Surprising Supplements to Manage Diabetes

IMG_1382As a young child it was very common to see loved ones on both sides of my family pricking their fingers, taking insulin, and watching their carbohydrate and sugar intake. Since diabetes is very prevalent in my family, it naturally sparked my interest of ways I would not become another family statistic.

Now that I am more aware of the connection between nutrition and diabetes, finding ways to control glucose levels and health risks has become a priority.

Current research shows taking certain supplements may lower the risk of developing diabetes and also help manage the symptoms if you already have it.

Research is clear that supplements like vitamin D and omega 3 fats help lower insulin resistance and inflammation but other nutrients maybe as or more helpful in controlling diabetes symptoms and risks.

Alpha-Lipoic acid

Alpha-Lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that can lower blood glucose by improving insulin sensitivity. It has also been shown to assist with neuropathy pain by helping to restore diabetic nerve function.

Studies show ALA significantly decreased fasting (before eating) blood glucose and post meal glucose levels though lowering insulin resistance.

Other studies have shown that ALA helped significantly with symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.

Dosages range from 100-600 mg. per day.

Inositol

Inositol is a naturally occurring vitamin-like substance found in many plants. It has been proven in various studies to improve insulin resistance in women with gestational diabetes to lower blood glucose levels.

One study in particular found that after treatment with inositol, both weight and insulin resistance decreased to  control blood glucose levels.

Recommended dosages range from 4000-10,000 mg., and can be spread throughout the day.

N-Acetylcysteine

N-Acetylcystine (NAC) is both an amino acid and an antioxidant that has been found to reduce inflammation, cholesterol, and insulin levels.

Several studies showed NAC lowered insulin resistance, which helped with lower levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and weight.  Recommended intake is 600-1200 mg. per day.

In addition to a balanced diet with protein at each meal, healthy sources of fat and moderate carbohydrate intake, these 3 supplements are helpful additions to lowering insulin resistance.  Treatment and prevention of diabetes is challenging enough in itself.  A few helps may tip the scales towards improved blood glucose control.

While we can’t change our genes or what we are predisposed to, we can take steps to lower our risk of becoming another diabetic statistic.

This blog was co-written by Susan Dopart and RD intern Jessayra Tarrio