Type 2 diabetes: These three supplements could help lower blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes means a person’s pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels. Unchecked blood sugar levels can heighten the risk of developing potentially deadly complications, such as heart disease. Long-term health problems could also arise from high blood sugar and the eyes, feet, nerves, and kidneys could all be affected. Some experts believe certain supplements can compensate for a person’s poor insulin production and help to manage blood sugar levels. What are the best supplements to take to help lower blood sugar levels?

Cinnamon

Research has suggested that cinnamon can help improve one’s blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity.

Results from a clinical study published in the Diabetes Care journal in 2003 suggest that cinnamon improves blood glucose and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, and may reduce risk factors associated with diabetes.

Another study reported that just 1 g of cinnamon per day can increase insulin sensitive and help manage or reverse type 2 diabetes.

Chromium

Chromium picolinate is a form of the mineral chromium that can be found in supplements.

Several studies have indicated that taking chromium supplements can improve blood sugar and insulin while improving the body’s response to insulin. 

Quercetin is a flavonoid, a natural chemical found in plants that has been shown to have a wide number of health benefits

Holland and Barrett

Other research has shown that those with higher blood sugar and lower insulin sensitivity may respond better to chromium supplements.

Additionally, in a large study of over 62,000 adults, the likelihood of having diabetes was 27 per cent lower in those who took dietary supplements containing chromium.

Quercetin

A 2019 review of studies, published in Phytopherapy Research, found taking 500mg or more of quercetin daily for at least eight weeks reduced blood glucose levels in people with metabolic syndrome, who have an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Holland & Barrett explains what quercetin is: “Quercetin is a flavonoid, a natural chemical found in plants that has been shown to have a wide number of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, relieving allergy symptoms, and preventing infection.”

Quercetin is available as a supplement but can also be found in a number of foods, including:

  • Onions
  • Citrus fruits
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Red grapes
  • Berries

Scientists are testing many different supplements to determine if they help lower blood sugar.

Such supplements could benefit people with pre diabetes or diabetes – particularly type 2. Over time, taking a supplement alongside diabetes medication may enable your GP to decrease your medication dose, though supplements likely can’t replace medication entirely.

It’s important to speak with your GP before embarking on new supplements to lower blood sugar.

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