Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance. It is the condition where the body doesn’t respond well to regulate glucose levels in the blood. The dis-balance can be regulated with different treatments and by taking medication.
People with diabetes, on the other hand, are primarily looking for something that addresses health issues other than blood sugar. It can be high blood pressure or controlling high cholesterol. Several options, including vitamins for diabetes, are available in the market that claims to be effective for diabetes. But do all these supplements really help to control diabetes?
Keep in mind that diabetes is a treatable disease that can be managed with a healthy lifestyle and medication. There is not any miracle treatments or supplements for diabetes. Take a few minutes to read this blog until the end to learn what dietary supplements for diabetes are, and the best and worst ones for people with diabetes.
What are dietary supplements?
You must first understand what dietary supplements are before learning about the best and worst diabetes supplements. These are vitamins, herbs, and minerals, that help control blood sugar and help provide extra nutrition to people with certain health problems. Before you start taking diabetes supplements, you have to take a doctor’s prescription.
Best Supplements To Take in Diabetes
Here are a few of the best supplements to take in diabetes:
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D has been linked to the management of Type 2 diabetes. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, taking Vitamin D doesn’t prevent type-2 diabetes development in people at high risk. However, if the person has diabetes already, it might help to control blood sugar. It shows a little control over blood sugar in the initial stages, but still, it is highly recommended to take this vitamin.
According to a Tufts Medical report, taking 500 IU of Vitamin D per day can cut the risk of diabetes by 13%. However, the results are not proved yet. But, still, there are good reasons to get Vitamin D as it helps brittle bones.
Take this supplement: The Institute of Medicine recommended an intake of 600-800 IU. It is because most people cannot get enough Vitamin D from food. So, starting a Vitamin D could be a smart choice. Get your tests done to check your Vitamin D level. Your doctor may prescribe a high dose, take and get it rechecked in a few months again.
According to one study, one out of every four people with Type 2 diabetes may be magnesium deficient. Diuretic drugs and high blood sugar can make your body excrete more. While at the same time, low levels can affect your insulin usage ability. So, it depicts that you can take the right amount of magnesium as the excess intake can be harmful to your health.
Magnesium is a very beneficial mineral that plays an important role in insulin sensitivity. A magnesium deficiency can lead to less functional insulin and more contribution towards diabetes. You can take supplements, leafy vegetables, fruits, etc., to obtain natural magnesium.
Take this supplement: Before starting this supplement, make sure to check the magnesium levels. Don’t start on your own. Instead, visit your doctor and ask for advice. Also, keep in mind that your magnesium level is already high if you face kidney issues. So, avoid it in that case as it may result in low blood pressure and irregular heartbeat.
If you have a magnesium deficiency, you can supplement your magnesium needs with 100 mg of magnesium and multivitamins. Moreover, the recommended dose for women is 310 to 320 mg and 400 to 420 mg for men.
3. Omega 3S
Omegas are healthy fats that are beneficial to our health and can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions. You can increase the intake of Omega 3S if you have diabetes. For that, you can take fish oil capsules and eat fish (salmon, trout, sardines, and herring). Omega 3S is beneficial for diabetic patients who are also at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids may also aid in the reduction of inflammation, the prevention of artery-clogging, and the elimination of irregular heartbeats. According to Lipids health disease study, fish oil supplements can reduce metabolic disorders and improve insulin sensitivity.
Take this Supplement: Diabetic patients should take this supplement in the form of fish. The American Heart Association recommends two or more fish meals in a week. If you don’t like seafood, you can take 2200 mg of EPA and DHA supplements a week. For heart patients, it would be best to take 1000 mg of EPA and DHA. Moreover, consult with your doctor first before you start taking Omega 3S supplements.
Psyllium is well known for improving and lowering cholesterol levels because it contains fiber, which slows the rise in blood sugar after eating. This characteristic makes it the best supplement for diabetic patients.
According to Shane McWhorter, if you are not getting fiber from your food, you must start taking this supplement to control your health conditions like blood sugar and cholesterol.
Take this supplement: You should aim for just 10 grams of soluble fiber in a single day, that is, three teaspoons of psyllium in powdered form. After two months, people with type-2 diabetes have low blood sugar levels after their meals.
Mix one teaspoon in 8 oz of water to take psyllium and sip 30 minutes before every meal. If you face issues like digestive system discomfort or gas, start with the low doses and increase gradually to get the best results. Moreover, discuss with your doctor if you can take this supplement or not.
5. Alpha-Lipoic Acid
This supplement is ideal for people experiencing pain in their feet, toes, and fingers as a result of diabetic neuropathy damage. It is the best antioxidant that might help with reducing pain by easing the nerves and making them less sensitive to pain.
Another study published in the Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology found that this acid aids in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Besides that, it might also be possible that ALA neutralizes elevated cell damage levels that result in high sugar levels.
ALA is also well-known for protecting cell damage that is caused by free radicals. You can increase the intake of spinach, broccoli, liver, and potatoes to get the natural ALA.
Take this supplement: Type-2 diabetic patients can take these supplements as it helps their bodies to use insulin more effectively. Also, it is recommended for people suffering from stabbing and burning pain as ALA may help control nerve damage with more advanced problems.
You can take a 600 mg ALA dose daily. Also, use tomatoes, peas, rice bran, broccoli, and spinach to intake Alpha-lipoic acid naturally. Again, don’t forget to consult with your doctor before starting using it.
Worst Supplements To Avoid in Diabetes
Here are a few of the worst supplements to avoid in diabetes:
1. Bitter melon
It is one of the most bitter fruits available in capsule form, with the claim of maintaining a healthy sugar level. According to a study published in 2017, bitter melon can only be helpful against type-1 diabetes. Although, the evidence is just limited to real blood sugar benefits in diabetic people, according to the National Institute of natural health.
Despite its name, bitter melon is a vegetable, and its supplements are also a bit controversial to treat diabetes.
Skip this supplement: You can eat bitter melon as a fruit/vegetable. However, taking it as a diabetes supplement is not a good idea. It is because it hasn’t delivered the expected results and has potential damages. It may cause gas and allergic reactions after taking it.
According to research published in the journal Ayu, fenugreek may aid in the reduction of blood glucose levels in Type 2 diabetic patients. It is an ancient herb that has certain health benefits if used properly.
Skip this supplement: This supplement might come up with small benefits to control high blood sugar. But, the side effects are huge, like diarrhea, blood thinning, gas, etc. Most of the benefits of FenuGreek come from natural food, so you don’t have to invest in its supplements.
Use nuts, beans, whole grains, and psyllium. Moreover, you can use its seeds in your diet instead of supplements if you want to take it anyway. Again, please consult with your doctor before trying it.
1. Is it healthy to take supplements for diabetes?
Supplements can be beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, but only to a certain extent. There are no harmful effects of using multivitamin and mineral supplements. Diabetic patients are observed to use more supplements than non-diabetic ones as per the research of the American Diabetes Association.
However, there is one thing to keep in mind when using diabetes supplements. That is, never use supplements as an alternative to medication. Replacing your diabetes treatment with supplements can put you at more health risk than benefits.
2. Are diabetes pills hazardous for people with diabetes?
Many people take diabetes pills on a daily basis to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Despite having benefits, there are some hazardous effects of taking diabetes pills on your health. For instance, taking a dose of metformin also causes temporary and mild effects on your health.
While your health is on the verge of long-term problems such as nausea and weight gain, using incretins and insulin on a daily basis can help. In a few cases, such pills drop blood sugar levels too low to make you faint. Even a few complex situations lead to coma, showing that large doses of diabetics pills are harmful.
3. What will happen if a diabetic does not take diabetes medication?
There are numerous negative consequences to not taking diabetes medication for an extended period of time. Skipping medication leads to lifetime negative health impacts like internal function damages. One of the major effects on diabetics is kidney damage and blindness. Having these complex disorders will also affect your nervous system due to the constant need for dialysis.
Furthermore, improper diabetic medication increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. If you are bored of using diabetes pills, think about the case when your blood glucose level is drastically low. It depicts that you should never skip your diabetes medicines.
4. Can a diabetic improve its immunity with immune boosters?
Yes, diabetics can improve their immunity by using immunity booster supplements and dietary fibers. Especially, the need for strong immunity has increased in the prevailing condition of covid-19. To keep yourself potential enough to fight this disease, you should use immunity boosters like garlic and green tea.
Along with these immunity booster foods, increase the intake of natural antioxidants, i.e., vitamin C. These immunity boosters make you strong enough to fight diseases and maintain sugar levels in the blood. Eating a vitamin C-rich diet like kale, spinach, orange, lemon, and grapefruits increases your immunity.
That’s it for now. We hope that our post on the best and worst supplements will be useful to you. We suggest that you don’t start taking supplements by yourself. Consult with your physician, address your questions, and then go for it. Besides that, start a healthy diet that includes minerals (magnesium) and vitamins (B-12, D, E, etc.) to control your diabetes.
Klinio app can be highly beneficial when including vital vitamins and minerals into your diet. It creates a personalized meal plan just for you with already optimized portion sizes and precalculated nutritional value for each meal.