Metabolic Health

Vitamins and Supplements to Prevent Diabetes

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Diabetes is one of the medical conditions that has been affecting over 72.96 million adults in India. Even first-world countries like the USA have 34.2 million people diagnosed with diabetes. Though it is a lifelong condition, people can control their blood sugar levels with lifestyle changes, regular consumption of vitamins and minerals, and medical consultation.

Whether you want to meet your daily vitamin and mineral requirements or treat diabetic problems, there are many supplements to consider. Moreover, one should also consider possible drug interactions, conflicting information, and safety concerns. It is advisable to only consume the best vitamins for people with type 2 diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels in check and live a healthy life.

Patients with diabetes are more prone than non-diabetic patients to consume dietary supplements. A dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth and contains a nutritional element that is meant to augment the diet. Vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and other compounds can all be found in these capsules. Tablets, capsules, liquids, powders, and bars are the most frequent forms of dietary supplements.

Using Supplements for Diabetes Treatment

Various nutritional supplements are recommended by physicians to treat diabetes and its consequences. Dietary supplements are commonly used for various reasons, including decreasing blood glucose, hypertension, cholesterol, insulin resistance, neuropathic pain, and avoiding multiple diabetes-related problems.

Herbs and supplements are not the cure for diabetes or treatment. However, they are the best vitamins for people with diabetes with type 2, where some may relieve diabetic symptoms and lower the risk of complications when used in conjunction with standard therapy.

However, if you have a severe vitamin deficit, a supplement may benefit you. Blood tests are the only method to determine whether you're deficient; however, you may notice specific symptoms. If you're having symptoms that you think a supplement may help with, consult your doctor before trying to solve the problem on your own.

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is used in various sweet and savoury foods. Chinese medicine has used cinnamon to treat many ailments for hundreds of years. It is popular among type 2 diabetes patients primarily, but it also has other advantages. Cinnamon boosts blood sugar, insulin, insulin sensitivity, antioxidants and blood pressure.

Patients with diabetes and hyperlipidemia frequently consume cinnamon. Cinnamon's active element is hydroxychalcone, which is considered to boost insulin action. When taken orally, cinnamon is normally harmless, but large amounts might induce liver damage due to high coumadin levels.

1. Chromium

This metal, which is also an essential trace mineral, is suggested to aid in the reduction of blood sugar levels. A chromium deficiency can cause high blood sugar levels. If you're weak in chromium, it's worth a shot, although that's an uncommon occurrence.

Supplementing with chromium may exacerbate renal damage and make the condition worse.

2. Vitamin B1

For decades, vitamin B1 has been used to treat neurological disorders, particularly diabetic neuropathy. Thiamine deficiency is frequent in diabetic neuropathy patients and those who have acquired neuropathies due to malabsorption.

Thiamine supplementation can help avoid the creation of toxic glucose metabolism byproducts and reduce oxidative stress and enhance endothelial function. Nevertheless, the long-term effectiveness of insulin replacement in diabetics is unknown, but it may minimise cardiovascular risk and angiopathic consequences.

3. Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Alpha-lipoic acid, or ALA, is an antioxidant that aids the body's conversion of energy into food. Unlike other diabetic dietary supplements, ALA is primarily used for peripheral neuropathy rather than blood glucose or A1C management. It works as an antioxidant to protect cells from free radical damage.

People with type 2 diabetes use ALA supplements to help their bodies utilise insulin more efficiently. While alpha-lipoic acid isn't typically used to reduce blood sugar, it can help, especially in individuals taking a drug with hypoglycemia as a side effect.

4. Bitter Melon

A medicinal fruit is Momordica charantia, often known as bitter melon. Bitter melon has also been used for ages by traditional Chinese and Indian healers. Researchers have lately investigated its features.

Bitter melon may help control diabetes. Bitter melon is not an alternative to insulin or other diabetic treatments because there is insufficient evidence to back it up. It may, however, help patients become less reliant on such drugs.

5. Green Tea

According to research, green tea drinking is linked to lower fasting glucose and A1C readings and lower fasting insulin levels, which are a marker of diabetic health. Green tea has been demonstrated to be advantageous in different ways, even if not all research has revealed these excellent benefits.

6. Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a naturally occurring chemical found in grapes, red wine, and certain berries. Polyphenols are a type of plant-based molecule that has antioxidant characteristics. In people with type 2 diabetes, resveratrol supplements were reported to reduce arterial stiffness.

Arteriosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries, increases the risk of cardiovascular events. In type 2 diabetes patients, resveratrol supplementation lowers blood glucose, HbA1c, insulin levels, insulin resistance and improves HDL levels and fasting blood glucose.

7. Magnesium

Magnesium plays a critical role in glucose metabolism, and people with diabetes frequently have low amounts. As a result, doctors hypothesised that increasing magnesium levels would improve glucose metabolism and lower blood sugar levels.

Many studies have demonstrated that taking this supplement has a little but considerable advantage. However, because there is insufficient information to make a firm recommendation, magnesium is not advised as a diabetic therapy.

Bottomline

Although there are certain things to keep in mind before beginning any new herb or supplement, consult with a healthcare expert/physician who will advise you with the appropriate dose of supplements and progressively increase it until satisfactory results are achieved.

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