Nearly four decades ago, Life Extension Foundation emphatically stated that fasting blood glucose should be below 100 (mg/dL). Yet from 1979 to 1997, the medical establishment dictated that one of the criteria for a diagnosis of diabetes was fasting glucose readings of 140 mg/dL or higher on two separate occasions.
In 1997, the medical establishment revised the fasting glucose threshold for a diagnosis of diabetes to 126 mg/dL. In addition, the medical establishment (American Diabetes Association), characterized the so-called impaired fasting glucose threshold level at 110 mg/dL, which was subsequently lowered in 2003 to what Life Extension originally stated, i.e. that no one should have fasting glucose 100 mg/dL or higher.
The problem is that we now know that the optimal fasting glucose ranges are 70-85 mg/dL based upon the totality of the scientific evidence.33
Those with glucose above 85 mg/dL are at increased risk of heart attack.34 This was shown in a study of nearly 2,000 men where fasting blood glucose levels were measured over a 22-year period. The startling results showed that men with fasting glucose over 85 (mg/dL) had a 40% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
The researchers who conducted this study stated “fasting blood glucose values in the upper normal range appears to be an important independent predictor of cardiovascular death in nondiabetic apparently healthy middle-aged men.”34
At a minimum, you want to see your fasting glucose below 86 mg/dL.
Standard laboratory reference ranges allow an upper-limit of fasting glucose of 99 mg/dL. Yet the most effective anti-aging therapy—caloric restriction—lowers fasting glucose levels to the 70-85 mg/dL range.
Recent studies indicate that keeping fasting glucose levels in the range of 70-85 mg/dL and not allowing after-meal glucose levels to spike higher than 40 mg/dL over your fasting value, favorably influences our longevity genes.72
When after-meal glucose levels surge above 140 mg/dL, risks of virtually all degenerative diseases increase.
Remember that you should strive for fasting glucose levels of no greater than 85 mg/dL (optimal range: 70-85 mg/dL). In response to eating, your blood glucose reading should increase no more than 40 mg/dL above your fasting value. This means if your fasting glucose is 80, your after-meal glucose should be no higher than 120 mg/dL.
33. McGlothin, P, Averill M. Glucose Control: The Sweet Spot in Longevity. The CR Way: Using the Secrets of Calorie Restriction for a Longer, Healthier Life. NY: HarperCollins; 2008:57-78.
34. Bjornholt JV, Erikssen G, Aaser E, et al. Fasting blood glucose: an underestimated risk factor for cardiovascular death. Results from a 22-year follow-up of healthy nondiabetic men. Diabetes Care. 1999 Jan;22(1):45-9.
72. Available at: http://www.livingthecrway.com/…/High_Glucose_after_Meals_is…. Accessed August 2, 2010.
73. Available at: http://www.idf.org/webdata/docs/Guideline_PMG_final.pdf. Accessed July 29, 2010.
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