While some of us may have a sweet tooth, the cells in our bodies definitely do not. Our cells naturally use a certain amount of glucose for fuel, but they’re not so keen on sweet-stuff overload. Consistently high levels of sugar in our bloodstreams make it tough for pancreatic cells to produce enough insulin. In response, the organ overcompensates by creating too much insulin and eventually becomes damaged (1). As blood sugar levels become consistently high, type-2 diabetes may develop.

There’s more bad news. Excess sugar in the bloodstream will injure other parts of the body, too. Its modified form becomes viscous and film-like, coating blood vessels and causing proteins to function poorly (1). For this reason, diabetics often experience other issues like kidney problems, vision loss, poor wound healing and nerve damage (i.e., neuropathy).

Given these issues—and the fact that 25+ million Americans have diabetes—it’s no wonder that the disease costs the country more than $116 billion annually in direct medical costs (1). Retailers should understand how to meet the needs of anyone concerned about healthy blood sugar levels, and be prepared to talk about how supplements and lifestyle choices play a role in glucose health.

If shoppers are looking for natural remedies for diabetes, let them know supplements can't be said to cure or prevent disease. Nonetheless, there are numerous natural ways to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

(see quote from Matt Warnock, President, RidgeCrest Herbals)

More at Whole Foods Magazine