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Algae-Derived Polyphenol May Help With Blood Sugar Management

A new study has found that a supplement containing polyphenols from two types of algae and chromium picolinate may help improve blood sugar levels in subjects considered to have fasting blood sugar levels in a “pre-diabetic range”.


62 participants were included in the study. All of them had a fasting plasma glucose higher than 100 mg/dl but less than 126 mg/dl. Half of the participants took a supplement containing polyphenols extracted from the algae Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus as well as chromium picolinate or a placebo for 6 months. The researchers evaluated fasting plasma glucose (FBG) , postprandial plasma glucose (PPG), HbA1c, fasting plasma insulin, high sensitivity C?reactive protein, and tumor necrosis factor?? at baseline. An oral glucose test was administered at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months.

After 6 months of supplementation, significant improvements were recorded for the supplementation group.  On average, fasting blood glucose improved from 113mg/dl to 104mg/dl, HbA1c improved from 5.1% to 4.9% and postprandial plasma glucose improved from 157.8mg/dl to 141mg/dl. No significant improvements were made in the placebo group for any of these measurements.

18.2% of the participants in the supplement group had returned to a normal glycemic status, compared to 0% in the placebo group. . In total, 67% of the participants in the supplement group improved their glycemic status.  The supplement group also saw a reduction in high sensitivity C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor-a.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Pavia and the University of Bologna. It was published online ahead of print on February 3, 2019 in the journal Phytotherapy Research.
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