After doing quite a bit of frenzied research when I was first diagnosed, I have a cupboard full of supplements. But I settled on just three.
A few followers and Type 1 friends have asked, so here they are, along with a brief breakdown on some of the most researched vitamins and minerals for healthy blood sugar metabolism:
My Current Supplement Regimen:
- Nutrient-dense multivitamin: 3 capsules in the morning, 3 capsules in the evening
- Fish oil: 2 capsules in the morning, 2 capsules in the evening
- My doc’s proprietary supplement, Diamend: 3 capsules in the morning, 3 capsules in the evening
Well, there’s quite a bit of research out there on the role of certain vitamins and minerals in healthy blood sugar metabolism, especially the following – which are all contained in the one Diamend formula, making it easier to get what my body needs without taking a dozen different supplements:
Zinc: Needed to produce, secrete and activate insulin receptors. Improves insulin’s ability to bind to receptors on cell membranes and transport glucose into the cells to be used as energy.
Chromium polynicotinate: Increases insulin’s ability to bind to cells, increases insulin receptor numbers on cells, improves insulin’s ability to detect glucose molecules in the blood, and it is a key component of glucose tolerance factor (GTF).
Gymnema sylvestre: The Indian plant, Gymnema is part of the milkweed family. It is known as Gurmar in Hindi, meaning “Sugar Destroyer,” and has been used in Ayurvedic, or Indian, Medicine for centuries. Supports pancreatic tissues and function. Crazy benefit: contains a component that makes sweet foods taste strange.
Cinnamon: Curbs insulin resistance. In one study of cinnamon supplementation, cinnamon cut cholesterol by about 18% and blood sugar levels by 24%.
Berberine HCL: Studies have consistently found berberine leads to an upregulation of insulin receptor activity and glucose metabolism. Plus, studies show that Berberine may help lower total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides.
R-ALA: Alpha lipoic acid is one of the most effective free radical scavengers as a potent antioxidant and has the bonus of increasing insulin sensitivity.
Taurine: An amino acid that supports healthy blood sugar metabolism. Plus, protects eye and heart tissue from oxidative damage.
Benfotiamine: Also known as allithiamine, this fat soluble form of thiamine (Vitamin B1) has been shown in studies to increase mitochondrial glucose oxidation and block destructive biochemical pathways that enable high blood sugar levels to damage nerves and small blood vessels.
Billberry extract: The leaves of this plant lower blood sugar, plus it supports eye health and decreases inflammation.
Green Tea leaf extract: Contains the catechin EGCG, an incredibly potent antioxidant with a litany of health benefits, including promotion of insulin sensitivity. In fact, in one study with mice, EGCG effectively delayed or entirely prevented the onset of Type 1 diabetes!
Curcumin: Curcumin is the the bioactive ingredient in turmeric and boasts many health benefits, but especially promotes antioxidant activity. Like EGCG, there are some anecdotal studies that have shown that Curcumin supplementation delayed or entirely prevented the onset of Type 1 diabetes.
Gingko biloba: Supports sugar metabolism, plus brain health and blood flow.
Vanadium: Important in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels by enhancing the effects of insulin. The best absorbed form of vanadium is Bis(maltolato)oxovanadium IV (BMOV) — 2-3x more potent than vanadyl sulfate and less toxicity.
What supplements have you found helpful?