Best Herbs and Supplements for Diabetics in 2021

The consumption of vitamins and minerals from a healthy diet is always beneficial. However, many people are now switching to alternative medicines and supplements.

Always consult your physician before using any supplements. Some supplements can interfere with other medications and treatments. Just because a supplement is natural does not mean it is safe.

There are many supplements that are promising as diabetes treatments. These include:

1. Alpha-Lipoic Acid:

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), also known as lipoic acid or thioctic acid, is an antioxidant that works like B vitamins, assisting the body in creating energy from food. Research suggests that it may:

  • reduce oxidative stress
  • lower fasting blood glucose levels
  • decrease insulin resistance

ALA may also slow the progression of neuropathy or improve symptoms. It may also lower blood glucose levels; patients should therefore be advised to monitor their glucose levels more frequently when taking this supplement.

Sources: ALA can be found in liver, broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, peas, potatoes, and yeast.

2. Bitter melon:

In South America, Asia, and Africa, bitter melon (also called bitter cucumber or bitter gourd) is used both in cooking and medicine.  Bitter melon seeds and fruit are supposed to lower blood glucose levels; possible modes of action include increased glucose uptake by tissues, enhanced glucose oxidation, and increased muscle and liver glycogen synthesis.

Sources: Bitter melon can be consumed as a vegetable, tea, or juice or maybe ingested in capsule form. It is safe to eat it as a vegetable, but if you eat a bitter melon supplement with medicines, it can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

3. Chromium:

In terms of treatment for diabetes, chromium supplements have mixed results. It helps improve the effectiveness of insulin, which is needed for carbohydrate metabolism. While low doses of the supplement are safe for most people, there is a risk that chromium supplements can cause blood sugar levels to drop too low. High doses can also damage kidneys.

Sources: Chromium is found in grape juice, broccoli, dried garlic, brewer’s yeast, dried basil, red wine, and beef.

4. Cinnamon Supplement:

The use of cinnamon as a medicine dates back thousands of years. There are two kinds of cinnamon: Ceylon and cassia. Cassia cinnamon (used for cooking) is the kind used to treat diabetes and gastrointestinal discomfort.

Sources: Cinnamon is used in ground form, sprinkled on foods, used as a baking spice, and consumed as a tea. It is also available as an essential oil and in capsule form.

Cassia types of cinnamon naturally contain a chemical compound called coumarin, and a large amount of this compound can cause liver damage.

5. Fenugreek:

Fenugreek seeds have been used since ancient times for a variety of ailments, including digestive problems and menopausal symptoms. This dietary supplement is normally used in cooking and smells like maple syrup.

In small studies, Fenugreek has shown potential benefits in lowering blood glucose levels by stimulating insulin release. Fenugreek also contains fiber and slows gastric emptying to decrease carbohydrate digestion.

Sources: It can be consumed as seeds. Fenugreek is also available in capsule and tea form.

6. Gymnema supplementation:

Gymnema Sylvestre is a traditional herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for treating diabetes. Another name for Gymnema Sylvestre is gurmar, meaning “sugar destroyer.”

Gymnema has traditionally been used to treat stomach ailments, constipation, heart arrhythmias, and liver disorders.

In addition to treating type 1 and type 2 diabetes, it has also been used to control fasting blood glucose levels and A1C. However, few studies have shown that it results in lowered levels.

Sources: Gymnema is available as a water-soluble extract form. It can also be taken in capsule form or as a tea.

7. Omega 3 fatty acids:

Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and maintaining good heart health are both courtesy of omega-3 fatty acids. However, diabetes and heart diseases are both inflammatory disorders, so omega-3 is no surprise that it helps with diabetes and heart disease.

Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in the recommended dose and composition may be beneficial in preventing type 2 diabetes.

Sources: Omega-3 fatty acids are found in flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and fish like salmon and fish oil supplements.

8. Probiotics:

Diabetes patients often suffer from yeast infections, an infection that can result in higher glucose and insulin levels. Good bacteria help combat yeast infections, as well as lowering glucose and insulin levels. In addition to improving insulin action and bowel function, the beneficial bacteria can also contribute to weight loss.

Sources: Yoghurt, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut. It also can be consumed in supplement form.

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