Blood sugar control is one of the most important aspects of keeping diabetes under control. With more people with diabetes and pre-diabetes looking for strategies to help control blood sugar, new study suggests that ketone monoester drinks--a new food supplement--may help to do it.
"There is mounting evidence that a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet is very effective in controlling blood sugar and even reversing Type 2 diabetes," said study lead author Jonathan Little, Associate Professor at University of British Columbia in Canada.
"We wanted to know what would happen if artificial ketones were given to those with obesity and at risk for Type 2 diabetes but who haven't been dieting," Little added.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which the body is unable to control blood sugar levels because of defects in functioning of a hormone called insulin.
"While Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with medications or injectable insulin, many people are looking to options that don't require taking pills every day or that are less invasive," he added.
According to the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Ketone supplements are proving fertile ground for research into Type 2 diabetes because ketones are the natural fuel source of the body when it's in ketosis--the metabolic by-product of consuming a low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet.
To test the idea, the research team asked 15 people to consume a ketone drink after fasting overnight. After 30 minutes, they were then asked to drink a fluid containing 75 grams of sugar while blood samples were taken. "It turns out that the ketone drink seemed to launch participants into a sort of pseudo-ketogenic state where they were better able to control their blood sugar levels with no changes to their insulin," Little explained.
"It demonstrates that these supplements may have real potential as a valuable tool for those with Type 2 diabetes," he said.
"There are a number of problems that we still have to work out, including the fact that we still don't know what the long-term effects of consuming ketones are," he added.
"But for those that aren't able to follow a strict and challenging ketogenic diet or for those that are looking for a new way to control blood sugars, this may be another strategy in helping to manage Type 2 diabetes," Little concluded.
Other tips to keep diabetes under control
Diabetes management requires changes in lifestyle, timely intake of medicines and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels. Here are some effective ways to keep diabetes under control:
- Keep your weight under control: Being overweight can be bad for management diabetes. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight can help in glucose tolerance and enable the body to use insulin in a better, more efficient way.
- Quit smoking and alcohol: Diabetics need to stay way from sedentary lifestyle habits like drinking alcohol and smoking. Alcohol and smoking can together worsen diabetes.
- Take less stress: Stress can increase your blood sugar levels. Stress management is an important part of controlling diabetes on a daily basis. Deep breathing, gardening, meditating, indulging in activities of your choice and listening to good music can help in reducing your stress.
- Take care of your diet: Diet plays an important role in management of diabetes. Diabetics need to avoid high-carb, starchy foods and sugary foods as they result in rapid spike in blood sugar. High fibre foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, cinnamon and turmeric amongst others are considered to be foods good for diabetics.
- Stay physically active and exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help you lose weight, lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Strength training is specifically important for people with diabetes as it improves body's response to insulin and the way it uses blood sugar.