Diabetic. Symptoms. Manage.

The 5 Best Supplements for Diabetes

the-5-best-supplements-diabetes

Article by Ken Chang

Diabetes is the condition whereby the blood glucose level is high and unable to be regulated by the body’s regular function. This occurs when there is a lack of insulin, a hormone that reduces blood glucose level or the lack or sensitivity to it to bring the glucose from the blood into the cells of our body. This condition affects 1 out of 5 Malaysians. However, there are some supplements that will help diabetes sufferers.

1. Cinnamon extract

Traditional Chinese medicine has been using cinnamon for its medicinal properties for centuries. As of recently, it has caught the eye of modern scientist as well for its potential benefit on the blood sugar control. Cinnamon helps to increase the body’s production of insulin when needed and also making our cells more sensitive towards insulin as well to bring the blood glucose level down. Besides that, cinnamon extract contains a groups of nature occurring chemicals known as polyphenols. Polyphenols has anti-oxidant effects on our cells and helps to reduce risk of developing inflammatory diseases which are increasingly common in diabetes sufferers.

2. Chromium

One of the trace minerals required by our body in minute amount is chromium. Chromium is necessary in the metabolism of carbohydrates, which is the precursor of glucose. Chromium supplementation is able to reduce the blood glucose level. However, care is to be taken not to take a larger than recommended dosage from our health care provider as there were reports of potential kidney damage with higher doses of chromium.

3. Thiamine

Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1 is a water soluble vitamin that is often deficient in Diabetes sufferers. The deficiency in this water soluble vitamin may result in some complications such as diabetic neuropathy, heart disease and damage to the blood vessels. Currently, in the market there are combinations of vitamin B1, B6 and B12 that are available.

4. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a potent antioxidant that may benefit diabetic persons. As a diabetic person constantly has inflammation occurring in their body due to the high blood glucose level, ALA may help. Several studies suggest that ALA may potentially lower fasting blood glucose, decrease insulin resistance and reduce oxidative stress.

5. Bitter melon extract

Bitter melon has been used traditionally for diabetes for its medicinal benefits in Asia. Studies showed that bitter melon exhibits anti-diabetic effects in the animal model. Bitter melon extract stimulates insulin release from the pancreas and is able to exhibit hypoglycemic effect in diabetic rats. However, clinical trials have been lacking to show similar benefits to humans.

 

References

  1. Davis PA, Yokoyama W. Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis. J Med Food. 2011 Sep;14(9):884-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.0180. Epub 2011 Apr 11.
  2. Mollazadeh H, Hosseinzadeh H. Cinnamon effects on metabolic syndrome: a review based on its mechanisms. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2016 Dec; 19(12): 1258–1270.
  3. Joseph B, Jini D. Antidiabetic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) and its medicinal potency. Asian Pac J Trop Dis. 2013 Apr; 3(2): 93–102.
  4. Fraser, D. A., Diep, L. M., Hovden, I. A., Nilsen, K. B., Sveen, K. A., Seljeflot, I. Hanssen, K. F. (2012, May). The effects of long-term oral benfotiamine supplementation on peripheral nerve function and inflammatory markers in patients with type 1 diabetes: A 24-month, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Diabetes Care, 35(5), 1095-7. Retrieved from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22446172
  5. Lee, T., & Dugoua, J. J. (2011, April). Nutritional supplements and their effect on glucose control. Current Diabetes Reports, 11(2), 142-148 link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11892-010-0175-6

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