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Natural Remedies for Type 2 Diabetes

(continued)

What Natural Dietary Supplements Are Used for Diabetes Treatment? continued...

Magnesium

Although the relationship between magnesium and diabetes has been studied for decades, it is not yet fully understood. Studies show that a deficiency in magnesium may worsen blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes. Scientists say that a deficiency of magnesium interrupts insulin secretion in the pancreas and increases insulin resistance in the body's tissues. Evidence suggests that a deficiency of magnesium may contribute to certain diabetes complications. A recent analysis showed that people with higher dietary intakes of magnesium (through consumption of whole grains, nuts, and green leafy vegetables) had a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Vanadium

Vanadium is a compound found in tiny amounts in plants and animals. Early studies showed that vanadium normalized blood sugar levels in animals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A recent study found that when people with diabetes were given vanadium, they developed a modest increase in insulin sensitivity and were able to decrease their insulin requirements. Currently researchers want to understand how vanadium works in the body, discover potential side effects, and establish safe dosages.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10, often referred to as CoQ10 (other names include ubiquinone and ubiquinol) is a vitamin-like substance. CoQ10 helps cells make energy and acts as an antioxidant. Meats and seafood contain small amounts of CoQ10. Supplements are marketed as tablets and capsules. The evidence is not sufficient to evaluate CoQ10's effectiveness as a complementary or alternative therapy for diabetes. CoQ10 has not been shown to affect blood sugar control.

What Plant Foods Are Used for Diabetes Treatment?

The following plant foods are sometimes used for diabetes treatment, particularly for those with type 2 diabetes.

  • Brewer's yeast
  • Buckwheat
  • Broccoli and other related greens
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coffee
  • Okra
  • Peas
  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Sage

Most plant foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which are important to good health in people with diabetes. Some revealing new studies show that certain plant foods -- cinnamon, cloves, and coffee -- may actually aid in fighting inflammation and help insulin, the hormone that helps controls blood sugar. Studies have shown that cinnamon extracts can increase sugar metabolism, triggering insulin release, which also affects cholesterol metabolism. Clove oil extracts (eugenol) have been found to improve the function of insulin and to lower glucose, total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides. Recent findings indicate that an unknown compound in coffee (not caffeine) may enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Still, the scientific evidence thus far does not support the role of garlic, ginger, ginseng, hawthorn, or nettle in benefiting blood sugar control in people with diabetes. If you have diabetes and are considering taking any of these herbal substances for diabetes treatment, be sure you talk to your doctor before you take them.

WebMD Medical Reference

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