Many controversies have raged for years over guess what … supplements! Should we take them, do we need them, do they work? All evidence points to people living healthier with nutritional-supplements and now many health care providers widely recommend them to their patients who have diabetes, both type 1 and type 2.
Lets look at a few supplements and how they can help your body to handle sugar. Firstly, these all have a specific effect on glucose metabolism … they have been shown to either lower Blood sugar control levels, improve insulin function, or do both:
1. Lipoic acid
1. Lipoic acid, also known as alpha-lipoic acid is an exceptionally potent and versatile antioxidant. It has proven to be a very useful supplement in the treatment of diabetes and as well as being a very powerful antioxidant, it has been shown to:
- improve insulin sensitivity
- protect against diabetic complications; it improves circulation and stimulates the regeneration of nerves
- protect against diabetic-induced damage to eyes
Many studies have been done and papers published on its effects. Lipoic acid has been sold in Europe for centuries as a prescription medication used precisely for the treatment of diabetes and diabetes-related nerve pain.
2. Biotin has been studied as a therapy for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and has been shown to lower blood sugars. It is a member of the Vitamin B group. One study by Japanese researchers found this vitamin helps muscle tissue to use sugar more effectively. Biotin has also been shown to help with diabetic neuropathy.
3. Pycnogenol is a powerful natural antioxidant, and may help to lower:
- fasting blood sugars
- blood sugar levels following eating
- inflammation, and
- improve many complications of diabetes
4. Chromium has more than forty years research behind it, mainly relating to its effect on insulin. It actually hooks up with insulin to help escort sugar through the cell membrane and into the cell. A deficiency makes your cells resistant to insulin and helps lead to your high blood sugars. Chromium polynicotinate or chromium picolinate supplements have been found to improve the function of insulin which leads to improved glucose metabolism.
A deficiency of this mineral can also be responsible for the development of numbness, pain and tingling in the hands, feet and legs of diabetics. Many diabetics are low in this mineral … eating sugars uses up your body’s chromium supply.
Always check the label of any supplements you are looking to purchase to see the nutritional company follows pharmaceutical-grade Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Then you can feel assured the tablets actually contain 100% of what is stated on the label.
There are many professionals who specialize in complementary therapies if you are interested in the role of herbs and supplements in managing your type 2 diabetes.