Keeping an Eye on Your Levels
Blood glucose, commonly referred to as blood sugar, is the amount of sugar circulating in your bloodstream. While it’s a vital source of energy for your cells, too much or too little can cause serious health issues.
If you suffer from diabetes, you may have trouble regulating your blood sugar levels, which can lead to complications such as nerve damage, heart disease, kidney failure and vision loss. Luckily, there are a variety of natural remedies, including supplements that can help you control your blood sugar levels and manage your diabetes more effectively.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most popular natural supplements for controlling blood sugar levels, including cinnamon, aloe vera, lipoic acid, berberine and American ginseng.
Natural Remedies for Blood Sugar
Cinnamon is a spice derived from the bark of several species of Cinnamomum trees that has been used for centuries for not only its flavor but also for its medicinal properties. Cinnamon contains various compounds, including cinnamaldehyde and polyphenols, that may have beneficial effects on blood sugar control.
Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar levels and improve diabetes management by increasing insulin secretion, enhancing insulin sensitivity, reducing carbohydrate absorption and preventing oxidative stress. Cinnamon is available as a capsule, taken by mouth. Most manufacturers recommend doses ranging from 250mg to 500mg two times per day, however, more research is needed to confirm the best type of cinnamon and the optimal dose for people with diabetes.
Aloe vera is a succulent plant that has also been used for centuries for its medicinal properties, including healing burns and wounds. Recently, researchers have been investigating the effect of aloe vera on blood sugar levels and have found that it can help lower fasting blood glucose levels and lower hemoglobin A1c levels.
Aloe vera is available as a juice, extract and capsule. While aloe vera does show promising results for blood sugar control, more research is needed to confirm the best type of preparation and optimal dose for people with diabetes.
Lipoic acid is a natural substance that has antioxidant effects and has recently gained attention as a potential supplement for controlling blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. It has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels, lower hemoglobin A1c levels, reduce insulin resistance and improve diabetes management.
Lipoic acid may also help prevent or treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which is a condition that causes pain, burning, itching, tingling and numbness in the arms and legs due to nerve damage and has also been shown to lower the risk of diabetic retinopathy (eye damage).
Lipoic acid is found naturally in some foods including red meat, organ meats, broccoli, spinach and tomatoes. However, the amount of lipoic acid in these foods is very low compared to supplements. Supplements can provide up to 1,000 times more lipoic acid than food sources. The recommended dose of lipoic acid for blood sugar control is generally 300 to 1,200 milligrams (mg) daily.
Berberine has been a staple in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine and is found in a variety of supplements. Recently, it has also been used for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. The recommended dose of berberine for blood sugar control is 500 mg, taken 2 to 3 times a day for up to 3 months.
American ginseng is an herb that may help control blood sugar levels by affecting insulin and glucose metabolism. According to some studies, American ginseng can lower blood sugar spikes after a meal by about 20% in non-diabetic and diabetic individuals.
This may be due to the presence of compounds called ginsenosides, which can stimulate insulin secretion, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce carbohydrate absorption and prevent oxidative stress. American ginseng is available as an extract or capsule, and more research is needed to determine the best type of American ginseng and the optimal dose for people with diabetes.
Natural supplements are substances that are derived from plants, animals or minerals that may have health benefits, including helping to control blood sugar levels. Some of the most popular and effective natural remedies for blood sugar control include cinnamon, aloe vera, lipoic acid, berberine and American Ginseng.
Keep in mind that natural supplements are not a substitute for medical treatment but rather a complementary therapy that you can use in combination with exercise, a healthy diet and prescribed medication. As always, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider before starting to take any natural supplements to avoid any potential interactions or side effects.
- Nutrisense – 9 Natural Supplements to Lower Blood Sugar
- Very Well Health – Vitamins and Supplements to Lower Blood Sugar
- Healthline – 10 Supplements to Help Lower Blood Sugar
- Mayo Clinic – Can Cinnamon Lower Blood Sugar
- Healthline – Is Aloe Vera an Effective Treatment for Diabetes?
- Every Day Health – Can Aloe Vera Help with Type 2 Diabetes
- Mount Sinai – Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Very Well Health – Effects of Ginseng on Blood Sugar