Which supplements can help diabetics manage their blood sugar levels?
05/12/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

People with diabetes have a higher risk of complications, including cardiovascular disease. In a new study, researchers from Greece found that daily supplementation with alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), carnosine, and thiamine not only lowers blood sugar levels but also fights oxidative stress and inhibit platelet aggregation to provide better cardiovascular protection.

Published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, the study looked at the effectiveness of an individualized oral supplementation with ALA, carnosine, and thiamine in obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes. To do this, the researchers recruited 82 obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes and divided them into two groups: a treatment group and a control group. Participants in the treatment group received 7 milligrams per kilogram body weight (mg/kg) of ALA, 6 mg/kg of carnosine, and 1 mg/kg of thiamine every day for eight weeks, while those in the control group received a placebo.

Moreover, the researchers measured the participants' oxidative stress levels and platelet aggregation at the beginning and the end of the study. They also examined the antiplatelet activity of each of the supplement's components ex vivo at human and washed rabbit platelets.

The results of the study revealed that daily intake of ALA, carnosine, and thiamine supplements led to reductions in blood sugar and oxidative stress levels. In addition, the supplementation reduced insulin sensitivity but increased insulin levels. It also reduced platelet aggregation, but the researchers identified that ALA was the only inhibitor of platelet aggregation. From these findings, the researchers concluded that daily supplementation with ALA, carnosine, and thiamine exhibit blood sugar-lowering, antioxidant, and cardioprotective effects in obese patients with Type 2 diabetes.


Other supplements people with Type 2 diabetes can try

In addition to ALA, carnosine, and thiamine, there are other herbs and supplements that people with Type 2 diabetes may find beneficial. These include:

  • Aloe vera: Research has shown that aloe vera can treat symptoms of diabetes in rats by helping to protect and repair the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. The study authors believe that this beneficial effect may be attributed to the antioxidant effects of the plant.
  • Bitter melon: Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine. Evidence has shown that the plant's various parts, including the seeds, pulp, and juice, can help improve the symptoms of diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels.
  • Cinnamon: Research has shown that cinnamon can improve the levels of blood sugar, insulin and insulin sensitivity, lipids, antioxidants, and blood pressure -- which are essential markers for people with diabetes.
  • Fenugreek seeds: Fenugreek seeds may help lower blood sugar levels because they contain fibers and compounds that help slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and sugar. Evidence has also shown that it may help delay or prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes and reduce cholesterol levels.
  • Ginger: Ginger is commonly used to treat digestive problems and inflammation. However, research has also found that the herb may also help treat diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
  • Gymnema Sylvestre: Native to India, Gymnema Sylvestre is beneficial to people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that the herb can significantly reduce fasting blood sugar levels in people with Type 1 diabetes. In people with Type 2 diabetes, research has shown that it reduced their blood sugar levels. (Related: Keep your blood sugar levels in check with these natural supplements.)

Visit SupplementsReport.com to learn more about other supplements beneficial to people with Type 2 diabetes.

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