There’s no doubt that diet and exercise need to be at the top of your list for managing your diabetes.
But your efforts don’t need to end there. You can also use science-backed supplements to help give you the edge in your battle against rising blood sugar and its impact on your health.
In fact, every type-2 diabetic should consider taking the following five supplements…
1. Alpha-lipoic acid:
A classic symptom of diabetes is neuropathies, or the pain in your hands and feet caused by diabetic nerve damage. But it turns out there’s a supplement that may be able to help with that.
Experts say the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid, or ALA, could help control the free-radical damage that’s caused by skyrocketing blood sugar levels. And that, in turn, can head off some of the nerve damage that causes the pain.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center ALA can help improve insulin sensitivity, and may even help protect your vital organs from diabetic damage. The key is to start taking ALA early, even before the nerve pain begins if possible. Since new research has revealed that ALA often becomes less effective as the damage and pain get worse.
Don’t save cinnamon just for the holidays. It turns out this delicious spice could help you naturally manage your blood sugar. Researchers say compounds in cinnamon could stimulate the insulin receptors on your cells, helping your body use insulin more efficiently.
The University of California-Davis reports that one half to one teaspoon of cinnamon per day successfully lowered fasting blood sugar levels by nine percent in a group of folks with diabetes. And in another study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, researchers found that even once volunteers stopped taking the cinnamon it kept working for weeks, tamping down blood sugar levels for nearly a month.
3. Fish oil:
If you’re diabetic you are at a higher risk for having a heart attack. Which means it just makes good sense to do everything you can to protect your heart, and lower your risk.
This is where the omega-3s in fish oil can come in handy. While everyone can benefit from fish oil’s heart-healthy properties, diabetics can get some very specific benefits from a daily dose.
A meta-analysis of eighteen different studies found that fish oil helped lower potentially dangerous triglyceride levels by significant amounts for diabetics. And in another analysis performed by the Harvard School of Public Health researchers found evidence that fish oil may help boost a hormone linked to better insulin sensitivity.
Because of heart and circulation issues folks with diabetes often find themselves battling high blood pressure too.
But medications designed to treat hypertension often cause another unwanted side effect, low magnesium levels. Which, ironically, can interfere with your body’s ability to use insulin effectively, driving your blood sugar level up even further.
But if you’re not taking high blood pressure meds don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re off the hook. Experts estimate that up to 80 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough of this essential mineral to begin with.
5. Vitamin D:
Researchers tell us that folks who develop diabetes often have low vitamin D levels. Plus links between low vitamin D and insulin resistance in diabetics have been uncovered.
More research needs to be done to figure out why D and insulin are linked, but scientists already have an idea. The sunshine vitamin is an essential part of how your body processes calcium, a key component of insulin regulation. So raising your D levels could help you gain better control over your blood sugar.
If you want to do a bit more to help manage your diabetes besides diet and exercise these diabetes supplements could do the trick.
Set up an appointment with your doc to talk about which ones might be right for you. And a simple blood test can tell you whether or not your magnesium or vitamin D levels need topping off.