By: Amy Mercer
Wrongly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when he was 30 years old, Chris Angell spent several frustrating weeks trying to make sense of his condition and not understanding why he wasn’t getting any better. His diagnosis was eventually changed to type 1 diabetes, but Chris never received the necessary education to get his blood sugars in control. “I didn’t know what I was supposed to be eating or how to count carbs, and I really felt isolated,” he says.
Standing in front of the diabetes section at his local pharmacy, Chris decided to buy some glucose tabs, figuring that they would help with his nighttime lows. Reaching for the tabs in the middle of the night, he’d pop two or three into his dry mouth and cringe at the chemical taste and texture. “That’s when I was most dissatisfied with the tabs,” he says. “It wasn’t long before I realized whoever designed those things was not someone who was actually using them.”
That was back in 2008. Since that time, Chris has been researching, designing, and now selling the first ever, all natural glucose tabs: GlucoLift.
This is one of those seemingly simple yet brilliant ideas that make you wonder why it hasn’t been done before. But the process was not an easy one. “It took about six to eight months to find a facility that could make a chewable tablet,” Chris says. “There isn’t a big need for tablet equipment.” The next step was to figure out the ingredient list and then work with a manufacturer on the flavor. “Then it was a matter of closing your eyes and saying, ‘Jump!'”
Expanding his reach to the diabetes market was a natural fit for Chris. In 2010, with his wife Suzanne, he founded Jungell, Inc., and launched a line of organic candy bars called Angell Bars. As self-proclaimed “candy lovers,” the couple believes in making informed choices when it comes to food. “Eighty percent of the foods on our shelves has been genetically modified,” Chris says. “So anything you can do to give people a choice about what to put in their bodies is worth the effort.”
As someone whose diet consists of protein, fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, fat, and glucose tabs, I was excited to taste test the Orange Cream flavor when I woke up with a blood sugar of 55. They tasted like oranges! The berry tabs taste like berries, and the cherry tabs actually taste like cherries. They taste so good, in fact, that my toddler wanted “More!”
Chris explains that each flavor is made from the actual fruit and is not genetically modified. He sought to create a taste that was milder, gentler, and didn’t have the bite of other tabs. “We wanted them to be good, but not so good that people would eat more then necessary,” he says.
GlucoLift tabs are currently sold at Amazon and Abe’s Market for $8.99 and will be expanded to more markets soon. “Everyone should have access to clean, high quality products,” Chris says of his hope to make the tabs affordable. As someone who frequently writes about the high cost of diabetes supplies, I appreciate that this company wants to create a product that is both good for us and reasonably priced.