Please Note: I am not dispensing medical advice in this post, or on this blog. You must consult with your own physician on any matters regarding type-2 Diabetes or any other medical condition. DO NOT take any supplement without first consulting your doctor.
The world of nutritional supplements is a vast ocean of (often conflicting) information and, if you’re anything like me, it has been rather confusing.
I haven’t been much of a supplement taker over the majority of my life. Of course I took the requisite prenatal vitamins during pregnancy and lactation and over the last ten years or so experimented with many of the fads that came along in the supplemental world, often trying what was working for someone I knew, all with very limited success. I knew that as a celiac the B-vitamin group was important and that a good multi-vitamin was important but really, all the others I tried really didn’t have a significant impact. I sort of felt that if it didn’t come from the food you ate, then maybe you didn’t need it.
Until I was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes that is. One of the characteristics of the disease (and of women in my age group) is a vitamin D deficiency. As part of the intake panel my doctor ordered, she tested for this and—low and behold!—I was discovered to have the D deficiency, which I found to be totally ironic, considering I had just spent seven-and-a-half years living in the Hawaiian Islands where exposure to sunlight is never an issue. But D deficient I was, and so I was prescribed a D supplement.
My research showed that vitamin D should be taken with a calcium supplement, and a calcium supplement should be taken with a magnesium supplement, so I found a high-quality one that had the right amounts of all three for daily use.
Another common symptom shared by type-2 diabetics is a reversal of good and bad cholesterol. Your bad cholesterol is high and your good low. That is often corrected with a reversal of the disease, but another supplement that helps with that is fish oil, high in Omega 3 fats, especially wild salmon oil, so I began taking that daily as well.
High/reversed cholesterol and vitamin D deficiency are just a couple of the (often many) side symptoms of type 2 that can be reversed through diet changes and supplementation. Along with diet change, these two supplements, plus a number of others really did make a difference in how I felt—my energy increased and a host of many other small complaints disappeared and all my numbers are now where they should be.
Nutritional supplements, the correct ones, can be a vital support to the success of your journey to reverse type 2 diabetes, and any journey would be incomplete without a discussion about nutritional supplements to aid diabetes reversal. If you have type 2 and you want to reverse the disease, you are going to have to take nutritional supplements.
Again, before you start taking supplements, you should discuss them with your doctor especially in relation to reactions with other prescription medications you might currently be taking, for any condition.
After reading several books (which I will include in the “Resources” section at the end of this book), and more hours of (reliable, factual, verifiable) information on the Internet than I can take the time to put here, these are the supplements I have found most helpful and effective in my own diabetes reversal lifestyle and that I take on a daily basis:
Cinnamon Oil Extract (Cinsulin from Costco)
Alpha Lipoic Acid 600 mg
Calcium/Magnesium/vitamin D (prescribed)
Wild Salmon Oil (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
Daily, women’s multi-vitamin
Here is a discussion of the five most important ones in reversing type 2 diabetes. Since most physicians, mind included, are not usually aware of the nutritional supplements that effectively lower blood sugar, you are, like I did, most likely going to educate and make him or her that you are taking supplements for diabetes. The dietary, weight loss, and exercise changes you are making as well, as the supplements, will significantly lower your blood sugar, and your diabetic medication dosages (if you are taking them) will need to be lowered accordingly.
A comprehensive multi-vitamin is the foundation for a complete supplementation regimen. It should have a formulation of adequate magnesium, vanadium, biotin, B vitamins plus macro minerals and trace minerals. (See Resources section for more information).
Cinnamon Oil Extract.
Fasting blood sugar levels of type 2 who used cinnamon oil extract in a 2003 controlled study were reduced by 18 to 29 percent.
When I first read about taking cinnamon oil extract, I wondered why I couldn’t just eat more cinnamon to lower my blood sugar. Whole cinnamon contains oils that build up as toxins in the body and cause allergic reactions that cinnamon extract does not contain. To get the results found in cinnamon oil extract, you would have to consume 2 TABLEspoons of cinnamon a day. That is a lot. So while having a little more cinnamon on a daily basis, eating more than a normal serving of whole cinnamon daily will cause you more trouble than help.
Chromium is a mineral required for the normal metabolism of sugar, carbs, protein and fats. Insulin does not function properly without chromium to assist it. It occurs in tiny amounts in foods, but most people with type-2 diabetes are deficient in chromium (this aggravates the condition), as are most people who eat the standard American diet which actually depletes the body of chromium.
Alpha Lipoic Acid.
Alpha Lipoic Acid decreases insulin resistance in overweight adults suffering from type 2 diabetes, and relieves several other components of metabolic syndrome, and promote weight loss. In Europe it has been used for decades to treat diabetic neuropathy with great results.
As I said, I was found to be vitamin D deficient in the same round of tests that determined I had type 2 diabetes. I have since learned that vitamin D deficiency and type 2 diabetes are linked. Research is showing that adequate amounts of vitamin D may prevent or delay the onset of diabetes, decrease complications for those with a diabetes diagnosis, and prevent glucose intolerance. It also helps with insulin secretion and helping prevent insulin resistance, decreases blood sugar and increases sensitivity to insulin, which make the insulin you do produce more effective.
More information on supplements will be included in the “Resources” section.
One final thought:
Please remember there are no pills or supplements that are miracle cures or magic bullets. Supplements are just that, a nutritional product that assists your healthy eating and lifestyle changes in reversing diabetes, but should not be relied upon to do, or replace, the work that only you, making these changes, can do.