Finding ways to lower your blood sugar is a vital part of managing your diabetes. There are many different solutions out there that, when coupled together, can create a successful diabetes management plan for you. And you can peruse the internet and find supplements to lower blood sugar or any number of tips, tricks, and things people swear by, but it’s not always a one-size-fits-all approach. However, everyone is different, and there is no tried-and-true formula for how to lower blood sugar at any given time.
Instead, you should try a few different solutions to see what works best. Also, you should always speak with your doctor or dietitian about what you should try. They are the best person to go to for advice and suggestions on how to create the perfect diabetes management plan for you.
For many people with diabetes, supplements that help lower their blood sugar are one solution that they rely on. Today we’re focusing on six supplements that have been known to help people with diabetes lower their blood glucose levels—some of which may surprise you.
Many people use probiotics to keep their health in check. In particular, probiotic supplements—which are made up of beneficial bacteria and microbes—can improve the body’s handling of carbohydrates.
But, probiotics have also been shown to help people with diabetes manage their disease. For example, one particular study involves having people with diabetes take probiotics for two months. This resulted in an average of a 16-mg/dl decrease in fasting blood sugar and a .53% decrease in A1c compared to participants who were given a placebo.
In general, there isn’t much of a risk in taking probiotics. Even if it doesn’t lower your blood sugar levels, probiotics are healthy for general consumption. However, if you have a significantly impaired immune system, probiotics can lead to infections.
We’re guessing cinnamon supplements isn’t something you’d expect to see on this list. However, there are plenty of studies out there that show just how good cinnamon can be for keeping blood sugar levels in check.
One study that involved people with type 2 diabetes taking 360 mg of cinnamon extract before breakfast saw up to a 14% decrease in fasting blood sugar—this compared with participants who were taking a placebo. This three-month study also showed that those who took 360 mg of cinnamon extract saw their hemoglobin A1C decreased by .92%. To keep the study controlled, each participant took the same diabetes drug during the three months.
If you’re interested in taking Ceylon cinnamon supplements, speak with your doctor first about which option is right for you.
Aloe vera may be a popular choice for folks dealing with sunburns, but it is also known for helping people with diabetes lower their blood sugar.
In a review of nine separate studies involving people with type 2 diabetes, supplementing aloe for 4-14 weeks decreased fasting blood sugar by roughly 47 mg/dl and A1c by 1.05%.
Aloe has been known to interact with different medications, so speak with your doctor about whether or not aloe vera is right for you. In addition, if you take digoxin—the hearth medicine—then aloe vera should be avoided.
Berberine is one of the more interesting supplements on this list. Berberine isn’t an herb but is actually a compound taken from the roots and stems of plants like Phellodendron.
But, is it a reliable way to manage blood sugar levels? Studies show that yes, it is!
A review of twenty-seven different studies involving type 2 participants say that berberine can help with fasting blood sugar levels. Compared to those with the placebo, participants saw their blood sugar levels drop by 15.5 mg/dl and their A1c by just over .70%.
Whereas some supplements on this list—like probiotics—won’t cause any digestive issues, berberine may cause constipation, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. Therefore, it’s essential that you speak with your doctor prior to taking berberine. Your doctor will advise you on whether or not it’s a good fit for you, as well as what dose to start at.
Magnesium is also used by a fair amount of people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels in order.
A review of eight studies showed that taking magnesium supplements for 6-24 weeks for people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes led to reduced fasting blood sugar.
Each 50-mg increase in magnesium intake produced a 3% decrease in fasting blood sugar for participants that entered the study with low blood magnesium levels.
Not to sound like a broken record, but once again, check with your doctor about if magnesium supplements are right for you. Magnesium supplements have been known to interact negatively with diuretics and antibiotics, among other medications.
Vitamin D is the last supplement on this list. In fact, vitamin D is extremely important for people in general.
According to one study, over 70% of participants with type 2 diabetes were deficient in vitamin D at the start of the study. After two months of taking a vitamin D supplement, nearly 50% of participants had an Ac1 that showed good blood sugar control. Compare this to just 32% prior to the study.
As you can see, supplements can be a great way to control blood sugar levels. Just make sure you use them carefully and with your doctor’s consent.