Many people use probiotics to keep their health in check. Probiotic supplements, which are composed of beneficial bacteria and microbes, can help the body better manage carbohydrates. Generally, there is not much risk when taking probiotics. Even if they don't lower blood sugar levels, they are still beneficial for general consumption.
However, those with a weakened immune system should be cautious as probiotics can cause infections. A study involving people with type 2 diabetes who took 360 mg of cinnamon extract before breakfast showed a decrease of up to 14% in fasting blood sugar compared to those taking a placebo. This three-month study also showed that those who took 360 mg of cinnamon extract saw their hemoglobin A1C decrease by 0.83%. To keep the study under control, each participant took the same diabetes medication for all three months.
If you're interested in taking Ceylon cinnamon supplements, talk to your doctor first about the option that's right for you. Aloe vera may be a popular choice for sunburn relief, but it is also known to help people with diabetes lower their blood sugar levels. Aloe vera is known to interact with different medications, so it is important to consult your doctor before taking it. Additionally, if you take digoxin, the heart medication, you should avoid aloe vera.
Berberine is one of the most interesting supplements on this list. Berberine is not an herb, but is actually a compound that is extracted from the roots and stems of plants such as fellodendron. While some supplements on this list, such as probiotics, don't cause any digestive problems, berberine can cause constipation, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. Therefore, it is essential to talk to your doctor before taking berberine.
Magnesium is also used by many people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels in order. A review of eight studies showed that taking magnesium supplements for 6 to 24 weeks for people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes reduced fasting blood sugar levels. Each 50 mg increase in magnesium intake resulted in a 3% decrease in fasting blood sugar in participants who entered the study with low blood magnesium levels. Vitamin D is the last supplement on this list.
Vitamin D is extremely important for people in general. According to a study, more than 70% of participants with type 2 diabetes were vitamin D deficient at the start of the study. After two months of taking a vitamin D supplement, almost 50% of participants had an A1C that showed good blood sugar control compared to just 32% before the study. Taking up to 3 grams of American ginseng a day may help lower fasting blood sugar and blood sugar after meals.
Probiotic supplements, especially those containing more than one species of beneficial bacteria, can help lower fasting blood sugar and A1C levels. Gymnema sylvestre may lower fasting blood sugar and A1C in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, although more research is needed. Chromium may also lower blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes; however, more research is needed on this topic as well. Berberine has been shown to help lower fasting blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes; 48% of participants had an A1C that showed good blood sugar control compared to only 32% prior to the study (20).
It's important to discuss supplements with your doctor before taking them, especially if you're taking medications or insulin for diabetes as some of these supplements may interact with medications and increase the risk of your blood sugar falling too low.