Many natural supplements can have an effect on blood sugar levels, such as niacin, DHEA, ginkgo biloba, melatonin, black or green tea, glucosamine sulfate, and high doses of fish oil or vitamin C. While some of these ingredients may intensify the effects of diabetes medications and lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), others may have the opposite effect and cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels).A study showed that when people with type 2 diabetes took 300, 600, 900, or 1200 mg of ALA along with their usual diabetes treatment for six months, fasting blood sugar and A1C decreased more as the dose increased (3). However, there is a downside for people with type 2 diabetes: their blood sugar levels can rise. The study showed that when they skipped breakfast, their blood sugar levels were higher throughout the day.The exact causes of this phenomenon are not entirely clear, but research suggests that changes in blood flow, as well as direct effects on insulin release and receptors, may explain why medications to lower blood pressure have the potential to increase blood sugar.
Additionally, a diet that is too rich in carbohydrates can contribute to high blood sugar levels. When carbohydrates are digested, they are converted into sugar (glucose).In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who took 400 mg of gymnema leaf extract daily for 18 to 20 months experienced a 29% drop in fasting blood sugar. In addition, their hemoglobin A1C level (an average of three months of blood sugar) dropped by 0.67% or 0.92%, respectively. 48% of participants had an A1C that showed good blood sugar control, compared to only 32% prior to the study (20).Unfortunately, many of the supplements marketed as “blood sugar reducers” are a waste of money.
Several over-the-counter and prescription medications, including some vitamins and supplements, can raise blood sugar. And often, many triggers for high blood sugar are out of your control or may appear stealthily.If you quickly visit the vitamin or supplement section of your local grocery store or health food store, you'll notice that there's often an entire section dedicated to blood sugar-related supplements. However, researchers are also discovering that unhealthy gums can increase blood sugar levels in the body, according to the American Dental Association. Research shows that just three days of decreased activity increases blood sugar levels in healthy people.Fortunately, there are ways to balance your blood sugar levels with supplements.
It is important to speak with your doctor before taking any supplement to ensure it is safe for you and will not interfere with any medications you may be taking.