Diabetes is a serious health problem across the globe. even if one only takes the United States as an example of just how much of a health challenge diabetes represents the statistics are alarming, to say the least.
In 2018, approximately 34.2 million Americans had diabetes. The statistics for the previous year indicated that 270,702 death certificates were issued citing diabetes as the primary cause of death. The frightening thing is that our modern lifestyle and eating habits are contributing to the growing number of people suffering from diabetes.
Those who suffer from diabetes are continually searching for ways in which they can control their conditions above and beyond the commonly used injections of insulin which control blood glucose levels.
Many turn to supplements and the good news is that many of these supplements have been shown to improve the quality of life and the health of those who suffer from diabetes. Those that contain Chromium and Magnesium have been subject to study.
Chromium can help the body use glucose more effectively (but is of dubious use unless the sufferer lives in an area where chromium deficiency is common) and magnesium can help control blood sugar levels.
There are also supplements that contain vitamin D or psyllium, both of which have shown promise in helping to control diabetes. However, the use of supplements to help control diabetes is not without its challenges.
First, let’s take a closer look at some of the components that are found in the best diabetic supplements on the market today.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
First, there are Omega 3 fatty acids. these can be found to occur naturally in fatty fish such as salmon, Trout and Sardines. They help with heart health – which can be a problem for those with diabetes (cardiovascular disease is a problem for diabetics). Omega 3s reduce inflammation and increase the regularity of the heartbeat, as well as prevent arterial clogging. Omega 3 also improves insulin sensitivity.
Magnesium is found in a variety of supplements. It can be beneficial to those suffering from diabetes as research suggests that one in four diabetics suffer from low magnesium levels. Low magnesium levels can adversely affect the body’s ability to use insulin effectively. This is a problem for many diabetics who are on diuretics which leads to the body excreting insulin.
Psyllium contains soluble fiber that can slow the rise of blood sugar levels immediately after a meal. It also improves bowel function. It is often found in supplements aimed at helping to control blood sugar levels.
A common symptom of diabetes is pain at the extremities, including fingers, toes and feet due to nerve damage. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant supplement that reduces nerve sensitivity by neutralizing the effects of ‘free radicals’ which are found in cases of patients with high levels of blood sugar.
Other Supplements Needing More Research
There are other supplements that may help control blood sugar levels but the benefits are either marginal or require far more research. Examples include Fenugreek, Chromium and Bitter Melon (which can be dangerous if consumed in large amounts, causing gastrointestinal problems and allergic reactions).
Finding the best diabetic supplements may provide sufferers with some benefits but these should be paired with scientifically proven treatments and to consult a physician prior to taking them. Ensure that the supplements you are taking will not interfere with other medication (an example being St John’s Wort – which has many drug interactions).