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Dietary Supplements to Help Maintain Glucose and Insulin Levels for Type 2 Diabetes

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 3/31/2011

Are you looking for supplements for glucose levels? Here we will list and discuss dietary supplements for insulin resistance and glucose levels.

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    Millions of Americans are affected by diabetes, a chronic condition. Lifestyle changes and medications are the most common conventional treatments, but some patients like to try a more natural approach. There are several different supplements for glucose levels, but before trying them make sure to talk to a medical doctor.

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    B and C Vitamins

    Some diabetes patients may have vitamin B6 levels that are not high enough. Some studies have shown that getting this vitamin at a good level helps to lower glucose levels. There is some evidence to show that vitamins B12, B3 and B1 may also be helpful.

    Many doctors are recommending that their diabetes patients take one to three grams of vitamin C everyday. A few studies suggest it may help in lowering sorbitol and improving glucose intolerance.

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    Magnesium

    Some research suggests that a diet high in this mineral may lower diabetes risk. Type 2 diabetes patients have been shown to have low magnesium levels and there is said to be a strong link between insulin resistance and low magnesium. Many doctors are recommending that diabetic patients take 200 to 600 milligrams per day as long as kidney function is normal.

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    Chromium

    Chromium is often touted as one of the best supplements for glucose levels and there is some research to back up its ability to improve insulin function in type 2 diabetics. Chromium can be found in certain foods, but only in small amounts so patients will have to take a supplement to get adequate amounts. It can interact with medications though so it can only be taken under close doctor supervision.

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    Polyphenols

    These are antioxidants present in certain products, such as dark chocolate and tea. Laboratory studies show that those found in green tea may have positive effects on insulin activity and glucose.

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    Alpha-Lipoic Acid

    ALA is a powerful antioxidant present in a variety of foods, such as spinach and liver and it is known for its effects on glucose metabolism. Supplementing 600 milligrams a day, at least, for a type 2 diabetic has been shown to slow kidney damage and improve insulin sensitivity.

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    Fatty Acids

    Fish oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. In type 2 diabetics, they are shown to lower triglyceride levels. There is also some evidence to show they may reduce inflammation and protect from heart disease. More research is needed to see if they are capable of reducing heart disease risk and cholesterol levels for type 2 diabetes patients.

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    Resources

    National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2011). Diabetes. Retrieved on March 29, 2011 from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/diabetes/

    Holistic Online. (2007). Nutritional Supplements for Diabetes. Retrieved on March 29, 2011 from Holistic Online: http://www.holisticonline.com/remedies/diabetes/diabetes_vitamins-and-supplements.htm

    WebMD. (2010). Diabetes and Dietary Supplements. Retrieved on March 29, 2011 from WebMD: http://diabetes.webmd.com/diabetes-dietary-supplements