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What Vitamins Are Good For Lowering Blood Sugar?

Vitamins And Minerals

Vitamins And Minerals

Tweet Depending on the type of treatment regimen you use to control your diabetes, there are some vitamins and minerals that may be beneficial for your condition. Before adding any vitamins or adding dietary supplements to your daily diet, discuss these changes with your healthcare team and doctor to ensure they are safe alongside any prescribed medication you're on. ALA and GLA ALA (alpha-lipoic acid) is a versatile and potent antioxidant, and may function to help diabetic neuropathy and reduce pain from free-radical damage. Also, some studies link ALA to decreased insulin resistance and thus the control of blood sugar. GLA (gamma-lipoic acid) is another naturally occurring antioxidant that is present in evening primrose oil, borage oil and blackcurrant seed oil. GLA may improve the function of nerves damaged by diabetic neuropathy. Biotin Biotin works in synergy with insulin in the body, and independently increases the activity of the enzyme glucokinase. Glucokinase is responsible for the first step of glucose utilisation, and is therefore an essential component of normal bodily functioning. Glucokinase occurs only in the liver, and in sufferers from diabetes its concentration may be extremely low. Supplements of biotin may have a significant effect on glucose levels for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Carnitine (L-Carnitine, Acetyl L-Carnitine) Carnitine is required by the body in order to correctly use body fat in the production of energy. It is naturally occurring and derives from hydrophilic amino acids. Diabetics who try carnitine generally respond well, and high levels of fat in the bloodstream (cholesterol and triglycerides) may fall fast. Carnitine helps to break down fatty acids in the body and binds acyl residues. For these reasons, it may be useful to pre Continue reading >>

Control Your Blood Sugar Without Drugs

Control Your Blood Sugar Without Drugs

In addition to the obvious ways of controlling your diet and getting more active physically, several supplements are known to be beneficial in controlling blood sugar. Cinnamon One gram (slightly less than a half teaspoon) of cinnamon per day was given to 60 volunteers with type 2 diabetes. In just 40 days, this small amount of cinnamon reduced fasting glucose levels anywhere from 18 to 29 percent, triglyceride levels 23 to 30 percent, LDL cholesterol levels 7 to 27 percent, and total cholesterol 12 to 26 percent. No advantages or greater improvements were found when larger doses were given. Also, when the participants stopped taking the cinnamon, their blood sugar levels and other readings began to return to former levels. (J Agri Food Chem 04;52:65–70) (Diabetes Care 03;26:3215–3218) Vitamin D A series of studies have shown that vitamin D levels are connected to insulin sensitivity and blood glucose levels. In a recent study, researchers at the University of California found that low vitamin D levels resulted in insulin resistance and improper function of the pancreatic cells that help produce insulin. If you, or your family, have a history of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), then adequate amounts of vitamin D are even more important. At least 30 minutes a day in the sunshine (without a sunscreen) would be helpful, and a daily multivitamin that includes a minimum of 400 IU of vitamin D would be highly recommended. And an interesting side note, some researchers now think Australia’s “slip, slop, slap” campaign [slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat] to prevent skin cancer may have led to their current epidemic of type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that the lower your vitamin D level, the higher your bloo Continue reading >>

Herbs For Diabetes

Herbs For Diabetes

July 31, 2000 -- When 40-something Jeff Cottingham was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, his doctor immediately started him on drugs to control his blood sugar. But Cottingham worried. Some drugs for diabetes can have dangerous side effects. In a striking example, on March 21, 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed one of the most widely prescribed diabetes drugs, Rezulin (troglitazone), from the market after it was linked to 90 cases of liver failure and 63 deaths. Already concerned about such problems two years ago, the Aptos, Calif., resident began taking Sweet Eze, a mixture of herbs and minerals sold for diabetes. The supplement seemed to work wonders for the self-described "old hippie." His level of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) -- a protein that reflects blood glucose levels over the past two to three months -- plummeted from 11 to well below the danger threshold of 6. "I feel great," says Cottingham, who has experienced no side effects from the supplement. "I'm completely off diabetes medications now." A success story? Perhaps. But experts advise caution. For one thing, because Sweet Eze contains six different ingredients -- and because the severity of diabetes symptoms can fluctuate on their own -- it's hard to say what exactly is responsible for Cottingham's improvement. For another, supplements carry their own risks. Some products don't contain the ingredients listed on their labels. Others come mixed with dangerous -- and unlisted -- ingredients. And scientists are just beginning to verify which ones actually work. One herb touted for diabetes got a boost recently from a Canadian clinical trial. University of Toronto researcher Vladamir Vulksan, PhD, announced at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) annual meeting in June 2000 that he'd Continue reading >>

The Best Supplements For Diabetes

The Best Supplements For Diabetes

While eating a healthy diet (which includes mini-fasting) and exercising regularly are necessary to lower blood sugar naturally, these are not the only parts of my natural approach to managing diabetes. Nutritional support is also a key component of achieving healthy blood sugar levels. Supplements to Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels Are Critical One reason nutritional support is so important is because diabetes is a nutritional wasting disease. Elevated glucose levels act like a diuretic and cause substantial loss of nutrients in the urine. Therefore, people with type 2 diabetes are likely to be deficient in important water-soluble vitamins and minerals. Incredibly, most experts specializing in diabetes make no attempt whatsoever to replace lost nutrients, leaving their patients to suffer the inevitable consequences of nutritional deficiencies. A second reason nutritional supplements are essential is that certain nutrients work to support your body’s ability to use insulin, which can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Anyone who has diabetes should—at a minimum—take a high-quality vitamin and mineral supplement every day. Research has shown that taking a potent daily multivitamin dramatically reduces the incidence of infection and the number of sick days taken by patients with type 2 diabetes. Must-Have Supplements for Diabetes In addition to a multivitamin, make sure you are getting the following nutrients to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Many are included in multivitamins, but not always at the dosages I recommend. If your multi comes up short, supplement with additional doses of the specific nutrients until you’re taking the recommended amount. B-Complex Vitamins Vitamins B6 and B12 specifically support nerve health, which is critic Continue reading >>

7 Vitamins That Help Control Blood Sugar

7 Vitamins That Help Control Blood Sugar

Vitamin deficiencies are quite common among diabetics. Given the importance of vitamins to cellular processes especially glucose metabolism and energy production in cells, low levels of certain vitamins may impair glucose utilization and lead to poor blood sugar control. This article identifies and discusses the vitamins that are most important to glycemic control and diabetes complications. The B vitamins are especially important to glucose metabolism. They usually serve as cofactors in cellular reactions utilizing glucose. Therefore, they have been extensively studied to determine their benefits for controlling blood sugar levels. Because the B vitamins are water soluble, they are easily excreted from the body along with urine. This is especially important for diabetics as they easily develop deficiencies of the B vitamins. Vitamin B1 or thiamine is a coenzyme in the metabolism of keto sugars. It is also important for the breakdown of pyruvic acid, a product released during glucose metabolism. Therefore, vitamin B1 can help improve how cells utilize glucose. This can lead to better control of blood sugar levels. However, available studies do not always agree on the importance of vitamin B1 supplementation for diabetics. Clinical data show that patients with Type 1 diabetes usually have low vitamin B1 levels and can, therefore, benefit from vitamin B1 supplements. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes patients usually have normal blood levels of vitamin B1. However, one study demonstrated that although diabetics have normal levels of this vitamin, its transportation across tissues is impaired. Therefore, even normal levels of the vitamin may not be sufficient to effectively control blood glucose levels in diabetics. Vitamin B1 supplementation has been proven to prevent an Continue reading >>

Supplements That Lower Blood Sugar Naturally

Supplements That Lower Blood Sugar Naturally

Although diet and exercise are the two most important factors in dealing with Type 2 diabetes, scientific research shows that there are several supplements you can enlist in your blood sugar battle. “I think supplements should be part of the foundation for how people with high blood sugar address their problems,” says Paula H. Mendelsohn, a licensed dietician and functional medicine nutritionist. “Supplements help the diabetics I treat get off of medications and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.” One key element that may be lacking in the diet of many diabetics is the trace mineral chromium, which gives insulin a boost in regulating blood sugar. Although chromium is found in wide range of foods — including egg yolks, whole-grain products, coffee, nuts, green beans, broccoli, meat, and brewer’s yeast — it’s not easily absorbable by the body. What’s more, surveys show that a majority of Americans don’t get the minimum daily requirement of it. Supplements can help make up the difference. “Chromium supplementation, especially in the form of chromium picolinate…can improve both glucose and insulin metabolism” in diabetics, say researchers Dr. William T. Cefalu, and Dr. Frank B. Hu, citing several studies, on the American Diabetes Association Website. A general consensus among experts is that taking 1,000 micrograms of chromium picolinate a day may help diabetics control their blood sugar. But chromium is just one of several supplements that Mendelsohn recommends for Type 2 diabetes patients. “No single supplement is better than all the others,” Mendelsohn tells Newsmax Health. “They all work together synergistically.” Here are some others (just be aware that diabetics shouldn’t take any supplement that may affect blood sugar without fir Continue reading >>

Diabetes, Type 2

Diabetes, Type 2

What is type 2 diabetes? Also called adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder resulting from the body’s inability to properly use or ultimately make enough insulin, the hormone that helps regulate sugar, starches and other foods the body uses for energy. It is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all cases. Type 2 diabetes is nearing epidemic proportions in the United States as a result of a greater prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyles. The upswing is also due to the increasing number of older people in the population. What are the symptoms? Many symptoms of diabetes such as excessive thirst or irritability, can seem unimportant, which is one of the reasons why the disease often goes undiagnosed. However, early detection is very important because it can reduce the odds of developing the dangerous complications of diabetes. Common symptoms include: Frequent urination Excessive thirst Extreme hunger Unusual weight loss Increased fatigue Irritability Blurry vision If high blood sugar levels are not brought under control via treatment type 2 diabetes (and type 1 diabetes as well) can lead to a number of serious complications: Eye damage: People with diabetes have a 40 percent higher than normal risk of developing glaucoma, increased pressure within the eye that can lead to vision loss. They are also 60 percent more likely than normal to develop cataracts, which cloud the lens of the eye, blocking light and blurring vision. They are also at risk of diabetic retinopathy, damage to the retina that is the leading cause of impaired vision in the United States. High blood pressure: This disorder occurs at twice the normal rate among diabetics. Heart disease: Deaths from heart disease among diabetics are two to four Continue reading >>

7 Ways To Lower Blood Sugar

7 Ways To Lower Blood Sugar

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that without changes in diet and exercise habits-, one in three Americans will develop type 2 diabetes. The good news is that most cases can be prevented. The disease used to be called adult-onset diabetes because it was rare among people under age 30. But the name was changed as incidence soared among younger people during the past two decades. What Is Type 2 Diabetes? Type 2 diabetes is an inability of the body to use insulin, the hormone that manages levels of blood sugar. As a result, levels of blood sugar become chronically elevated, a stage called prediabetes. When levels of blood sugar reach even higher levels, the condition becomes full-blown diabetes. What Can Be Done to Treat Type 2 Diabetes? According to the CDC, type 2 diabetes can most often be prevented. A landmark study called the Diabetes Prevention Program, supported by the National Institutes of Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002, compared the effects of diet and exercise with a commonly used diabetes drug (metformin), among more than 3,200 people who were overweight and had prediabetes. Compared to a placebo: Adults following a diet and exercise program reduced risk for diabetes by an average of 58 percent, and among those age 60 and older, by 71 percent. People taking metformin also reduced their risk of diabetes, but not by as much: by only 31 percent. In addition to lowering blood sugar, the diet and exercise program produced additional benefits: reduced blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease, more so than the medication. Weight loss between 5 and 7 percent of body weight reduced risk for diabetes in participants. In the years since then, the lessons learned have not been widely put into Continue reading >>

Top 10 Supplements For Blood Sugar Control

Top 10 Supplements For Blood Sugar Control

We all know the sugar rush feeling after a particularly indulgent meal or beverage—a brief sensation of hyperactivity quickly followed by a sugar crash, that bone-weary exhaustion that makes you just want to crawl in bed. If this sounds familiar, you’ve had a glimpse into the roller coaster effect that sugar can have on our energy levels and how hard our body must work to keep it all in balance. You see, we quite literally run on sugar—every cell and organ in our body requires glucose. The food we eat gets broken down into glucose for ready absorption into our bloodstream and insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, helps our body take glucose out of the bloodstream and put it into our cells to be converted into energy or stored for later use. If we eat too much sugar or high-glycemic carbohydrates (think cakes, crackers, bread, and cookies), we experience a rapid influx of blood sugar. Our body must rush in to compensate with a spike of insulin to take care of the sudden overabundance of glucose, leaving us tired and irritable from the yo-yo effect. Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced is one of the most important steps you can take for overall health and vitality. Besides eating a wholesome diet rich in low-glycemic whole fruits, vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates, you can optimize your blood sugar levels by including supplements that promote glucose balance. Here are our picks for the top 10 supplements you can take to support healthy blood sugar levels. Alpha-Lipoic Acid This fat- and water-soluble antioxidant attacks free radicals in the body, protecting our organs and tissues. To balance blood sugar, alpha-lipoic acid helps convert glucose into energy in our body’s cells and can increase insulin sensitivity after just four weeks of supp Continue reading >>

Which Supplements Can Help Lower Or Control My Blood Sugar?

Which Supplements Can Help Lower Or Control My Blood Sugar?

Question: Answer: Many different supplements may help lower or control blood sugar in people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes who experience hyperglycemia (when blood glucose rises higher than normal). These supplements are discussed below. More details about each, including dosage, drug interactions, potential side effects, and ConsumerLab.com's reviews of products on the market, can be found by clicking on the links. Due to the seriousness of hyperglycemia, it is important to consult with your physician regarding use of these supplements. Cinnamon supplements may modestly improve blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes whose blood sugar is not well controlled with medication. In addition, one small study found that a branded cinnamon extract reduced fasting blood sugar by an average of about 10 mg/dL in prediabetic men and women with metabolic syndrome. Keep in mind, however, that only certain varieties of cinnamon have been shown to have this effect, and long-term safety studies have not been conducted. Curcumin (from turmeric) may improve blood sugar levels, according to preliminary studies, and one study found curcumin to dramatically lower the chances of prediabetes in middle-aged, slightly overweight men and women with somewhat higher than normal blood sugar levels. Alpha lipoic acid may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes, although it may only slightly reduce levels of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Chromium picolinate may help some people with type 2 diabetes decrease fasting blood glucose levels as well as levels of insulin and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). However, be aware that high doses may worsen insulin sensitivity in healthy people who are not obese or diabetic. Having adequate blood levels of vi Continue reading >>

14 Amazing Herbs That Lower Blood Sugar

14 Amazing Herbs That Lower Blood Sugar

We live in a world where prescription medicine is getting more and more expensive as well as controversial. Alternative medicine is gaining momentum and with good reason! The same is true for treatments for diabetes type 2. You have therapies that can reverse diabetes through lifestyle and diet changes, natural supplements that can help stabilize blood sugar levels, and also herbs that lower blood sugar. Not only are these alternative therapies safer, but they are also easier on your pocket, on your body and mind. Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is necessary for the body’s overall health. Erratic blood sugar levels can affect the body’s ability to function normally and even lead to complications if left unchecked. Some herbs and spices found in nature do a tremendous job of naturally lowering blood sugar levels, making them a boon for diabetics and pre-diabetics. What’s more, being nature’s multi-taskers, herbs and spices also produce overall health benefits beyond just helping balance blood sugar. We want to clarify one thing right away – not everything on our list can be classified as ‘herbs’. However, they are all from natural sources. Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant. Spices are parts of the plant other than the leafy bit, such as the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds. RELATED: Decoding The Dawn Phenomenon (High Morning Blood Sugar) With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best herbs that lower blood sugar, along with a few spices thrown in, to give you a more comprehensive list. Please note that while we normally do not use animal studies to support any dietary supplement, several herbs like garlic and ginger are considered ‘food’ and so, are used traditionally by cultures across the world in their daily diet Continue reading >>

Helpful Supplements For Blood Sugar

Helpful Supplements For Blood Sugar

People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes often lack adequate levels of many vitamins and minerals, a consequence of poor eating habits. Supplements correct these deficiencies and help restore normal metabolic activity. They also complement a healthy diet and exercise. Here are 6 supplements for blood sugar to help fight these deficiences: silymarin, chromium, resveratrol, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin D, and magnesium. A perfect storm is brewing, nutritionally—and it could easily sweep you away. One of every three Americans has some form of prediabetes (often undiagnosed), and 25 million have full-blown type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese are the primary risk factors, although family history, inactivity, race, and age also can contribute. Eating whole foods and avoiding junk foods and sugary drinks can help. Ditto for muscle-building resistance exercises. People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes often lack adequate levels of many vitamins and minerals, a consequence of poor eating habits. Supplements correct these deficiencies and help restore normal metabolic activity. They also complement a healthy diet and exercise. And there’s a bonus: When you control your blood sugar, hunger jags decrease and weight loss becomes easier. Lower doses of these nutrients can help with prediabetes, higher doses with type 2 diabetes. If you take more than one of them, opt for lower doses. Silymarin. Three studies have proven this antioxidant extract of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) can lower fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels and reduce excess insulin. A longer-term indicator—HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) levels, which provide an average blood sugar level over six weeks—declined significantly, too. In one of the studies, people taking silymarin also lost about 8 pe Continue reading >>

Top 10 Vitamins & Minerals For Lower Blood Sugar

Top 10 Vitamins & Minerals For Lower Blood Sugar

You may take a vitamin supplement every day in an attempt to better your health, but do you know why those vitamins and minerals are so important? Some even help combat high blood sugar and can help improve not only overall health, but diabetes as well! Chromium Chromium helps to regulate insulin production, thereby reducing and stabilizing blood sugar. Individuals with Type II diabetes naturally have lower levels of chromium in their bodies than those who do not have diabetes. You can increase the chromium in your body by eating more broccoli, garlic, and turkey. Zinc Zinc is another important mineral for blood sugar control. It is critical for insulin management, and is an antioxidant. Zinc also helps improve A1C levels. Individuals with diabetes have reduced levels of zinc in their blood, so supplying the body with additional zinc is essential. Oysters are by far the best source of zinc, but beef contains a good amount, as well. Selenium Selenium is an antioxidant that is well-known for gut and thyroid health, but studies have shown it’s also beneficial for blood sugar control. In one study, the control group was given insulin therapy only, while the other group was given insulin + selenium. The insulin + selenium treatment proved more effective at managing blood sugar than the insulin alone. Brazil nuts, salmon, mushrooms, and asparagus are all good sources of selenium. Magnesium Magnesium is quite the versatile mineral. It is required by the human body for everything from the production of protein and DNA, to breaking down fat for fuel. Most commonly used as a supplement to help alleviate constipation or anxiety, it is also beneficial for healthy blood sugar. In patients with type 2 diabetes, one study found that magnesium supplements significantly reduced insuli Continue reading >>

Best Vitamins For Diabetics

Best Vitamins For Diabetics

Eating a varied diet rich in natural sources of vitamins is a good idea for diabetics. Nutritional support is critical for diabetics because diabetes tends to drain nutrients. When levels of glucose are high in the blood, the body tries to ‘wash’ the excess sugar out. This is why diabetics need to use the washroom frequently. Unfortunately, diabetics also lose nutrients via their urine. Research studies show that diabetics are repeatedly found to be deficient in important water-soluble vitamins and minerals. What’s more, the loss of these vitamins worsens the body’s ability to manage blood sugar, creating a vicious cycle. Combining a healthy diabetes diet plan and a daily exercise routine with the best vitamin supplements for diabetics goes a long way in achieving stable blood sugar levels. What Vitamins Are Diabetics Deficient In? The term vitamin is short for “Vital Amino Acid”. This means that these are vital for the proper functioning of hundreds of chemical processes in the body which the body cannot manage by itself. Proper blood sugar control is one such function for which vitamins are critical. There are 13 essential vitamins that the human body requires and they must be obtained from an external source — through food and/or supplements. Diabetics need two kinds of vitamins: Water Soluble – Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, Biotin, and Folate are water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body for longer periods of time. Diabetics are often deficient in these vitamins since they pass greater amounts of urine daily. As their body tries to get rid of extra sugar, diabetics lose more water-soluble vitamins than most others. That’s why diabetics need to to get these vitamins daily in doses larger than what normal people need. Luckily, you can get all Continue reading >>

Vitamins To Help Lower Blood Sugar

Vitamins To Help Lower Blood Sugar

High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, may be caused by medications, chronic illness or an imbalance in your hormones. Diabetics can develop hyperglycemia if they don't take adequate insulin or if they consume too many carbohydrates, particularly simple carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index. Some research indicates that certain vitamins may help prevent hyperglycemia by lowering your blood sugar level, though more studies are needed. Obtain the majority of the vitamins in your diet from food -- do not attempt to treat blood sugar irregularities with vitamin supplements until you've consulted your doctor. Video of the Day Effect of Biotin An article published in 2005 in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry concluded that the B vitamin biotin stimulates the production of compounds like insulin that regulate blood sugar and inhibits the synthesis of enzymes responsible for stimulating the liver to produce glucose. The article also reported that people who don't consume enough biotin are more likely to have impaired glucose tolerance and higher blood glucose levels. The recommended daily allowance of biotin for adults is 30 micrograms. A whole cooked egg supplies 10 micrograms of biotin, a 3-ounce serving of canned pink salmon contains approximately 5 micrograms and pork chops have almost 4 micrograms in every 3 ounces. Other sources include whole grains, legumes, nuts, sardines and some produce like mushrooms. Effect of Vitamin D The more vitamin D you consume, the less likely you may be to develop high blood glucose and Type 2 diabetes as you age, found a study published in the journal Diabetes in 2008. However, it's not yet known how vitamin D does this, or if increasing vitamin D intake can directly lower the levels of people who already have high blood sugar. H Continue reading >>

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