Here is some basic information about supplements in diabetes. You should, however talk to your doctor, dietician about which product will suit you better. You may have a particular need for one or the other supplement depending on your health. Or you might need to avoid certain ingredient or minerals which might interfere with your medicines or health.
You need to monitor your blood glucose when changing diet or taking supplements. Let’s take a look at some basic nutrients.
- Vitamin D – is produced when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Daily exposure of 15-20 minutes is good for getting the sun shine vitamin. It helps in absorption of calcium, among various other functions. Being indoors and using sunscreen has left most of us with low levels of vitamin D. RDA for adults is 600 IU.
- Magnesium – Harvard’s Nurses’ Health Study shows, women who had more magnesium in their diets had a significantly lower likelihood of developing diabetes. Magnesium increases insulin sensitivity and may increase the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, which suggests that it may also be helpful after diabetes had been diagnosed. Foods to take – avocados , nuts, legumes, tofu, seeds, whole grains, banana, and leafy greens to name a few.
- Vitamin B12 – It is required for healthy blood cells and nerve function. Many people, particularly old generation has low vitamin B12, regardless of their diets, because their bodies are less efficient at absorbing it. This holds true for people taking Metformin for more than 3 years or acid-blocking medications. He should get tested for B12 since Studies show that these medicine causes its deficiency.Best way is to take supplements, because even fortified food does not have the amount you many need.
- Chromium – is an element that helps insulin work better, meaning that it helps the hormone escort glucose from bloodstream into your cells. That is the reason chromium is called insulin co-factor or insulin helper. It is generally present in good amount in people who eat a healthy diet. Some medical researchers believe chromium deficiency is much more prevalent, especially in people who don’t properly respond to insulin — which is a good deal of the population that’s overweight and eats a poor diet. People with diabetes and the elderly are more likely to have a chromium deficiency than otherwise healthy adults or children. Chromium deficiency leads to high blood sugar. Refined grains such as white flour are not only low in chromium, they also increase chromium loss from the body. Therefore, it is always good to have whole grains such as Ancient Emmer Wheat. Loss of mineral is also increased by the stresses of infection, exercise and pregnancy. Natural foods rich in Chromium are – broccoli, green beans, whole grains, oats, nuts and even coffee.
- Cinnamon – has been shown to improve blood sugar levels. As little as ½ teaspoon of ordinary cinnamon added to your herbal tea or apple, or food not only seems to reduce blood sugar, but also reduces cholesterol levels. This may be due to its active compounds called ‘polyphenol-polymers’ which have insulin-like action.
- Alpha-lipoic acid – sometimes called thioctic acid, is naturally produced in the body. It plays important role in the mitochondria, that provides energy to the cells. It also works as a co-factor for several enzymes related to energy metabolism.
You might have heard a lot about the many benefits of various antioxidants and high-antioxidant foods – fighting inflammation, helping beat cancer or heart disease, warding off depression and cognitive decline and so much more.
Antioxidants scavenges free radicals. We also make a small amount of ALA on their own. ALA is unique in the senses that is both water-soluble and fat-soluble, unlike other nutrients.
It seems to help improve insulin sensitivity and protect against metabolic syndrome. It helps in reliving complications and symptoms of diabetes caused by nerve damage, eye related, pain and swelling. people with peripheral neuropathy can find relief from pain, burning, itching, tingling and numbness using ALA.
Dosage recommendations differ depending on who you ask, but below are some general guidelines that are within the safe range:
50–100 milligrams for antioxidant purposes in generally healthy adults
600–800 milligrams for patients with diabetes (divided into two doses, usually tablets are 30–50 milligrams each)
600–1,800 milligrams for patients with neuropathy and diabetic neuropathy (dosages this high should only be taken with supervision from a doctor)
Other supplements that can help in Insulin Resistance and Hyperinsulinism
EPA, DHA, CLA, Fiber, Manganese, Taurine, Vitamin B7, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Zinc to name a few.
HERBS As Medicines
Herbs and spices are packed with antioxidants and vitamins. Research has shown that when eaten, they decrease inflammation and eliminate the free radicals tat hurt your cells. Herbs are perfect for healing and added benefit comes in the form of taste and zest to your meals. For millions of years we have coevolved with plants. Nature has grown herb for every illness.
* Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) – also known as Indian Ginseng, is an Indian herbs used for its calming effect. It is a natural adaptogen, helping in relieving stress levels. It lowers blood sugar levels and is good for diabetic patients. Being Night shed, it should not be taken by auto immune patients.
Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing. It has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentration.
It can boost brain function, lower blood sugar and cortisol levels, and help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression. Many of its health benefits are attributed to its high concentration of withanolides, which have been shown to fight inflammation and tumor growth. Some studies recently have shown promising effects in Corona Covid-19 virus also.
* Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) – Did you know licorice root is a widely used home-remedy for cold and cough, also helps in controlling the blood sugar level? Yes, you read it right! Licorice, apart from lot of other hormone balancing benefits, helps in controlling diabetes.
Licorice has a powerful ingredient that has anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties called amorfrutins. This helps in reversing and controlling the high sugar level in the blood. Licorice is also a good source of antioxidants and therefore helps in preventing various diabetes related diseases. According to some researches, licorice helps in controlling the constant sugar cravings.
Include it in your daily diet in the form of Herbal teas. Liquorice contains natural sugar in them, therefore it can be used a natural sweetener for various desserts or savouries or teas. All you need is to make a powder out of the root and add it to your favourite food items. Or try our herbal tea having Ashwagandha and Licorice here.
* Ocimum basilicum– Tulsi or holy Basil, this plant is known for its medicinal properties since ancient times. Modern research has proved that it has a lipid-lowering effect that is a beneficial property in preventing cardiovascular disease in diabetes.
* Zingiber officinale– Ginger is one of the most admired spices in the world. Ginger consumption can have a favourable impact on measurements of glucose and lipids in patients with diabetes. Also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
* Terminalia chebula – Commonly called as Haritaki is the king of medicinal plants, because of its holistic healing properties in illness. It decreases blood sugar by increasing insulin production from beta cells of pancreas and also prevents breakdown of starch to glucose.
* Pterocorpus marsupium– Also known as Vijaysar has been used since ancient times to control blood sugar levels and to lower cholesterol levels.
* Aegle marmelos- It regulates the production of insulin from the cells into the blood stream and low glycemic index of this, maintains the blood sugar level.