Recently there has been much chatter about the use of health supplements to reduce blood sugar levels and control diabetes.  The  questions that come to my mind are which supplements are most effective and why.  This post focuses on the benefits of health supplements and their impact on reducing blood sugar levels.

Question 1.  Is there data available that supports the conclusion that health supplements reduce blood sugar levels?

(I used the article Diabetes and Dietary Supplements, from WEBMD as my source for this post.)

In this post the term health supplement includes vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional components such as herbs which are taken by mouth.  “So far, there is not enough research to support specific recommendations for diabetes and dietary supplements.” However, research does suggest benefits from two minerals—Chromium and Magnesium.  The data at this time is insufficient for practitioners to recommend this as a cure.  There are some indicators that supplements and diabetes may not be a good mix. 

  • Some supplements have been found to be contaminated with substances other than those stated on the label.
  • Some supplements may interact with medication or other supplements, such as herbs, increasing or decreasing their effects. St. John’s wort, for example, is known to have many drug interactions and should be avoided with other medications.

Question 2.  Should dietary supplements be used to manage diabetes and under what conditions?

“The American Diabetes Association states that there is no evidence that vitamin or mineral supplements will benefit people with diabetes who do not have an actual deficiency.”

You should, of course, discuss with your doctor whether or not you should add health supplements to your dietary routine.  Your pharmacist can also be a good source of information about how certain supplements may interact with your current medications.  If a doctor’s visit is not soon, I suggest you check with a pharmacist before making any changes. 

A healthy diet and regular exercise/physical activity can help to control diabetes and reduce blood sugar levels.  Although, at this time, there does not appear to be a magic pill or health supplement, diabetes can be controlled and maintained by conscious and deliberate actions.

Meal Planner: Weekly Menu Planner with Grocery List  $5.50 USD

Become the pilot of your life. Take control!  Take Action!

Theresa Newell

 


About the Author

Theresa was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes Fall 2009.

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