NYBC has prepared an updated version of its info sheet on the topic of supplements that have been studied for diabetes or insulin resistance. Here’s the text below:
SUPPLEMENTS STUDIED FOR DIABETES/INSULIN RESISTANCE
Multivitamin/multimineral: Regular use of a multivitamin/multimineral supplement helps people with diabetes maintain good health and reduce infections. Clinical evidence indicates that diabetics have unique nutritional needs, and should take a daily multivitamin to supplement their normal diet.
Reference: Barringer, et al. Effect of a Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement on Infection and Quality of Life. Annals of Internal Medicine. 3/4/2003.
Omega-3 fatty acids (Fish Oil): Many people with diabetes have high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Omega-3 fatty acids have shown benefit for cardiovascular health in recent randomized controlled clinical trials. The FDA has also approved a health claim for fish oil: “supporting but not conclusive evidence shows that the consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”
Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) has the ability to assist with glucose metabolism, and also promotes healthy nerve function. A recent study concluded that ALA (600mg) could be useful in helping to treat the symptoms of diabetes-related neuropathy (= generally, pain, tingling, numbness in feet and hands).
Note: NYBC stocks ALA (Montiff) 300mg/60.
Reference: Ametov et al. The sensory symptoms of diabetic polyneuropathy are improved with alpha-lipoic acid: The SYDNEY Trial. Diabetes Care. 2003, 26 (3)
Other supplements studied for diabetes: Chromium and biotin (these two supplements, taken together, are believed to play an active role in balancing insulin production with glucose uptake). Also: evening primrose oil, resveratrol, bitter melon.
Talk to your doctor before you use these or other supplements. Do not discontinue medications you are taking for diabetes/glucose control without first discussing with your healthcare provider any complementary treatments you are considering!