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Biohacking with Continous Glucose Monitors
Managing and monitoring biomarkers has become an essential part of optimal health and living, providing us with the information required to get ahead of health issues before they become problems, allowing us to maximize our potential, allowing us to make informed and beneficial decisions based on our own personal needs.
Blood Glucose is undoubtedly one of the most important biomarkers you can track and measure, as it serves as a powerful and informative metric for optimal health, it can be seen as a core vital sign for the human body that is greatly dependent on your diet, lifestyle and habits. With the recent development of a new product from PRIMESELF, Prime Lean,we contacted one of their professional to gain some insights into what impacts blood glucose levels.
Review from PRIMESELF Biohacker
In order to track and measure the effects of various diet, lifestyle and nutraceuticals variables on my blood glucose levels, the following was required:
- Continuous glucose monitor (CGM): A small sensor that you wear on the back of your upper arm and it automatically measures your blood glucose level via a thin filament that extends inside the arm. The data is transferred over to an app on your smartphone when prompted.
- Prime Lean: A new and exciting formulation developed by PRIMESELF to optimize blood glucose regulation and improve insulin sensitivity. Prime Lean boasts a cutting-edge formulation of Dihydroberberine, as GluoVantage®, that is shown to be 5x more effective vs normal berberine), bitter melon, and cinnamon extract.
- A list of variables to investigate, including: Exercise, food pairings (particularly with carbohydrates), circadian rhythm, supplementation and temperature.
- Lastly, an avid biohacker to run the tests on: that's me
The core goal for this experiment is to collect as much information and data as possible on the impact of various variables on blood glucose and how we can optimize our diet and lifestyle around this, for optimal living.
The experiment was simple, I would monitor the impacts on various activities, foods and supplements throughout my day-to-day life, record the findings and analyze the results.
Let's get started!
Key Findings #1 - Exercise
There was an obvious trend associated with my blood glucose levels and exercise. There was a notable drop in blood glucose during the initial period of the workout, then either stabilization of rise and drop again depending on the intensity of the workout.
Low intensity exercise: Blood glucose levels would dip slightly then stabilize as you use circulating blood glucose for fuel before shifting to fats.
High intensity exercise: Similar to that of low intensity, except there would be a rise shortly after, as you mobilize liver glycogen to fuel the muscles.
Exercise activates an enzyme called AMPK, which stimulates a host of processes, such as increasing metabolism, absorbing glucose from the blood into the muscles, using up cholesterol in the blood etc.
*Studies do indicate that exercise may result in a lowered blood glucose level for up to 24 hours. However, due to the current training load (10+ hours per week), I was not able to verify this.
Key findings #2 - Food pairings
Another key trend was the effect of food pairings, particularly when it came to breakfast (see the “additional findings” on circadian rhythm for more). There was a notable difference when it came to consuming a carbohydrate dominant breakfast (toast with honey) VS when consuming carbohydrates paired with fats and proteins (toast with avo & peanut butter).
Carbohydrate rich breakfast - (2x slices of toast with honey)
Carbohydrate paired with healthy fats & protein - ( 2x slices of toast with avocado & peanut butter)
In an attempt to ensure similar caloric values, I kept the type of breakfast the same (2x slices of toast and simply changed the pairing from honey to avo/peanut butter). The results were clear, carb dominant meals resulted in a much higher spike in blood glucose, followed by a rapid dropoff (AKA the crash). Where as, when paired with fats/proteins, there was significantly more stable blood glucose levels.
In one study, consumption of 23 grams of protein and 17 grams of fat 25-30 minutes before carbohydrate ingestion significantly decreased post-meal glucose elevation in non-diabetic individuals and those with insulin resistance. Similarly, eating fat alone in conjunction with a carbohydrate load will decrease the post-meal glucose spike.
Additionally, it should be noted that timing matters. Consuming carbohydrates on an empty stomach results in rapid digestion and ultimately a spike/drop, this is extremely important when it comes to breaking “a fast” (several day or intermittent fasting) as this would be extremely counterproductive and ultimately detrimental in the long run.
Solution? Break your fast with some healthy fats/proteins to ensure the stomach is lined before consuming sugars/carbohydrates.
Key findings #3 - Supplementation(Prime Lean - PRIMESELF)
Obviously the initial idea behind this experiment was to investigate the effect that our new product, Prime Lean, has on blood glucose levels and overall the experiment provided great insights (despite the short time frame).
WHAT IS PRIME LEAN?
Prime Lean is an advanced blood sugar and insulin sensitivity supplement that boasts a cutting-edge formulation of Dihydroberberine, as GluoVantage®, that is shown to be 5x more effective vs normal berberine), bitter melon, and cinnamon extract.
Berberine has been shown to be beneficial to blood sugar levels, similar to that of Metformin or AKA Glucophage, by decreasing the liver’s production of glucose (called Gluconeogenesis) and increasing the usage of blood glucose by bodily tissues.
WITHOUT Prime Lean: You can clearly see the sharp rises and drop offs in blood glucose levels throughout the day. The time it takes for my blood glucose to rise, drop and stabilize as indicated by the black arrow is key, with an average time of around 2 hours for my glucose levels to return to normal post a carbohydrate rich meal.
WITH Prime Lean: Peaks and troughs are less apparent, the time between the initial rise and return to normal (indicated by the arrow) is significantly reduced and overall the blood glucose levels are more stable.
*Dosage: 1x capsule in the morning (before breakfast) & 1x capsule in the afternoon (before lunch). View Prime Lean Here
When trying to compare the effects of the Prime Lean product to that of a day without, I would attempt to replicate spikes and significant events (same food types, time of day & level of exercise) in order to replicate the event as accurately as possible. There are several other variables in place that effect the experiment (temperature, stress, sleep etc). However, the results are clear enough to conclude that consuming Prime Lean has a positive impact on my blood glucose levels.
It should be noted that the benefits of Prime Lean extend far beyond just shortening the time taken to stabilize your blood glucose level.
Benefits may include the following:
- Maintain Healthy Glucose Levels
- Promote Longevity
- Improve Insulin Sensitivity
- Manage Cravings
- Support Inflammation Responses
- Promote Healthy Weight Management
There were several other notable events that occurred, which have been indicated by studies to have an effect on blood glucose levels. However, due to the short time frame and high amount of variables, I was unable to accurately track the effects/results. However, they are still worth mentioning!
Exposure to heat or high temperatures (Example: Sauna) results in a rise in blood glucose levels and likewise, exposure to the cold (Example: Ice bath) results in decreased blood glucose.
Circadian RhythmInsulin seems to have a correlation with our Circadian rhythm, where the following are noted:
- Eating soon before bed time or late in the evening results in raised fasting blood glucose level.
- Eating carbohydrate rich meals in the early morning tends to spike more due to the relationship between melatonin and insulin (as it's suggested that melatonin causes the increased amount of free blood glucose to ensure we don't wake up hungry throughout the night).
High levels of stress tend to result in spikes in blood glucose levels and this is due to the relationship between cortisol and insulin.
Despite the short time frame and large amount of variables of the experiment, the core results were clear and simple to see. It should be noted that everyone responds differently and food items that may cause unwanted spikes in my blood glucose levels (oats for example) might not do the same for the next person. However, the core takeaways are clear!
This has not only been a great experiment to show the premise behind one of our products but has been an insightful experience for myself!
How informed are you on what does/does not impact your blood glucose levels and more importantly how clued up are you on the importance of blood glucose?
If you are serious about optimal living or just healthy living in general, I highly recommend arming yourself with information and understanding just how important this biomarker is for your health.
“If you don't make time for your wellness you will be forced to make time for your illness”