While changing your diet or incorporating more exercise can help control high blood sugar levels, there are also many supplements that can help. Common examples include vitamin D, cinnamon and magnesium, among others. Similarly, another review noted that aloe vera is particularly useful for lowering blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes. As in the other study, the authors concluded that more research and clinical trials are needed to investigate the benefits of oral aloe vera.
Interest in aloe vera as a treatment for blood sugar in people with diabetes has been on researchers' radar for a long time, with a study conducted in 1996 on the effectiveness of aloe vera juice. The authors examined the impact of drinking one tablespoon of juice twice a day for at least two weeks on people with diabetes. They found that triglyceride levels in the treated group decreased, but as in other reports, they suggested that more research is needed. Aloe vera comes in the form of juice that is ingested by mouth.
It can also come in a topical gel that is applied to the skin and is even found in shampoos and soaps, but the oral form is what has been studied as a way to regulate blood sugar. Oral aloe vera has been shown to cause diarrhea, hives and cramps. Aloe latex (the outer leaf) contains compounds that stimulate laxatives. When consuming aloe orally, it is best to choose products made only with the inner part of the leaf or fillet, to avoid any laxative effect.
This designation must be clearly indicated on the product label. It may also exacerbate the side effects of sevoflurane, an anesthetic, which can cause excessive bleeding during surgery. Consult your healthcare provider and mention that you are using aloe vera juice before undergoing surgery. Research has shown that aloe vera extracts can cause intestinal cancer.
In recent years, aloe vera whole leaf extract has been classified as a “possible human carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions about aloe vera or any other supplement before using it. Cinnamon is made from the bark of the cinnamon tree and is an extract or powder of whole cinnamon in its supplement form. The research examined the impact of three daily doses of 500 milligrams (mg) of cinnamon for 12 weeks, and surveyed 54 participants.
All had prediabetes, 27 received the supplement and the rest received a placebo. People who received the placebo had a higher blood sugar level after a period of overnight fasting, while levels remained stable in people who took the supplement. Those who received cinnamon also had an improved ability to metabolize sugar. Another study gave people with prediabetes 250 mg of cinnamon extract.
They consumed their doses before breakfast and dinner for three months and reported an 8.4% decrease in fasting blood sugar levels compared to those receiving placebo. One study cites that the recommended dose of cinnamon extract is 250 mg twice daily before each meal. Cinnamon-based supplements without extract have a recommended dose of 500 mg twice daily. Cassia cinnamon is the most studied and may have blood sugar control effects.
On the other hand, Ceylon cinnamon has not been shown to have the same effect. An easy way to integrate cinnamon into your diet is to sprinkle it on oats or cereal, or add it to the kitchen, using about half a teaspoon per day. Some types of cinnamon may contain the compound coumarin, which can adversely affect liver function in people who have liver disease. Vitamin D is another supplement that can help control blood sugar.
Talk to your doctor about the best dose of vitamin D for you before using it. It is recommended that you adopt a nutritious and complete diet to ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs. Some health risks are associated with excessive consumption of vitamin D. Because this vitamin increases the body's absorption of calcium in the gastrointestinal tract, too much vitamin D can cause hypercalcemia.
In addition, too much vitamin D can lead to kidney failure, but only in extreme cases. It can also cause calcification of soft tissues, such as heart valves, leading to irregular heartbeats and even death. Magnesium is a common mineral that plays a central role in regulating blood pressure, muscle function, heart rate and blood sugar levels. In general, diets with higher amounts of magnesium are linked to a lower risk of diabetes, suggesting that it plays a role in glucose metabolism.
Magnesium supplements come in different forms; some include magnesium oxide and citrate, as well as chloride. It is recommended to take magnesium with a meal every day for better absorption. Magnesium supplements can interact with medications, including antibiotics and diuretics; check with your healthcare provider and give them a list of medications you are currently taking to avoid any interactions. Bitter melon, or Momordica charantia, is a fruit that has been used for medicinal purposes in Chinese and Indian medicine for centuries.
It is often used as an herbal remedy for diabetes because it contains active antidiabetic substances that are said to lower blood glucose levels. Bitter melon can be eaten as a whole fruit or squeezed into a juice, or its seeds can be crushed into powder for consumption; bitter melon extract is also sold as an herbal supplement. For those considering using bitter melon as a supplement to lower blood glucose levels, limit the amount you eat or take, as consuming too much of it can cause diarrhea and mild abdominal pain; there may be a risk of hypoglycemia or extremely low blood sugar levels if taken with insulin; a case report suggests that the use of bitter melon could cause paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, in which a rapid heartbeat starts suddenly and goes away on its own within seven days. Gymnema sylvestre is another herb used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine for its potential antidiabetic properties; it has been studied for its ability to reduce blood sugar.
Gymnema sylvestre extract has been found to reduce fasting blood glucose levels by up to 20%, reduce postprandial glucose levels by up to 25%, reduce glycosylated hemoglobin levels by up to 20%, reduce total cholesterol levels by up to 25%, reduce triglyceride levels by up to 30%, reduce LDL cholesterol levels by up to 25%, reduce VLDL cholesterol levels by up to 30%, reduce total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio by up to 25%, reduce LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio by up to 25%, reduce triglyceride/HDL cholesterol ratio by up to 30%, increase HDL cholesterol levels by up to 20% and increase insulin secretion from pancreatic cells by up to 50%. In conclusion, there are many vitamins and supplements available that may help control blood sugar. Vitamin D, cinnamon and magnesium are some common examples; however, more research is needed before they can be recommended as treatments for diabetes or prediabetes. Aloe vera juice has been studied as well; however it should be taken with caution due its potential side effects such as diarrhea and cramps.
Bitter melon extract may also help lower blood glucose levels; however it should be taken with caution due its potential side effects such as hypoglycemia. Gymnema sylvestre extract has been found to have many potential benefits when it comes to controlling blood glucose levels.