11 Supplements that Could Fight Intense Sugar Cravings
Sugar addictions and cravings can make it challenging to adopt a healthy eating lifestyle.
Eliminating unnecessary excess sugar from the diet and curbing cravings may seem like a challenging task, but it is achievable. Several supplements may help reduce sugar cravings.
Listed below are a few of the supplements that may help reduce or prevent sugar cravings.
L-TRYPTOPHAN: When a person consumes sugar-laden products, serotonin, one of the “happy hormones” (also a neurotransmitter), is released. A person feels happy because of the increased production of serotonin, which helps regulate mood.
L-tryptophan is needed to make serotonin, as it helps produce this neurotransmitter. A person could maintain serotonin levels with sufficient amounts of l-tryptophan
and potentially reduce sugar cravings.
L-tryptophan is in protein-rich foods such as fish, turkey, chicken, and red meat. Non-meat sources include broccoli, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peas, watercress, and mushrooms.
It is available in supplement form and should not be taken in combination with prescribed anti-depressants. L-tryptophan is also used for relaxation and sleep, so be mindful of when you take it, as it may cause drowsiness.
LIPASE: Lipase is an enzyme that aids in the digestion of fat. It can assist the body in breaking down fat and using it as an energy source. It is one of the components of pancreatic juice in the pancreas, which may help reduce or stop sugar cravings.
This digestive enzyme is usually combined with other digestive enzymes in supplement form. Experts recommend taking digestive enzyme supplements at least two hours before eating unless instructed otherwise.
VITAMIN B1 – THIAMINE: Thiamine (vitamin B1) is essential for carbohydrate metabolism. It helps the body consume carbohydrates more efficiently. A diet that is heavy in added sugars has been shown to deplete the body of b-vitamins, including b1.
Usually, vitamin B1 is water-soluble, but some supplements and derivatives are also fat-soluble. A fat-soluble B1-vitamin is Benfotiamine (found in legumes and grains).
Benfotiamine may fight sugar cravings because studies show it is absorbed in the body at a higher rate due to it being soluble in fat.
If you’re having a deficiency of vitamin B1, you may have the urge to consume more sugar and carbohydrates than usual. Benfotiamine may not only replenish the deficiency but may also reduce cravings for something sweet.
Fat-soluble thiamine may be an alternate solution for people who cannot properly absorb vitamin B1.
COENZYME Q10: Coenzyme Q10, medically known as ubiquinone, is a vital coenzyme present in the mitochondria which aids the generation of energy from glucose in human cells.
In the mitochondria, Coenzyme Q10 promotes cell activity and viability. As a supplement, it may improve carbohydrate utilization and combat intense sugar cravings because of its potential to regulate blood sugar. However, they may also reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulant (blood thinners) medications.
L-GLUTAMINE: L-glutamine is an amino acid found in both animal and plant proteins. It assists in regulating blood sugar and insulin, which ultimately helps in controlling sugar cravings.
It may promote muscle growth and fat loss. Studies revealed that people with adequate amounts of L-glutamine in their bodies may be less vulnerable to intestinal permeability or “leaky gut.”
GYMNEMA SYLVESTRE: Gymnema Sylvestre may reduce sugar cravings by altering the sensitivity of taste buds, thus causing sugar to appear less appetizing.
If a person is on medication, they must consult with their physician to avoid any possible interactions. The recommended dosage is taking up to 4 g (grams) orally, one to three times daily.
FISH OIL: Several studies suggested that fish oils may enhance insulin sensitivity and help maintain normal glucose levels in the bloodstream. In turn, this may help reduce sugar cravings.
ACETYL-L-CARNITINE: The acetylated form of L-carnitine is known for its ability to help the body burn fat by transporting the fatty acids to muscle cells, where they get used for energy. This mechanism helps reduce cells’ reliance on sugar for energy and creates a lower demand for it, which may help reduce sugar cravings.
It is recommended to consume 500mg up to three times a day on an empty stomach or between meals.
L-CARNOSINE: During the breakdown of carbohydrates, advanced glycation products get produced. As a result, these substances can compromise metabolism and make a person crave sugar. L-carnosine acid may eliminate advanced glycation end-products and reduce cravings, even when a person consumes carbohydrates.
It also possesses antioxidant properties that may help reduce oxidative stress in the body.
CHROMIUM: Chromium helps regulate insulin and blood sugar levels. It may also prevent insulin resistance and lower the risk of heart disease.
A severe chromium deficiency may lead to an intense desire for sweets. Chromium supplements may help reduce those cravings because of the role it plays in glucose and insulin regulation.
ZINC: Chronic blood sugar imbalances could lead to sugar cravings. Additionally, blood sugar irregularities may indicate a zinc deficiency.
Improving zinc levels may help stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings. Consume zinc in controlled quantities to prevent toxicity.
Foods rich in zinc include yogurt, beans, and almonds.
The suggested daily zinc intake is 8 mg (milligrams) for women and 11 mg (milligrams) for men and pregnant women. However, note that zinc toxicity can occur at daily intakes over 40mg, so be sure to supplement in moderation.
As discussed, many supplements may help reduce sugar cravings. Using them allows you to take advantage of their health benefits and potentially keep those cravings at bay.
If any of these supplements pique your interest, research them in further detail with a doctor or medical professional.
A doctor may advise against taking them if pregnant or nursing. Curbing sugar cravings is just one small piece of the weight loss puzzle.
Remember: Eat less sugar since you’re sweet enough already!
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