RELEVATE Benefits Beyond Brain Health

Metabolic Health


Just as we want to support brain health as we age, our metabolic health needs care too. Diabetes and metabolic syndrome are major public health concerns, especially in adults over the age of 65.1 Consuming an anti-inflammatory diet – rich in flavonoids (flavonols and catechins), magnesium, and vitamins B12 and D3 – may bolster metabolic health over time. RELEVATE contains these nutrients, and although they are tuned for maintaining brain health and function, they also exhibit potential against markers of diabetes.

Kaempferol, quercetin and myricetin are flavonoids (in the flavonol subclass) that have been studied extensively for their effect on metabolic syndrome. These compounds are potent antioxidants, working to directly bind and eliminate free radicals and other toxins, which can build up in a metabolically stressed cell.2 Clinical and epidemiological studies conclude that higher intakes of quercetin and myricetin are linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes,2 particularly owing to the strength of quercetin in controlling blood sugar levels.3

Similarly, catechins derived from green tea, such as EGCG, show strength in controlling key markers and mechanisms of metabolic disease. For example, green tea (or its extracts with standardized levels of catechins) are shown to lower liver cells’ sugar production in vitro,4 promote insulin sensitivity in animal studies,5 reduce risk of type 2 diabetes in human observational studies,6 and reduce of hemoglobin A1C (a marker for diabetes) in clinical studies.7

Magnesium is a unique cofactor to over 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body, many of which relate to our metabolic health.8 Observational studies have shown a clear relationship between consumption of magnesium-rich food and reduced risk of developing diabetes.9,10 These findings are reinforced by a systematic analysis of multiple randomized, double-blind controlled trials, which found magnesium supplementation significantly lowered fasting blood sugar in diabetic participants.11

Finally, adequate intake of vitamins B12 and D correlate well with metabolic health outcomes. Cobalamin (B12) is a vital nutrient that is often depleted in patients suffering from diabetes.12 Although the mechanism for its depletion is not well-understood, supplementation of cobalamin to correct the condition is correlated with improvement of diabetic complications, such as neuropathy (nerve damage).13 For vitamin D, animal and human evidence indicates that it plays important roles in reducing insulin resistance, a key step in the pathogenesis of diabetes.14 Also, prospective observational studies suggest increased vitamin D intake significantly reduces the risk of developing diabetes,15 and an analysis of multiple clinical trials suggests that that D3 supplementation improves glucose metabolism in diabetics,16 making a compelling case for the benefit of this nutrient.

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Cited Research

  1. Sinclair, A. et al. Diabetes and global ageing among 65–99-year-old adults: Findings from the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas, 9th edition. Diabetes Res. Clin. Pract. 162, 108078 (2020).
  2. Knekt, P. et al. Flavonoid intake and risk of chronic diseases. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 76, 560–568 (2002).
  3. Hussain, S. A., Ahmed, Z. A., Mahwi, T. O. & Aziz, T. A. Quercetin Dampens Postprandial Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetic Patients Challenged with Carbohydrates Load. Int. J. Diabetes Res. 1, 32–35 (2012).
  4. Waltner-Law, M. E. et al. Epigallocatechin gallate, a constituent of green tea, represses hepatic glucose production. J. Biol. Chem. 277, 34933–34940 (2002).
  5. Wu, L. Y., Juan, C. C., Ho, L. T., Hsu, Y. P. & Hwang, L. S. Effect of Green Tea Supplementation on Insulin Sensitivity in Sprague-Dawley Rats. J. Agric. Food Chem. 52, 643–648 (2004).
  6. Iso, H. et al. The relationship between green tea and total caffeine intake and risk for self-reported type 2 diabetes among Japanese adults. Ann. Intern. Med. 144, 554–562 (2006).
  7. Fukino, Y. et al. Randomized controlled trial for an effect of green tea-extract powder supplementation on glucose abnormalities. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 62, 953–960 (2008).
  8. Jahnen-Dechent, W. & Ketteler, M. Magnesium basics. CKJ: Clinical Kidney Journal 5, i3 (2012).
  9. Nadler, J. L. A New Dietary Approach to Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes? Diabetes Care 27, 270–271 (2004).
  10. Sales, C. H. & Pedrosa, L. de F. C. Magnesium and diabetes mellitus: Their relation. Clinical Nutrition 25, 554–562 (2006).
  11. Song, Y., He, K., Levitan, E. B., Manson, J. E. & Liu, S. Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on glycaemic control in Type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of randomized double-blind controlled trials. Diabet. Med. 23, 1050–1056 (2006).
  12. Pflipsen, M. C., Oh, R. C., Saguil, A., Seehusen, D. A. & Topolski, R. The prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in patients with type 2 diabetes: A cross-sectional study. J. Am. Board Fam. Med. 22, 528–534 (2009).
  13. Sun, Y., Lai, M. S. & Lu, C. J. Effectiveness of vitamin B12 on diabetic neuropathy: Systematic review of clinical controlled trials. Acta Neurologica Taiwanica 14, 48–54 (2005).
  14. Teegarden, D. & Donkin, S. S. Vitamin D: Emerging new roles in insulin sensitivity. Nutrition Research Reviews 22, 82–92 (2009).
  15. Pittas, A. G. et al. Vitamin D and calcium intake in relation to type 2 diabetes in women. Diabetes Care 29, 650–656 (2006).16. Pittas, A. G., Lau, J., Hu, F. B. & Dawson-Hughes, B. Review: The role of vitamin D and calcium in type 2 diabetes. A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism92, 2017–2029 (2007).