Irrespective of what medical establishments think about nutritional supplements, over half of all American, Australian and English people take supplements. Many people with type 2 diabetes are now being cared for by health care practitioners who prescribe nutritional supplements and other alternate therapies to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Many type 2 diabetics who have avoided debilitating complications of diabetes have been conscientious about taking vitamin and mineral supplements.
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As diabetes is a disease of nutritional wasting brought on by excessive urination, glucose along with other water-soluble nutrients are not reabsorbed by your body, they are passed out through your urine. It has been stated these nutritional losses are then a significant contributor to diabetic complications ... many diabetics have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. In a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that type 1 diabetics generally had deficiencies in:
- calcium and vitamin D
Many were also low in B6 and B12. However, some vitamins and herbs have specific effects on glucose metabolism and include:
1. Lipoic acid which is also known as alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an exceptionally powerful and versatile anti-oxidant; it is both water and fat soluble which means it can enter almost all areas of your cells to neutralize free radicals. Several studies have revealed ALA has been demonstrated to improve insulin sensitivity and to also protect against diabetic complications. Several studies, in fact fifteen trials, claim that lipoic acid fights peripheral neuropathy... a very common condition found in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Peripheral neuropathy can cause itching, pain and numbness in your fingertips and toes, and a burning sensation. In fact, in Germany where many of the trials were carried out, ALA is the preferred treatment for peripheral neuropathy. Lipoic acid may also be helpful in protecting against diabetes induced damage to your eyes, it offers protection to both the lens and the retina.
2. Garlic contains oils which have been found to contain several benefits. As well as adding to the body's immune response, garlic aids in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and normalizes blood sugar levels. It has also been known to improve the effects of blood sugar control. Some people make up a garlic cocktail using one clove of garlic but garlic supplements are another option.
3. Gymnema sylvestre is one of the most powerful herbal agents for lowering blood sugar levels. It not only has a diabetic effect it also works on several fronts, and indicators show it is able to lower serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Human studies have shown gymnema sylvestre has therapeutic value for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes ... one study showed reductions in fasting blood sugar levels averaging 23 per cent, these participants were then able to reduce their insulin dose by an average of 25 per cent.
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It is always wise to be under the supervision of your health care practitioner who can help you with fine tuning your diet, supplements and lifestyle in order to normalize your blood sugar levels.
If you would like to download a free copy of my E-Book, click here now: Answers to Your Questions ... it's based on questions diabetics have asked me in recent months.
Beverleigh Piepers is a registered nurse who would like to help you understand how to live easily and happily with your type 2 diabetes.
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