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Multi-faceted Potential for Glucose Ingredients

Glucose Ingredients Glucose Ingredients

As 2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin,1 science and research have come a long way to help people live longer and aid in the management of blood glucose levels. Still, the proliferation of the issue isn’t over.

Non-GMO Project

The number of people with high blood glucose levels continues to rise nationally. It’s reported that nearly 37.3 million Americans—about one in 10—have diabetes. And interestingly enough, nearly one in five people with diabetes don’t know they have it. Even more staggering is the 96 million Americans (that’s more than one in three) who have prediabetes, and just as those who are unaware of their diabetes diagnoses, more than eight out of 10 people are not aware they have prediabetes.1 The prevalence of abnormal blood glucose issues is concerning, and government entities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-led National Diabetes Prevention Program and the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) are attempting to make more Americans aware of the burden that comes from unchecked glucose levels.

Most human bodies can naturally produce the hormone insulin, which affects how your body turns food into energy, but when you have, for instance, type 1 diabetes, your pancreas produces little to no insulin. With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t properly respond to insulin resulting in too much sugar circulating in the bloodstream.2 When referring to prediabetes, the blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.3 Further research into prediabetes has shown that it is not a single condition rather, it is a group of conditions that affect the metabolism of carbohydrates and result in high blood sugar levels. As blood glucose levels rise, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production can fall out of balance with normal antioxidant activity, and the body can struggle to maintain inflammation within the normal range. Additional support for both ROS production and inflammation management can help neutralize the cyclical progression of prediabetes.4

Addressing Blood Glucose Concerns

There are several medications in the marketplace that aid glucose management; however, these come at a hefty price and can have adverse side effects. Because of this, many consumers look elsewhere to address their health concerns—specifically, the dietary supplement industry. According to Transparency Market Research, the global diabetes supplements market was valued at $8.4 billion in 2020 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.2 percent from 2021 to 2031, reaching a value of $13.4 billion by 2031.5 In addition, the Council for Responsible Nutrition recently revealed data from its 2022 consumer survey outlining the use of dietary supplements in America. This report found that the overall use of dietary or nutritional supplements is back to pre-pandemic levels, however, this is still a third of Americans, with women and older adults leading the usage. It also reported that 52 percent of the respondents began taking a specialty supplement in 2022, an increase from the previous year.6

Because consumers continue to use dietary and nutritional supplementation to maintain their health and live healthier lifestyles, there is great opportunity to deliver products with natural ingredients aimed at the prevalence of prediabetes and glucose maintenance. Take, for example, cinnamon. Cinnamon has been researched for its blood sugar-regulating benefits in connection to its ability to regulate insulin resistance and sensitivity.7 One study investigated the effect of different amounts of cinnamon (1 g/day, 3 g/day and 6 g/day) on preprandial blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, and body mass index in 41 healthy individuals over 40 days. It found that the difference between the average preprandial (before a meal) blood glucose measurements was most significant in the individuals who consumed 6 g of cinnamon per day. It also found that the difference between the average postprandial (after a meal) blood glucose measurements before consumption on days 20 and 40 were significant in the individuals consuming 1 g, 3 g and 6 g of cinnamon per day—demonstrating cinnamon’s potential to affect specific blood parameters.7

A second common ingredient is the essential mineral chromium. Chromium is naturally found in many foods and has been shown to enhance the action of insulin and help regulate blood glucose concentrations.10,11 Some findings have shown that people with type 2 diabetes have lower chromium blood levels,12 making this mineral a top-selling supplement among those with diabetes. In fact, it’s reported that the global chromium market reached a value of $14.37 billion in 2021.13

One study sought to determine the effect of chromium supplementation in conjunction with the medication Glipizide over the course of 24 weeks with type 2 diabetic subjects. The study participants who received this combination had significant improvements in insulin sensitivity, glucose control and body fat percentage compared to those in the placebo group.14 And although this particular study showed great benefits, there is still a great need to conduct more in-depth research on chromium and its implications for improving blood glucose levels.

Another known glucose-support ingredient that goes beyond just blood sugar management is berberine. Berberine is an alkaloid found in various plants, such as barberry, Oregon grape and tree turmeric. It has a long history of traditional uses in Chinese and ayurvedic medicine.8 Today, studies have shown that berberine can effectively regulate glucose-lipid metabolism and inflammatory factors by alleviating insulin resistance and reducing the body’s inflammatory response. Berberine has shown results comparable to Western medicine and drugs aimed at ameliorating or stabilizing higher-than-normal blood glucose levels.9

And finally, one ingredient that takes a multi-faceted approach to managing blood glucose and prediabetes is a blend of citrus flavonoids branded as Eriomin. Eriomin is mainly comprised of Eriocitrin, which has been clinically shown to support healthy blood glucose function, generate potent antioxidant activity and help manage inflammation within the healthy range.15,16 The unique multi-functional support ingredient was studied in a two randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials. The first study tested 103 prediabetic subjects who consumed one capsule daily (200 or 400 or 800 mg Eriomin or placebo) for 12 weeks. The trial used standard testing measures, including the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), which shows how quickly glucose is processed by the system, and the Hemoglobin A1C test (HA1C), which averages blood glucose levels over the previous three months. The result demonstrated that supplementation with Eriomin improved all subjects in the three areas of prediabetes management after 12 weeks. In addition to this across the board improvement, an average of 24 percent of subjects who received Eriomin returned to normal fasting glucose levels, showed markers of increased glucose tolerance, and successfully addressed prediabetes.15

The second double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study evaluated the efficacy of Eriomin in reducing hyperglycemia and improving diabetes-related biomarkers in individuals with hyperglycemia above 110 mg/dL. The Supplemented group received 200 mg/day for 12 weeks, and assessments of biochemical, metabolic, inflammatory, blood pressure, anthropometry and dietary parameters were measured at the beginning and end of each intervention. The results demonstrated that with 200 mg/day, Eriomin significantly decreased blood glucose (-5 percent), insulin resistance (-11 percent), and glucagon (−13 percent) but increased glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) by 17 percent.16

These are just a handful of the numerous published studies demonstrating how incorporating dietary supplementation into one’s diet can aid in managing blood glucose levels. But of course, it can’t go without saying that supplementation is indeed that—a supplement to support one’s diet and healthy lifestyle. And to best manage blood glucose levels and prediabetes, it is essential to exercise and maintain a healthy diet of high fiber, dark leafy greens and low glycemic index foods.

Opportunity for Supplements

With nearly one in three Americans currently affected by prediabetes, the opportunity to develop a product aimed at addressing blood glucose levels is ripe. It’s reported that more people are taking supplements today than prior to 2020 and that younger generations are key to the market growth, with their top motivators being health optimization and vitality.17 It’s also important to understand what type of delivery formats your target audience is most attracted to. According to the Nutrition Business Journal, pills remained the top delivery format for supplements until 2019, when gummies took the market share (21.3 percent), followed by powders (15.6 percent), soft gels (14.9), liquids (12.3 percent), effervescent (4.6 percent) and others. However, this does not mean that pills are going away, as they still make up 20.7 percent of the market share.18

When going to market with a product aimed at helping consumers manage their blood sugar levels, educating your customer on how the product will optimize their well-being and backing these claims with solid research is critical. Helping them understand this will create a repeat user and build trust, which is the ultimate end goal of any successful business. NIE


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, January 24). The facts, stats, and impacts of diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/diabetes-facts-stats.html#:~:text=37.3 percent20million percent20Americans percentE2 percent80 percent94about percent201,t percent20know percent20they percent20have percent20it.

2 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, November 19). Type 2 diabetes. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, January 24). The facts, stats, and impacts of diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/diabetes-facts-stats.html#:~:text=37.3 percent20million percent20Americans percentE2 percent80 percent94about percent201,t percent20know percent20they percent20have percent20it.

4 Volpe CMO, Villar-Delfino PH, Dos Anjos PMF, Nogueira-Machado JA. Cellular death, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and diabetic complications. Cell Death Dis. 2018; 25;9(2):119. doi: 10.1038/s41419-017-0135-z.

5 Diabetes supplements market. Transparency Market Research. (2022, April). Retrieved from www.transparencymarketresearch.com/diabetes-supplements-market.html.

6 CRN Reveals Survey Data from 2022 consumer survey on dietary supplements. CRN Reveals Survey Data from 2022 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements | Council for Responsible Nutrition. (2022, October 13). Retrieved from www.crnusa.org/newsroom/crn-reveals-survey-data-2022-consumer-survey-dietary-supplements.

7 Kizilaslan, N., & Zekiye Erdem, N. (2019, March 4). The Effect of Different Amounts of Cinnamon Consumption on Blood Glucose in Healthy Adult Individuals. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6425402/#:~:text=One percent20of percent20the percent20most percent20discussed,glucose percent20level percent20stable percent20 percent5B8 percent5D.

8 Examine.com. (2022, September 28). Berberine health benefits, dosage, safety, side-effects, and more: Supplements. Examine. Retrieved January 2023, from https://examine.com/supplements/berberine/.

9 Cao, C., & Su, M. (2019). Effects of berberine on glucose-lipid metabolism, inflammatory factors and insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2019.7295.

10 The Nutrition Source: Chromium. Hsph.harvard.edu. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/chromium/.

11 Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. 6, Chromium. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK222329/.

12 Havel PJ. A scientific review: the role of chromium in insulin resistance. Diabetes Educ. 2004;Suppl:2-14. PMID: 15208835.

13 Chromium market size, Share & Global Report, 2022-2027. Market Research Company, Market Research Reports and Consulting Services. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.imarcgroup.com/chromium-market#:~:text=Market percent20Overview percent3A,US percent24 percent2014.37 percent20Billion percent20in percent202021.

14 Martin, J., Wang, Z. Q., Zhang, X. H., Wachtel, D., Volaufova, J., Matthews, D. E., & Cefalu, W. T. (2006). Chromium picolinate supplementation attenuates body weight gain and increases insulin sensitivity in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 29(8), 1826–1832. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc06-0254.

15 Ribeiro, C. B., Ramos, F. M., Manthey, J. A., & Cesar, T. B. (2019). Effectiveness of Eriomin® in managing hyperglycemia and reversal of Prediabetes Condition: A double-blind, randomized, controlled study. Phytotherapy Research, 33(7), 1921–1933. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.6386.

16 Cesar, T. B., Ramos, F. M., & Ribeiro, C. B. (2022). Nutraceutical eriocitrin (Eriomin) reduces hyperglycemia by increasing glucagon-like peptide 1 and downregulates systemic inflammation: A crossover-randomized clinical trial. Journal of Medicinal Food, 25(11), 1050–1058. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2021.0181.

17 19, D. (2022, December 20). Understanding consumer needs in the supplement industry – infographic. Natural Products INSIDER. Retrieved from www.naturalproductsinsider.com/supplements/understanding-consumer-needs-supplement-industry-infographic?utm_campaign=HLN00INS-CB-ITB-ThematicInfo-011223&utm_emailname=HLN00INS-CB-ITB-ThematicInfo-011223&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua&utm_MDMContactID=62f31a7a-4ec2-446a-946c-9947e6f50ab4&utm_campaigntype=Digital&eM=97b6ca651ab81c8fbc5661deb2cdeaf89acdc6f85b578b474c47f170e0ca6ed3&eventSeriesCode=ES_NATPRINSDRDGTL&eventEditionCode=HLN00INS&sessionCode=S_DGTL&sp_eh=97b6ca651ab81c8fbc5661deb2cdeaf89acdc6f85b578b474c47f170e0ca6ed3.

18 20, D. (2022, December 28). Trend spotlight: Delving into supplement delivery formats – analysis. New Hope Network. Retrieved February 2023, from www.newhope.com/products-and-trends/trend-spotlight-delving-supplement-delivery-formats-analysis.

Rob Brewster is the president of California-based Ingredients by Nature. As a third-generation ingredient manufacturer for the natural products industry, Brewster is proud to be part of the health and wellness world. He followed in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps, helping their company Brewster Foods grow since he joined in the 1990s and then partnering with Syntech to form Ingredients by Nature, a world leader in citrus bioflavonoids and extracts. As president, Brewster invests heavily in citrus flavonoid science for condition-specific applications and holistic wellness. For more information, visit IngredientsbyNature.com.