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Insulin Secretion

Insulin secretion refers to the amount of insulin released from the pancreas either inherently or from a carbohydrate containing test meal. Supplements that increase insulin release are known to be hypoglycemic when taken with a meal.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect insulin secretion
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b - Very High See all 5 studies
There does not appear to be an augmented insulin release from dietary carbohydrate nor an inherent insulin release from the pancreas associated with fish oil supplementation
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in insulin secretion has been noted with arginine supplementation. This is both due to arginine being a secretagogue (when used acutely), and prolonged usage in those with impaired glucose tolerance may regenerate pancreatic beta-cells
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
Mixed evidence, but it is possible that chromium causes an increased insulin response to dietary glucose (leading to a greater release of insulin acutely, possibly preceding a reduction in blood glucose).
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
Mixed evidence as to whether cocoa flavanols can increase insulin secretion, with the positive result coming from a very high dose (1,000mg flavanols) in hyperglycemic subjects.
grade-c Minor - See study
Insulin is secreted in response to colostrum intake due to it being a dietary protein, but this response does not seem to be different from whey protein in magnitude.
grade-c Minor Very High See all 3 studies
Curcumin has been found to increase insulin secretion in insulin resistant persons, suggesting benefits to pancreatic tissue.
grade-c Minor - See study
A minor decrease in insulin secretion has been noted associated with green tea catechin ingestion
grade-c Minor Very High See all 3 studies
The amount of insulin secreted in response to orally ingested glucose is attenuated after supplementation of inositol to insulin resistant persons
grade-c Minor - See study
Insulin secretion (in response to glucose) appears to be hindered with chronic supplementation of pharmacological doses of niacin
grade-c Minor Very High See all 3 studies
An improvement in insulin secretion is noted in diabetics (type II mostly) and in persons at risk for diabetes, which is thought to be secondary to protective effects at the level of the pancreas.
grade-c - - See study
No effect on the insulin secretion in response to a test meal.
grade-d Minor - See study
Secondary to reducing the absorption of carbohydrates from a test meal, insulin secretion is attenuated
grade-d - - See study
The hypoglycemic properties of this supplement do not appear to be related to an increase in insulin secretion from the pancreas following a meal
grade-d - - See study
grade-d - - See study
No significant influence of supplementaion sodium bicarbonate on insulin secretion