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Dietary Supplements For Diabetes

Is It Safe To Take Supplements If You Have Diabetes?

Is It Safe To Take Supplements If You Have Diabetes?

You will find supplements for anything and everything these days. Even when you do not suffer from an ailment, supplements are suggested to keep you healthy and ailment-free. According to CDC, use of supplements is common among US adult population – over 50% adults used supplements during 2003-2006, with multivitamins/multiminerals being the most commonly used. So when you are a diabetic, especially if you have prediabetes and type-2 diabetes, you may find yourself confronting a large number of options for supplements that claim to support, reduce and even cure your diabetes. Diabetes is quite a frustrating disorder and you may find yourself tempted to try out these supplements one after another. But is it really safe to take supplements when you are a diabetic? Let us find out. But before that you need to understand what exactly supplements are. Defining Supplements As the name suggests, a supplement is anything that adds on to something. A dietary supplement is therefore something that one takes in addition to one’s diet to get proper nutrition. US Congress in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act defines dietary supplements as having the following characteristics: It is a product that is intended to supplement the diet; It contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins, minerals, herbs and other botanicals, amino acids, and other substances) or their constituents; It is intended to be taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid; It is not represented for use as a conventional food or as sole item of a mean or a diet; and, It is labeled on the front panel as being a dietary supplement. Now let us look at some general benefits and risks of taking supplements. We will discuss these in context of diabetes later in the article. Benefit Continue reading >>

An Update On Dietary Supplements For Diabetes Care

An Update On Dietary Supplements For Diabetes Care

An Update on Dietary Supplements for Diabetes Care Americans spend billions of dollars on dietary supplements every year. Adults report taking supplements for many reasons: To prevent or treat diseases, including diabetes It is estimated that people with diabetes are 1.6 times more likely to use complementary or alternative therapies than a person without diabetes. The appeal of a natural remedy that is easily accessible without a prescription may lure you into seeking alternative therapies to treat your diabetes. This article will explain why you should think twice and ask questions before you start to take dietary supplements to manage your diabetes. Dietary supplements are defined by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 as products taken orally that contain dietary ingredients intended to supplement the diet, including vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, organ tissues, glandular substances, and metabolites. As an informed person with diabetes, your role is to: Promote an open dialogue with your health care providers Ask questions about the use of the dietary supplements you use or are considering using Evaluate and discuss safety and efficacy issues Current laws allow manufacturers to market dietary supplements without scientific evidence that they are safe Scientific testing of most dietary supplements is limited Because of manufacturing procedures, the amount of active ingredients in supplements may be inconsistent Supplements are sometimes sold without knowledge of how the active ingredients act in the body The more is better mentality should not apply to supplements Supplements are regulated as foods, not drugs, meaning they are not held to the same level of safety and efficacy testing as pharmaceutical product Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Vitamin Supplements: What To Know

Diabetes And Vitamin Supplements: What To Know

It's hard to ignore the ads about dietary supplements for diabetes. The promises sound so appealing that you may start to ask yourself: Does chromium really amplify insulin response in people with type 2 diabetes? Will alpha lipoic acid relieve the burning, tingling, and numbness of my neuropathy? Can fish oil protect my heart? You'd prefer not to waste money on the equivalent of Lucille Ball's Vitameatavegamin, but you want to improve your health. It's difficult to know, however, whether dietary supplements really help because there are insufficient clinical studies to validate the claims. Let's start with the recommendations of two major diabetes organizations: The American Diabetes Association, in its Standards of Care 2009, states: "There is no clear evidence of benefit from vitamin or mineral supplementation in people with diabetes (compared with the general population) who do not have underlying deficiencies." If a supplement is recommended for the general population -- for example, folic acid for pregnant women -- it is also recommended for people with diabetes. The Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines state that people with diabetes "should be encouraged to meet their nutritional needs by consuming a well-balanced diet. Routine vitamin and mineral supplementation is generally not recommended." These organizations aren't necessarily against supplements. They are, however, saying there have not been enough well-designed studies showing benefits. But Do Supplements Work? In developing guidelines, medical organizations give more weight to studies that are long-term and involve large numbers of people at different sites. The studies must be placebo-controlled -- some people get the supplement, and some people take look-alike pills (placebos) tha Continue reading >>

Dietary Supplements And Diabetes

Dietary Supplements And Diabetes

Tweet Dietary supplements are products that can help us get the right balance of important nutrients in our diets. Some dietary supplements may perform another function such as helping with digestion. They are designed to supplement a diet, and should not be used as a replacement for healthy foods which provide a rich, natural source of essential nutrients. Currently there is insufficient scientific evidence to suggest that any dietary supplements can help prevent or manage diabetes unless there is a known deficiency. [291] It's best to consult your doctor before taking a supplement to ensure it will be appropriate and to prevent side effects from occurring or any interactions with medication you are currently taking. What are dietary supplements? A dietary supplement, also known as a food supplement or nutritional supplement, is intended to provide nutrients which may include: Vitamins Minerals Amino acids Omega-3 fatty acids Fibre Digestive enzymes They are available in various forms, including tablet, capsule, powder and liquid. Dietary supplements are appropriate for people who have a clinical need for them This may include nutrient deficiencies or if people have a condition that requires supplements to compensate. Supplements and diabetes There are currently no supplements that have been shown to directly benefit diabetes. Several studies have assessed the benefits of dietary supplements for diabetes management but none have conferred strong benefits. [292] It is therefore recommended that supplements are only taken if there is a clinical need for them such as a nutrient deficiency. In some cases, supplements may lead to side effects or drug interactions. There has also been research into several herbs, spices and other plant-based supplements to see if they can he Continue reading >>

Dietary Supplements: Hype Or Helpful?

Dietary Supplements: Hype Or Helpful?

More than half of Americans take dietary supplements . You probably have a bottle of vitamins or an herbal supplement in your cupboard or medicine cabinet (I know I do!). The dietary supplement industry is big business the projection is that by 2024, the supplement market will reach $278 billion . Supplements are touted everywhere in drugstores, grocery stores, health-food stores, and, of course, on the Internet. Plus, entire stores (GNC, Vitamin Shoppe) are devoted to selling pills and potions to enhance health and performance. And lets not forget the celebrities and sports stars pushing supplements on us, as well. But are dietary supplements all theyre cracked up to be? Does swallowing a fistful of pills every morning really make you healthier? Dietary supplements encompass a whole host of items , including vitamins and minerals, herbs and other botanicals, enzymes, and amino acids. Supplements come in a variety of forms tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, and powders. Some common supplements include: Are dietary supplements approved by the FDA? According to the FDA , a dietary supplement is a product intended for ingestion that contains a dietary ingredient intended to add further nutritional value to (supplement) the diet. From that definition, taking a supplement sounds like a pretty good idea. Taking a multivitamin every day, for example, seems pretty benign, and for the most part, it is. However, the FDA does not approve dietary supplements. This means that supplement manufacturers are not required to obtain FDA approval to market their products. The FDA cant review supplements for safety or effectiveness, either. Manufacturers are required to produce supplements in a quality manner and ensure that they dont contain impurities or contaminants, and tha Continue reading >>

How Safe Are Dietary Supplements?

How Safe Are Dietary Supplements?

The safety of dietary supplements has been a topic of discussion in the diabetes community for many years. Back in 2010 here at Diabetes Flashpoints, we discussed an incident in which human error resulted in a supplement containing up to 200 times the intended amount of selenium, leaving more than 200 people ill. Since then, the legal landscape around supplements has changed only slightly. So have things gotten any better? And how reliable are supplements overall? According to a recent study, supplement safety and reliability are still widespread problems. Presented last month at The Liver Meeting 2017 in Washington, DC (a convention of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases ), the study analyzed the contents of herbal and dietary supplements by looking at the records of 2,268 patients enrolled in the Drug Induced Liver Injury Network between 2003 and early 2016. Overall, 341 supplements were collected, and out of these, the researchers performed chemical analysis of 229. As noted in a Healio article on the study , 26 of the analyzed supplements didnt contain any ingredients on the label. Out of the 203 supplements that did list ingredients, only 90 (44%) were found to be labeled accurately. Mislabeling was especially common for steroidal ingredients, which were wrongly labeled 80% of the time, and in supplements marketed for bodybuilding (79% mislabeled) or weight loss (72% mislabeled). Supplements marketed for general health and well-being were wrongly labeled 51% of the time, and mislabeling was also somewhat common for vitamin ingredients (54%) and botanicals (48%). Out of all the supplements collected, the Drug Induced Liver Injury network considered 166 to be responsible for liver injury. The overall sample of supplements in the study was most d Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy: Can Dietary Supplements Help?

Diabetic Neuropathy: Can Dietary Supplements Help?

A healthy diet is a critical factor in controlling blood sugar, which is key in managing diabetes and preventing or slowing the progression of diabetes complications such as diabetic neuropathy. Dietary supplements also may play a role. Diabetic neuropathy is damage to nerves caused by excess blood sugar, inflammation and blocked small blood vessels associated with diabetes. Left unchecked, diabetic neuropathy can cause complications such as pain and tingling in the hands and feet; it can also result in digestive difficulties and sexual problems. Advanced neuropathy in the feet can lead to the need for amputation of a toe, foot or lower leg. Eating a healthy diet is an important part of managing your diabetes and may help prevent its complications, including diabetic neuropathy. Tight blood sugar management might also help slow the progression of nerve damage. Dietary supplements also may play a role in managing diabetic neuropathy, although more research is needed. Talk to your doctor before adding a dietary supplement because some may interfere with certain diabetes medications, and some can increase the risk of kidney problems. How dietary supplements might help Various nutrients in food play a role in the protection, repair and function of tissues affected by diabetic neuropathy. So, researchers are interested in nutrition and nutritional supplements to help prevent and manage diabetic neuropathy. Research in this field is still relatively new, and the results of clinical studies have yielded mixed results. However, the following dietary supplements may have some limited benefit in preventing and managing diabetic neuropathy. Vitamin B-12 Vitamin B-12 is present naturally in some foods. It plays a number of roles in the body, including helping with proper nerve func Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Dietary Supplements: In Depth

Diabetes And Dietary Supplements: In Depth

What’s the Bottom Line? How much do we know about dietary supplements for diabetes? Many studies have investigated dietary supplements, including vitamins, for preventing or treating type 2 diabetes (the focus of this fact sheet). What do we know about the effectiveness of dietary supplements for diabetes? Most of the supplements studied aren’t effective and some may worsen symptoms of diabetes. For example, using omega-3 supplements, such as fish oil, or cinnamon doesn’t appear to help with diabetes. A number of small studies have looked at whether magnesium or chromium supplements help with diabetes, but the results aren’t definitive. What do we know about the safety of dietary supplements for diabetes? Some dietary supplements have side effects, including interacting with diabetes treatments or increasing the risk of kidney problems. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to buy illegally marketed, potentially dangerous products claiming to prevent, treat, or cure diabetes. It’s very important not to replace proven conventional medical treatment for diabetes with an unproven health product or practice. About Diabetes Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. It can lead to serious health problems if it’s not managed well. Between 12 and 14 percent of U.S. adults have diabetes, but more than 25 percent of people with it are undiagnosed. Taking insulin or other diabetes medicine is often key to treating diabetes, along with making healthy food choices and being physically active. Your health care providers can show you how to control your diabetes and track your success. More About Diabetes Kidney disease has been linked to using some dietary supplements. This is of particu Continue reading >>

The Pros And Cons Of Dietary Supplements

The Pros And Cons Of Dietary Supplements

What science says about omega-3s and other "natural" products Row upon row of dietary supplements line store shelves, offering better health the "natural" way. It's tempting to stock up on supplements, trying to make up for less than nutritious diets or hoping to find an over-the-counter capsule that can lower blood glucose levels. According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, more than 150 million Americans use supplements, supporting a $27 billion industry. A February 2002 study in Diabetes Care found that people with diabetes are 1.6 times as likely to use supplements as people without diabetes. Despite the popularity of supplements, they may do little to boost your health. Many studies have tested supplements against a variety of health conditions, including diabetes, but most experts agree that the science remains inconclusive. Outside the laboratory, some supplement users swear they work, and for many, that's enough. Here is where the science stands, with some tips on how to be supplement smart. After all, spending money on ineffective supplements may not be the best use of your health care dollar. As defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a "dietary ingredient," which can be vitamin, mineral, herb, amino acid, enzyme, or metabolite. The supplement needn't be a pill; it could be a bar, liquid, or even a tea, but the FDA does require it to be labeled as a dietary supplement so it is not confused with food or medicine. Dietary supplement makers can make no health claims; by law, only prescription medications can do that. Supplements often declare benefits anyway, made legal by including the disclaimer "This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to di Continue reading >>

6 Of The Best Dietary Supplements For A Diabetic Diet—and 3 You Should Avoid

6 Of The Best Dietary Supplements For A Diabetic Diet—and 3 You Should Avoid

Should I take supplements? From cinnamon and magnesium to herbal formulas claiming to smack down high blood sugar, “diabetes-friendly” supplements are popping up in health food stores and drugstores and in the medicine cabinets of more and more people with diabetes. More than 50 percent of people with diabetes say they’ve used dietary supplements, according to one 2011 study—and at least one in four has given herbal remedies a try. The big question: Should you? “People with diabetes may be looking for something that seems less potent than a medication or something that will treat other health issues beyond blood sugar control, such as high cholesterol,” notes Laura Shane-McWhorter, PharmD, a University of Utah professor of pharmacotherapy and author of The American Diabetes Association Guide to Herbs & Nutritional Supplements: What You Need to Know from Aloe to Zinc. But experts are reluctant to recommend supplements to people with diabetes for two important health reasons. First, there’s virtually no research on long-term safety. Second, no supplement controls blood sugar as effectively as diabetes drugs (in combination with a healthy lifestyle). “There are no miracle treatments for diabetes,” Shane-McWhorter says. “The most important thing to know if you have diabetes is that no supplement will take care of it for you. Diabetes is a condition that can be well-controlled with a healthy lifestyle plus medication if needed. A supplement can’t replace those.” And new science is changing the supplement landscape. In consulting the latest research as well as supplement experts for this report on the best-studied and most widely used supplements, we found that some popular pills—chromium, we’re talking about you—aren’t living up to their reput Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes: Supplements Overview

Type 2 Diabetes: Supplements Overview

Key Points There is limited scientific evidence on the effectiveness of dietary supplements as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for type 2 diabetes. The evidence that is available is not sufficiently strong to prove that any of the six supplements discussed in this report have benefits for type 2 diabetes or its complications. A possible exception may be the use of omega-3 fatty acids to lower triglyceridea levels. It is very important not to replace conventional medical therapy for diabetes with an unproven CAM therapy. To ensure a safe and coordinated course of care, people should inform their health care providers about any CAM therapy that they are currently using or considering. The six dietary supplements reviewed in this report appear to be generally safe at low-to-moderate doses. However, each can interact with various prescription medications, affecting the action of the medications. People with type 2 diabetes need to know about these risks and discuss them with their health care provider. Prescribed medicines may need to be adjusted if a person is also using a CAM therapy. aTerms that are underlined are defined in the dictionary at the end of this report. 1. What is diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body cannot properly convert food into energy. Most food that a person eats is eventually broken down into blood glucose (also called blood sugar), which cells need for energy and growth. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose enter cells. In people with diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin, or it does not respond to insulin properly. This causes glucose to build up in the blood instead of moving into the cells. The most common type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes (formerly called adult-onset diabetes or noninsulin-depen Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Dietary Supplements

Diabetes And Dietary Supplements

Can dietary supplements really help control diabetes? If you are like many people with diabetes, you might wonder whether the ads you have seen or heard are true. Take a few minutes to learn how diabetes and dietary supplements can be a good mix -- or a set-up for trouble. Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional components such as herbs. You take them by mouth. Dietary supplements can sometimes provide extra nutritional benefit to people with special health problems, including diabetes. However, most people with diabetes will still have to take traditional prescription medicine to keep their blood sugar levels in control. So far, there is not enough research to support specific recommendations for diabetes and dietary supplements. Ongoing studies point to two minerals that may be linked to blood sugar control. Chromium is needed to help the body use glucose effectively. However, more research is needed to see if taking a magnesium supplement will help control blood sugar levels in people who are not magnesium deficient. Magnesium levels are often low in people who have problems with insulin secretion and in people with complications of type 2 diabetes. Whether magnesium dietary supplements can help relieve or reduce these problems is still unknown. If you are not cautious, diabetes and dietary supplements can be a dangerous mix. Here's why: 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 many other medications. The American Diabetes Association states that there i Continue reading >>

Diabetic Nutrition Supplements

Diabetic Nutrition Supplements

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8 Supplements That May Help Diabetes

8 Supplements That May Help Diabetes

Of the 29.1 million Americans with diabetes, as many as 31 percent use complementary or alternative medicines, including supplements, to help manage their condition. In fact, the amount of money spent on dietary supplements could be staggering. "I think it's bigger than the pharmacy business, if you add it all up," says Jeffrey Tipton, DO, MPH, vice president and medical director at AppleCare Medical Management in Los Angeles. So is all that money going to good use? "There are some indications that some supplements may be helpful, but there's nothing definitive," says Julie T. Chen, MD, an internist and founder of Making Healthy EZ, an integrative health clinic in San Jose, California. While you shouldn't use supplements to replace your diabetes medication, research on some of them does suggest that they can help with type 2 diabetes management. Supplements for Type 2 Diabetes: A Closer Look If you're taking or considering taking a supplement, telling your doctor is a must because some supplements can interfere with diabetes or other drugs, such as blood thinners. Here's a look at nine dietary supplements that are commonly used by people with type 2 diabetes: Chromium A metal and an essential trace mineral, this is thought to help reduce blood sugar levels. It is naturally occurring in meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, spices, and whole-wheat and rye breads. As a supplement, it is sold as chromium picolinate, chromium chloride, and chromium nicotinate. "People were excited about chromium about 20 years ago," Dr. Tipton says. At low doses, its use appears safe for most people and may be of some help; but taken over long periods, chromium can cause side effects that include kidney issues — already a problem for some people with diabetes. Magnesium This metal is essential Continue reading >>

Herbs And Supplements For Diabetes

Herbs And Supplements For Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes, but is becoming more common in children. This form of diabetes is caused when your body either resists insulin or doesn’t produce enough. It causes your blood glucose levels to be unbalanced. There is no cure. However, many people are able to manage their blood glucose levels with diet and exercise. If not, a doctor can prescribe medications that can manage blood sugar levels. Some of these medications are: insulin therapy metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others) sulfonylureas meglitinides A healthy diet, physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight are the first, and sometimes, most important part of diabetes treatment. However, when those are not enough to maintain your blood sugar levels, your doctor can decide which medications will work best for you. Along with these treatments, people with diabetes have tried numerous herbs and supplements to improve their diabetes. These alternative treatments are supposed to help control blood sugar levels, reduce resistance to insulin, and prevent diabetes-related complications. Some supplements have shown promise in animal studies. However, there is currently only limited evidence that they have the above mentioned benefits in humans. It is always best to let the foods you eat provide your vitamins and minerals. However, more and more people are turning to alternative medicines and supplements. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetics are more likely to use supplements than those without the disease. Supplements should not be used to replace standard diabetes treatment. Doing so can put your health at risk. It is important to talk to your doctor before using any supplements. Some of these products can interfere with other Continue reading >>

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