Does a Sugar Blocker Work?
Sugar blocker pills refer to the supplements that are available in the market to help control the sugar absorption into the body. These kinds of sugar blocker pills are sold as part of weight loss or weight management programs and some of them are targeted at diabetics.
The principle behind a sugar blocker is that it prevents the body from absorbing sugar and turning it into fat. So, this can be a very useful aid for those who are worried about their sugar intake whether it is because they are fighting diabetes or whether it is because they are trying to lower their carbohydrate intake for weight loss purposes.
There are some herbs and natural minerals that are known to have this effect and among some of the most frequently mentioned ingredients in commercially available sugar blockers in recent days are Chromium and Gymnema Sylvestre. Chromium is supposed to increase metabolism by helping cells get blood sugar. This means that there will be a reduction for craving for carbohydrates and sugars as fuels for the body. Gymnema Sylvestre is a time-tested herb from India that has long been used as a way to deal with diabetes. This is the most literal sugar blocker because the molecules of its primary component, gymnemic acid, resemble glucose and they literally take up the space in the cell receptors and stop or block the absorption of sugars.
These ingredients in your body can serve the dual purpose of blocking sugar absorption and of using the existing nutrients well so that your mind does not constantly send out hunger signals to your body. You are supposed to take these pills a half an hour before a big meal so that they are active in your system at the time of digestion.
Does this mean that you can eat all that you want and just pop a sugar blocker and expect to not gain any weight or see any increase in blood sugar levels? The answer is an emphatic no. Whether you use herbs, teas or pills, a sugar blocker is at best an aid to a well-balanced life-style. You have to have a holistic approach to your weight management and it is well worth considering the use of supplements to tackle the way your body processes food. However, you cannot assume that any of these supplements alone will do the trick and take an irresponsible position about what you consume.
Remember that what the Chromium does is help with metabolism. Exercise achieves the same purpose. You cannot minimize the importance of actual physical activity and hope that three pills a day will replace actual aerobic activity.
While low-carb diets and supplements are largely based on scientific principles, no responsible proponent of any of them will ever advise that a person should use any method to the exclusion in an extreme manner. A complete reliance on a sugar blocker to manage diabetes will definitely be such as extreme approach and hence it is to be avoided.
The NIH and FDA do not rule out the possibility that some of these herbs used as sugar blockers can function to control blood sugar. However, these agencies do talk of using something like a sugar blocker in conjunction with insulin or other medications. There are two reasons for this. One is that stopping the use of medicine can lead to drastic increase in sugar level and can have terrible long-term consequences. The second reason is that there is not sufficient clinical evidence of the long-term implications of substances used as sugar blockers. As studies are conducted with a patient using a sugar blocker over time we will have data to assess the way the body processes such a supplement. There will also be an opportunity to assess any side-effects that may emerge with prolonged usage.
While a sugar blocker can be useful in managing weight or in coping with diabetes, the best course of action for now is to use it with caution and that too after consulting your doctor.