Q&A: Supplements for Diabetes

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Q&As
Last Reviewed 04/21/2014

What supplements for diabetes do you recommend?

Supplements for Diabetes

Here’s what I recommend to my patients at Whitaker Wellness who have diabetes.

Supplements for Diabetes

  • Alpha lipoic acid. Antioxidant that reduces the risk of diabetic neuropathy by protecting against free-radical damage to nerves. The recommended dose is 600–1,800 mg per day. I suggest starting with 600 mg and building up after two or three months.

  • Chromium. Trace mineral that increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin and helps reduce blood sugar levels. The recommended dose is 200–400 mcg daily.

  • Gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Omega-6 essential fatty acid that is integral to healthy nerve function and has been found to be an effective therapy for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. People with diabetes often have problems converting dietary fats to GLA in the body. The recommended dose of this supplement for diabetes is 500–1,500 mg of GLA derived from evening primrose oil per day.

  • Gymnema sylvestre. Central and south Indian plant that has been used medicinally since the sixth century BC. Promotes healthy blood sugar levels and helps nourish and maintain the integrity of the pancreas. The recommended dose is 200–400 mg daily.

  • Magnesium. Mineral that is essential to regulating calcium levels and maintaining healthy blood pressure and circulation. The recommended dose is 500–1,000 mg daily.

  • Multinutrient supplement. Broad array of vitamins and minerals to replace nutrients lost in the urine, which is an inevitable aspect of diabetes. Using these supplements for diabetes ensure protection against diabetic complications. The recommended doses are: 75 mg Vitamin B6, 150 mcg Vitamin B12, 300–400 IU Vitamin E, 1,000 mg Vitamin C, and 2,000–5,000 IU Vitamin D (note you’ll need to supplement with extra Vitamin D since most multis will contain only 600 IUs on average.)

  • Vanadyl sulfate. Form of the trace mineral vanadium that mimics the action of insulin, increases insulin sensitivity and helps reduce blood sugar levels. The recommended dose ranges from 45–100 mg daily. Vanadyl sulfate should only be taken under a physician’s care, with frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels.

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