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Supplements for Diabetes

I am unaware of evidence that any commercially available combination of supplements provides effective control of blood sugar. However, I do recommend several individual supplements: 

  • Chromium. This trace element plays a role in blood sugar regulation by working with insulin to help transport glucose into cells. Take up to 1,000 micrograms of GTF chromium daily.
  • Alpha lipoic acid. An antioxidant, this can enhance the uptake of glucose into cells and help inhibit glycosylation (the abnormal attachment of sugar to proteins, which hinders their normal functioning). It also helps promote and maintain eye health, and perhaps prevent and treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Start with 100 mg per day.
  • Coenzyme Q10. This powerful antioxidant may help maintain a healthy heart. Take 60-100 mg of a softgel form with your largest meal.

The following botanicals may also help. Consider using them in standardized extract form and follow the dosage directions on the packages:

  • Asian bitter melon (Momordica charantia. Bitter melon, a vegetable resembling a wrinkled cucumber, may also have therapeutic value if eaten as ingredient in foods such as stews and stir-frys. It is available in Asian-food markets.)
  • Ayurvedic Gurmar (Gymnema sylvestre)
  • Blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
  • Prickly-pear cactus (Opuntia spp)

Diabetics who are taking prescribed medications for any condition should let their physicians know when they’re experimenting with these remedies. As sugar metabolism improves, dosages of medications may need to be adjusted.