A healthy diet, exercise, and certain medication are the main steps in treating diabetes. Along with these treatments, diabetics have tried numerous herbs and supplements to improve their diabetes. Many of these supplements have shown to help control blood sugar levels, reduce resistance to insulin, and prevent diabetes-related complications. Here is a number of herbs and supplements to control your diabetes.
1. Fenugreek: According to many studies, these seeds that are usually used in cooking and home remedies, have been found to lower blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce high cholesterol. A recent study found that daily supplementation of fenugreek over three years significantly reduced the number of people who developed diabetes during the study. In one of the largest studies on fenugreek, 60 people who took 25 grams daily showed significant improvements in blood sugar control and post-meal spikes.
2. Berberine: It is a supplement derived from plants and there are many studies on its anti-diabetic effects. Through a variety of mechanisms, berberine may help improve blood lipid levels, lower inflammation, and lower blood sugar. In one three-month study of 36 patients, berberine supplements were nearly as effective as metformin – a diabetes medication that helps control blood sugar levels. The problem about berberine is being very poorly absorbed, meaning the dosage is usually rather high. In one study, up to 34.5% of patients experienced side effects, including diarrhea, flatulence, and stomach pain.
3. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA): It is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes many types of free radicals. A build-up of free radicals, caused in part by high blood sugar, can lead to nerve damage and other problems. In a German study, a team of scientists had 40 adults take either an ALA supplement or a placebo. At the end of the four-week study, the ALA group had improved their insulin sensitivity 27 percent. The placebo group showed no improvement. Other studies have shown a decrease in nerve pain, numbness, and burning.
4. Bitter Melon: Bitter melon is thought to help cells use glucose more effectively and block sugar absorption in the intestine. It is more used in countries like Asia, South America, and others. Philippine researchers had men and women take bitter melon in capsule form for three months, they had slight, yet consistently, lower blood sugar than those taking a placebo. But it can cause Gastrointestinal problems.