Supplements for Diabetes Treatment
A number of supplements have shown promise as diabetes treatments. These include the following.
Chinese medicine has been using cinnamon for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. It has been the subject of numerous studies to determine its effect on blood glucose levels. A 2011 study Trusted Source has shown that cinnamon, in whole form or extract, helps lower fasting blood glucose levels. More studies are being done, but cinnamon is showing promise for helping to treat diabetes.
Chromium is an essential trace element. It is used in the metabolism of carbohydrates. However, research on the use of chromium for diabetes treatment is mixed. Low doses are safe for most people, but there is a risk that chromium could make blood sugar go too low. High doses also have the potential to cause kidney damage.
Vitamin B-1 is also known as thiamine. Many people with diabetes are thiamine deficient. This may contribute to some diabetes complications. Low thiamine has been linked to heart disease and blood vessel damage.
Thiamine is water-soluble. It has difficulty getting into the cells where it’s needed. However, benfotiamina, a supplemental form of thiamina, is lipid-soluble. It more easily penetrates cell membranes. Some research suggests that benfotiamina can prevent diabetic complications. However, other studies have not shown any positive effects.
- reduce oxidative stress
- lower fasting blood sugar levels
- decrease insulin resistance
However, more research is needed. Furthermore, ALA needs to be taken with caution, as it has the potential to lower blood sugar levels to dangerous levels.
Bitter melon is used to treat diabetes-related conditions in countries like Asia, South America, and others. There is a lot of data on its effectiveness as a treatment for diabetes in animal and lab studies.
However, there is limited human data on bitter melon. There are not enough clinical studies on human. The human studies currently available are not of high quality.
Green tea contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants.
The main antioxidant in green tea is known as Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Laboratory studies have suggested that EGCG may have numerous health benefits including:
- lower cardiovascular disease risk
- prevention of type 2 diabetes
- improved glucose control
- better insulin activity
Studies on diabetic patients have not shown health benefits. However, green tea is generally considered safe.
Resveratrol is a chemical found in wine and grapes. In animal models, it helps prevent high blood sugar. Animal studies have also shown that it can reduce oxidative stress. However, human data is limited. It is too soon to know if supplementation helps with diabetes.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient. It helps regulate blood pressure. It also regulates insulin sensitivity. Supplemental magnesium may improve insulin sensitivity in diabetics.
A high magnesium diet may also reduce the risk of diabetes. Researchers have found a link between higher magnesium intake, lower rates of insulin resistance, and diabetes