Best Supplements for Diabetes Type 2 – Top 10 Choices!

Best Supplements for Diabetes Type 2

There is a lot of controversy surrounding what have come to be considered some of the best supplements for diabetes. Many studies conflict with one another, and published evidence is quickly pushed aside as new evidence is brought to the table. Everything from vitamins to minerals to chemical compounds found in foods, herbs and spices are thought to help either prevent the onset of or help manage diabetes. The simple truth is that to date, there is no definitive evidence that such things as the best supplements for diabetes even exist. What trials have been conducted are often limited, flawed or inconclusive. However, there is some evidence to suggest that supplements for diabetes might have some practical uses.

Part of the logic behind this theory has to do with diet. Many people are now aware that a healthy diet is one of the most effective forms of type 2 diabetes treatment when combined with regular exercise. This combination helps to lower overall body weight, which in turn makes managing diabetes less challenging. However, this relationship may possibly be taken a step further when considering the best supplements for diabetes. The same lacking, poor diets that might contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes in the first place may be the key to supplement success in some people. Individuals who are lacking nutrients and vitamins that the body needs are arguably less equipped physically to deal with the demands of the condition. Therefore supplementing with compounds that should be incorporated into their diets but are often not, may provide some benefit.

Aside from mineral and vitamin supplements for diabetes, many contain natural ingredients from plants. For thousands of years, their beneficial compounds have been used in order to cure and treat disease all over the world. While modern pharmaceuticals have long done away with the majority of compounds harvested from nature, plants have not lost their natural potency or their ability to provide many healthful benefits. Some of the purported best supplements for diabetes take advantage of these natural healing powers and some studies suggest there is good reason why.

We’ve put together a list of the ten best supplements for diabetes based on early studies and what medical evidence is available to support any claims made about them. Before reviewing them, it’s important to remember that many supplements are regulated differently than medicines (especially the ones with food based ingredients), so exercising caution when purchasing supplements is imperative. Additionally, whether natural or not, supplements can and do cause side effects and drug interactions. Just because something is natural does not mean that it’s not dangerous – after all, snake venom is a very natural yet often deadly chemical cocktail. No supplement should be taken without first consulting a healthcare provider, especially if medications are being used that could carry a risk of interaction.

1. Chromium Picolinate: Studies have found that this supplement helps the body to use insulin work more effectively. It does not assist in the manufacture of insulin, rather the body’s ability to use it. Chromium is considered a trace mineral, and most people obtain small quantities from their diet. The chromium picolinate diabetes link is perhaps motivated by the fact that people who have diets that are lacking in chromium tend to have problems properly using glucose. Unfortunately, while some studies suggest that products containing the modified form of the trace mineral might be some of the best supplements for diabetes, the studies conducted have been very small and infrequent, although well controlled. Additionally, there are some gastrointestinal side effects, skin problems, muscular problems and even kidney problems in some users.

2. Cinnamon: There are actually two reasons why cinnamon supplements for diabetes are very popular, and one might be a surprising new way to look at supplements altogether. Traditionally, cinnamon has been popularized as as one of the best supplements for diabetes due to the fact that some studies have found it to be able to lower blood sugar levels by as much as 24% over a 40 day period when taken in capsule form. However, another reason why cinnamon for diabetes might be a great choice as suggested by Dr. Oz, is thanks to its substitution properties. Table sugar and sugary foods are unfortunate hazards for people with diabetes, especially those battling weight. Cinnamon can serve as a sweet substitute for the white stuff, providing a dual benefit to its already purported blood sugar lowering properties.

3. Vitamin E: Unless you’ve been reading beauty magazines lately, you probably haven’t thought much about vitamin E, the essential element known for healthy skin, hair and nails. Unfortunately, all the benefits of vitamin E are often overlooked. Not only does the vanity vitamin help keep people looking beautiful, it’s also important to many physiological processes and is thought to help aid in glucose control. Additionally, vitamin E can help prevent damage to blood vessels as well as offer protection from common diabetes complications like cataracts and diabetic neuropathy. Vitamin E in its natural, not synthetic state may not only be one of the best supplements for diabetes but also a commonly forgotten benefit to overall better health.

4. Magnesium: The studies surrounding the use of magnesium are quite conflicting. Some evidence shows that supplementing the essential mineral can help to decrease the body’s resistance to insulin. And, other studies point out that people who are deficient in magnesium may be at greater risk for developing diabetes in the first place. However, there are almost an equal amount of available trials and studies that show no link between magnesium supplementation and better control of diabetes. Regardless, the critical mineral is quite important to replicating cells, manufacturing energy and synthesizing proteins and it’s found in some of the best foods on the planet like leafy greens and whole grains. The jury might still be out on whether or not magnesium is one of the best supplements for diabetes, but what is clear is that it’s an essential mineral important to many physiological processes and easily obtainable from a very healthy diet.

5. Purslane: It’s not uncommon for plants that most people consider to be nothing more than obnoxious weeds to hold many medicinal benefits that are left to go wasted – consider the dandelion, for instance. Purslane is similar in that not only is it considered a tasty edible in some parts of the world, it also boasts health benefits as well, one of them relating to the control of blood sugar levels. An extract derived from the plant may increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin as well as help to move glucose into the blood from the intestines. While the exact mechanism of action as to how this occurs remains unknown, there is some potential for purslane to graduate from yard weed to one of the best supplements for diabetes sufferers in the near future.

6. Berberine: This natural chemical compound is found in quite a few plants such as the Oregon grape and goldenseal. It’s used for burns, bacterial infections and most commonly, heart failure. But, berberine derived from the plants that contain it may just be one of the best supplements for diabetes. It’s thought to positively affect the metabolism on the most basic of levels which can possibly reduce the amount of glucose being produced by the liver as well as increase sensitivity to insulin.

7. Ginseng: This marvel of Ancient Chinese Medicine is perhaps most popular as a means to provide an energy boost and promote feelings of generalized wellness. However, it’s also very popular as a means to fight infection and aid in digestion. All of these known benefits aside, ginseng’s best use might just be lowering blood sugar. Its contained compounds called ginsenosides are responsible for this, as well as generally affecting the levels of insulin in the body. The biggest problem with taking ginseng these days might actually be just finding it in the first place. Its host of medicinal uses has made it so popular; it’s been considered for the list of endangered or threatened plant species in quite a few states.

8. Agaricus Mushroom: Most herbal remedies are extracts of plants, and little attention is given to often powerful fungal forces of nature, which can hold some surprising benefits. Although the agaricus mushroom is enjoyed as food and taken in tea, its medicinal benefits have been hailed for centuries. Amongst its uses for high cholesterol, osteoporosis and stomach ulcers, the fungus may also be one of the best supplements for diabetes, too. It’s thought to both reduce insulin resistance and help the body to use insulin more effectively.

9. Prickly Pear Cactus: Considered a part of daily cuisine in some parts of the world, prickly pear may be best known elsewhere for its medicinal benefits. Contained pectin and fiber are responsible for the majority of the plant’s medicinal uses, which include its potential amongst some of the best supplements for diabetes. By reducing the amount of sugar being absorbed by the stomach and intestine, the prickly pear cactus may actually be able to lower blood sugar levels, a welcome and tasty notion for many suffering from diabetes.

10. Turmeric: Very few lists of the best supplements for just about anything exclude turmeric, which is perhaps one of the oldest and purportedly most effective natural remedies. Its active ingredient, curcumin, is responsible for the spice’s wealth of physiological benefits, although despite these, today it’s still best known for its role in culinary applications. On a chemical level, turmeric’s impact on the formation of fatty deposits is where the link between the yellow spice and common health condition lie, however its worth noting that any studies conducted on turmeric for diabetes that have shown positive results rely on the capsulated form of curcumin, rather than ingesting the actual spice. Evidence is preliminary and conflicting on many fronts, however it appears that a position as one of the best supplements for diabetes might soon be added to turmeric’s arsenal of health benefits.