The definition of a supplement is “something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.” And some science-backed supplements could benefit people with prediabetes or diabetes — particularly type 2 that can help lowering blood sugar.
Managing blood sugar levels is essential for diabetics. Over time, taking a supplement alongside diabetes medication may enable your doctor to decrease your medication dose – still, there are exceptions. Some may not benefit you and some supplements are comparable to pharmaceutical drugs.
But what are the best supplements to take for health? Want to find out how to lower blood sugar? Take a look at these diabetes supplements that can help you manage your glucose levels:
American ginseng, a variety grown primarily in North America, has been shown to help lower blood sugar with type 2 diabetes and upper respiratory infections. This supplement decreased post-meal blood sugar levels by 20% in both healthy individuals and diabetics, according to one study.
Additionally, when people with type 2 diabetes took 1 gram of American ginseng 40 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two months while maintaining their regular treatment, it may improve your cells’ response to and increase your body’s secretion of insulin.
To take: Take 1 gram up to two hours before each main meal — taking it sooner may cause your blood sugar to dip too low. Daily doses higher than 3 grams don’t appear to offer additional benefits.
200 mcg of Vanadium for additional glucose support. Vanadium (Vanadyl Sulfate) is a unique trace mineral.
A few studies show that in very high doses, vanadium may increase a person’s sensitivity to insulin. Evidence is not yet conclusive. Vanadium can cause side effects in high doses. It can also be toxic at very high doses.
Cinnamon supplements are either made from whole cinnamon powder or an extract. A 2011 study has shown that cinnamon, in whole form or extract, helps lower blood sugar and improves diabetes control. Using this supplement can improve the way your body’s cells respond to insulin, according to experts.
When people with prediabetes — took 250 mg of cinnamon extract before breakfast and dinner for three months, saw an 8.4% decrease in fasting blood sugar, respectively, compared to those on a placebo. Additionally, their hemoglobin A1C — a three-month average of blood sugar levels — decreased by 0.67% or 0.92%, respectively.
To take: The recommended dose of cinnamon extract is 250 mg twice a day before meals. For regular (non-extract) cinnamon supplements, 500 mg twice a day may be best.
Guggul has all of the following benefits: “Reduces lipid and cholesterol level by antagonizing steroid and lipid synthesis; Improves the natural production of insulin by protecting the beta cells of the pancreas; Reduces hypertension because it regulates lipid synthesis; Supports in the regulation of blood sugar levels and symptoms of diabetes.
A 2015 study suggests that taking aloe vera gel can help people achieve better fasting blood glucose levels and A1C in people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Also reduces body fat and weight. In a review of nine studies in people with type 2 diabetes, supplementing with aloe for 4–14 weeks decreased fasting blood sugar by 46.6 mg/dl and A1C by 1.05%.
To take: The best dose and form are unknown. Common doses tested in studies include 1,000 mg daily in capsules or 2 tablespoons (30 ml) daily of aloe juice in split doses.
Juniper Berry Powder Extract
Studies, such as a study conducted at the University of Gazi in Turkey and published in the January 2011 issue of the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” and another study conducted at Korea’s Pai Chai University and published in the January 2008 issue of the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” show that consuming juniper berries leads to a steadily decreasing blood sugar levels.
Probiotic supplements, which contain beneficial bacteria or other microbes, offer numerous health benefits and may improve your body’s handling of carbohydrates. It can help you decrease blood sugar levels. Those who took probiotics for at least two months had a 16-mg/dl decrease in fasting blood sugar and a 0.53% decrease in A1C, according to the review of seven studies in people with type 2 diabetes.
People who took probiotics containing more than one species of bacteria had an even greater decrease in fasting blood sugar of 35 mg/dl.
To take: Try a probiotic with more than one beneficial species, such as a combination of L. acidophilus, B. bifidum, and L. rhamnosus. It’s unknown whether there’s an ideal mix of microbes for diabetes.
Vitamin D deficiency is considered a potential risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Taking the appropriate supplements may help lower that risk. In one study, 72% of participants with type 2 diabetes were deficient in vitamin D at the start of the study. After two months of taking a 4,500-IU supplement of vitamin D daily, both fasting blood sugar and A1C improved.
It may also improve the way your pancreas functions, as well as the body’s responses to insulin.
To take: Ask your doctor for a vitamin D blood test to determine the best dose for you. The active form is D3 or cholecalciferol, so look for this name on supplement bottles.
Has been shown to reduce the destructive effects of erratic blood sugars — or “glycosylation” of proteins.
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a potent antioxidant and a vitamin-like compound produced in your liver and found in some foods, such as spinach, broccoli, and red meat.
Some studies suggest it may reduce oxidative stress, lower fasting blood sugar levels, and decrease insulin resistance.
When people with type 2 diabetes took 300, 600, 900, or 1,200 mg of ALA alongside their usual diabetes treatment for six months, fasting blood sugar and A1C decreased more as the dose increased.
However, more research is needed. Furthermore, ALA needs to be taken with caution, as it has the potential to lower blood sugar levels to dangerous levels.
To take: Doses are generally 600–1,200 mg daily, taken in divided doses before meals.
White Mulberry Leaf
The powdered leaves of white mulberry lower blood sugar in people who have type 2 diabetes. In studies taking 1 gram of the powdered leaf three times a day for 4 weeks decreased fasting blood sugar levels by 27%, compared with an 8% decrease with the diabetes medicine glyburide, 5 mg daily.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient. It helps regulate blood sugar, among its many benefits. Researchers have found a link between higher magnesium intake, lower rates of insulin resistance, and diabetes. In a systematic review, eight of 12 studies indicated that giving magnesium supplements for 6–24 weeks to healthy people or those with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes helped reduce fasting blood sugar levels, compared to a placebo.
Furthermore, each 50-mg increase in magnesium intake produced a 3% decrease in fasting blood sugar in those who entered the studies with low blood magnesium levels.
To take: Doses provided to people with diabetes are typically 250–350 mg daily. Be sure to take magnesium with a meal to improve absorption.
Manganese — as (Amino Acid Chelate)
Assists in producing pancreatic enzymes the body needs… and to ensure the pancreas can function efficiently and support blood sugar regulation.
Gymnema may be effective due to its ability to increase insulin secretion, according to a review in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. This, in turn, helps lower blood sugar levels. People with type 2 diabetes taking 400 mg of Gymnema leaf extract daily for 18–20 months experienced a 29% decrease in fasting blood sugar. A1C decreased from 11.9% at the start of the study to 8.48%, in one study. Gymnema also appeared to increase glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.
To take: The suggested dose is 200 mg of Gymnema Sylvestre leaf extract twice a day with meals.
One Last Thought About Supplements
Many supplements — including cinnamon, White Mulberry Leaf, vitamin D, magnesium, and Guggul help lower blood sugar. A good diet and regular exercise are also very important.
The above supplements aid people who want a natural health boost. A lot of them are hard to find and knowing the correct doses are also important. One product we recommend is Blood Sugar Blaster. It packs 20 blood sugar-lowering herbs and spices into one capsule that you take twice daily. It’s fast, easy and we have heard many people have great results.