-monomethionine)
Chromium 200 mcg (polynicotinate)
Vanadium 1.5 mg (vanadyl sulfate) (contained per 2 caps)
1 cap two times daily on an empty stomach
Insulin dependent diabetes (type I) accounts for only 10% all diabetic cases. The etiology of this disease is a deficiency of insulin production brought on by the destruction of pancreatic beta cells; usually starting years before the disease is evident. Beta cells are the insulin producing cells found in the Islets of Langerhans of the pancreas. Diabetes isnít the only blood sugar related medical problem however. Additional glucose irregularities such as hypoglycemia and insulin resistance (hyperinsulinemia) are seemingly becoming more prevalent and oftentimes lead to serious consequences such as type II diabetes (non-insulin dependent). This inability to manage glucose metabolism is known as dysglycemia. Yet, the mismanagement of glucose is not the only area of concern. There is also a problem with insulin regulation due to, as previously mentioned, defects in the islet cells of the pancreas or possibly due to down-regulated insulin receptor sites on the cell. When there is a break in this insulin Ė cellular communication the resulting hypersecretion of i nsulin sets off a chain of events leading to weight gain, elevated blood pressure, lipid abnormalities, hormone imbalances and increased risk to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Essential nutrients along with optimum diet and lifestyle are critical for regulating the delicate balance of glucose and insulin.
Gymnema sylvestre (GS) is an extract from a climbing plant native to India. The leaves of this plant, given the name "sugar destroyer", have been used for over 200 years in Ayurvedic medicine. The active constituents of this plant are gymnemic acids, saponins, stigmasterol, quercitol and amino acid derivatives betaine, choline and trimethylamine. The benefits of GS in type I diabetics (insulin dependent) are numerous. A yearlong study showed that when supplementing with GS there was a noticeable reduction in all the markers for diabetes including insulin requirements, fasting glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and blood lipids (1). The patients on insulin therapy without GS supplementation had no reduction in any of these markers. Lab tests using serum C-peptide levels provide a true measure of beta cell function and insulin biosynthesis. After supplementing with GS, type I diabetic patients had improved c-peptide levels leading to the regeneration and revitalisation of pancreatic beta cells with enhanced insulin production (1&2). A similar study was performed on type II (non-insulin dependent) diabetics with similar results. These patients showed a significant reduction in blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin and blood lipids (3). The need for oral medication decreased and some patients were able to maintain their blood sugar with GS alone (3). Several patients on the GS therapy noticed the pain in their legs diminished and reported a greater sense of alertness and well being (1).
Vitamin C levels in the blood have been found to be noticeably low in diabetic patients (4&5). When vitamin C levels were adequate the regulation of insulin improved (6). Numerous complications of diabetes are believed to result from the intracellular accumulation of the sugar by-product sorbitol and oxidized proteins (7). A well -known antioxidant, vitamin C can reduce the possibility for oxidative damage by decreasing sorbitol levels (4,7,8). Vitamin C has also been shown to enhance insulin action and improve glucose and lipid metabolism (9&10). Therefore, vitamin C supplementation can benefit both insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent diabetics.
Alanine and Glutamine are amino acids vital for the regulation of blood glucose (11). Glutamine is a precursor to the enzyme glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase (GFAT). GFAT plays a central role in the development of insulin resistance (12) that may eventually manifest itself as diabetes if there is an imbalance or deficiencies in glutamine and alanine levels (13,14). Alanine has been shown to prevent some diabetic complications by balancing glucose through glucagon regulation (15). Glucagon, another sugar regulating hormone produced in the pancreas, induces the liver to release stored glucose into the blood to be used as a potential energy source. Glucagon also stimulates lipase to release fatty acids from triglycerides so they can be used as an energy source.
Zinc, which is found in high concentrations in the pancreatic islet cells (16), performs a distinct role in the synthesis, secretion and storage of insulin (17). Zinc deficiency has been shown to increase the risk of diabetes (18,19) while zinc supplementation seems to have positive effects on glucose balance (20). Zinc is a precursor to the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD). Deficiencies of zinc can lead to decreased SOD production increasing the risk of lipid peroxidation. Diabetics have been found to have elevated levels of peroxidation end-products (21). Supplementing with 30mg of zinc daily has been shown to increase plasma concentrations, which may have a positive effect on SOD activity (21).
Chromium, an essential trace mineral, is a constituent of glucose tolerance factor (GTF) that binds to and potentiates insulin (22). Chromium is necessary for pancreatic beta cell sensitivity, insulin binding, insulin receptor enzymes and insulin receptor sites (23). Supplemental chromium tended to balance glucose metabolism, benefiting both hypoglycemic and diabetic patients (24). This may be explained by the fact that chromium seemed to improve C-peptide levels, leading to enhanced pancreatic beta cell function (24). After two months of chromium supplementation glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels improved significantly (25). HbA1c is a protein that undergoes a non-enzymatic reaction between glucose and proteins. Elevated HbA1c is a marker for high blood sugar for a prolonged period of time. Reducing HbA1c can reduce the risk of diabetes and the potential deleterious complications of diabetes. Supplementing with chromium has not only been shown to rectify glucose metabolism but it also can lower blood lipids (26). However, it has been noted that humans have a difficult time absorbing and synthesizing chromium if it is not attached to a substrate (27). The combination of chromium with nicotinic acid has been shown to facilitate insulin binding and strengthen GTF formation (27). Chromium nicotinate supplements can improve insulin sensitivity in type II diabetics and patients with dysglycemia (28). Age-related reduction in chromium levels can put us at risk to diabetes, dysglycemia, elevated blood fats and heart disease (29). By supplementing with chromium nicotinate we can potentiate the action of insulin and reduce our risk factors to blood sugar imbalances (30,31).
Vanadium (vanadyl sulfate), another important trace element, displays multiple insulin-like effects including stabilizing the action of glycogen synthesis and improving glucose balance (32). Glycogen synthesis, the conversion of glucose to glycogen and glycogen to glucose, is the mechanism for maintaining normal blood sugar balance. The enzyme phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-k) is an important co-factor in the synthesis of glycogen and insulin response (32). One method of action for vanadium seems to be its stabilizing effect on PI3-k activity resulting in improved glycogen synthesis (33). Also, with insulin-resistant type II diabetics vanadium helped balance glucose levels by increasing glycogen synthesis (34). Because vanadium mimics most effects of insulin it can improve blood sugar balance by overcoming defects in the insulin response mechanism (35,36). Oral vanadium supplements (37) have been shown to lower plasma glucose levels, improve insulin sensitivity, increase glucose uptake and decrease blood fat levels in type I and type II diabetes (38).