Effective Supplements

I was wondering if people here (esp type 1’s) have experimented with supplements claimed to allow better control of Blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity and how effective they found them to be.
I’ll list some that i have come across while doing some research online

  1. Panax Ginseng

  2. Bitter melon

  3. Guava Leaves (tea)

  4. Chromium

  5. Bottle Gourd

My daughter takes bittermelon tea it seems to help and milk thistle tea to cleanse her liver when she’s been on an antibiotic

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The best supplements are diet and exercise.

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i’m looking for something to help with insulin sensitivity, anything that will allow me to lower my insulin dose and lose weight.

that would be what my previous post mentions. :slight_smile: I’ve dropped my insulin requirements by about 1/2 by watching what I eat (which helped me lose weight) and also the insulin-lowering effects of exercise. It’s an unbeatable combo. Don’t look for a magic “pill”. It ain’t happening.

As far as I know, there aren’t any magical supplements.

Staying hydrated helps a lot and exercise helps even more.

Even just walking more each day can help a bit. My insulin needs/doses are significantly affected by intense exercise.

I drink silver. I try to drink at least 12 quarters a day. No it does nothing for diabetes, but I have a great complexion for Halloween.

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Vitamin D

Conclusion shown at the bottom of the above referenced page says,

There was an observed effect of vitamin D supplementation on glycemic control in vitamin D-replete, type 1 diabetes mellitus patients. Further studies are needed to determine if these findings are applicable.

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I don’t know about the effectiveness of the supplements to control blood sugar. But there are some things that can be used to reduce damage caused by your blood sugar.

Like an ACE inhibitor for your kidneys, such as Lisinopril.

Or alpha lipoic acid, which is an antioxidant that has benefits for diabetics.

Enough intake of the necessary vitamins, like D was mentioned, which also has heart benefits.

A good amount of foods that raise your HDL.

And, as mentioned, plenty of exercise.

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There are two causal stages in producing the diabetic complications. First, there is hyperglycemia, and second, the hyperglycemia has to cause inflammation for the complications to be produced. One way to stop the complications is to intervene to prevent hyperglycemia, but that is extremely difficult to do, given the constant and spontaneous changes in the body’s insulin responses, and trying too hard to control hyperglycemia can cause lethal hypoglycemia. But intervening at the other causal stage to block the inflammation necessary for causing complications is simple, since there is a whole range of non-dangerous anti-inflammatories, which don’t cause death if taken in excess the way insulin does. So rather than focusing on high blood sugar control, why not focus on controlling the inflammation which high blood sugar causes to produce the complications?

The range of supplements with an anti-inflammatory action is vast, and includes astaxanthin, vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C, and omega-3. Why search for supplements to improve insulin sensitivity when you can just adjust the insulin dose to improve the correspondence between glycemic levels and insulin?

My understanding is that AGEs (advanced glycation end products) primarily cause complications, and these also contribute to inflammation.

I definitely think it could be helpful to eat foods high in AGE inhibitors (and limit ingestion of AGEs themselves), but trying to maintain good blood sugar levels is a more direct way of limiting the development of AGEs.

I’m not entirely sure what role inflammation plays, though I’ve read that reducing AGE intake can also reduce inflammation. Not sure if it works the other way around.

Inflammation arises from the presence of AGEs in the bloodstream. There are many points in the causal network forming diabetic complications, so it seems sensible to break the causal links where they can most safely and effectively be broken. Unfortunately, modern medicine seems fixated on intervening at the most dangerous and difficult point, blood sugar control.

In the 1990s there was a lot of enthusiasm about benfotiamine for blocking the damage caused by hyperglycemia. Benfotiamine, among other things, concentrates vitamin B1 along the nerves and blood vessels, and this was thought potentially to prevent complications. Unfortunately, this has turned out not to be the case, but it is still useful to slow the development of complications. I find that I have terrible neuropathic pains if I don’t take it, and absolutely no pain if I do, and yet conventional medicine persists in pretending that nothing can prevent neuropathic pain except its own prescription medications with all their terrible side-effects.

The primary contributor to complications are AGEs. I’m all for preventing the development of AGEs in any way possible, but the most direct route is by limiting hyperglycemia.

Modern medicine is focusing on blood sugar control for this reason.

While this suggestions does not directly answer your question, I find that intermittent fasting helps make me more insulin sensitive. I normally eat two meals per day, one around noon and the second around 5 or 6 p.m. If I don’t snack in the evening, this eating pattern builds in an 18-hour fast every day. Every once in a while I’ll skip my first meal and that leads to a 24-hour fast.

I’ve found for me, a T1D, that over-dosing insulin causes insulin resistance. I think our culture, eating three meals plus snacks every day, is generally too much for the human body.

If you eat fewer carbs that will lead to taking less insulin while maintaining good blood glucose control. I’ve even observed in me that proactively taking less insulin will often lead to lower blood glucose, instead of higher, and require even less insulin. It’s counter-intuitive but I have seen this many times.

I agree with others who say that diet and exercise are the answer to your situation. I take supplements for other reasons so I am not skeptical of all supplements. Unfortunately, the supplement industry is full of con-artists and frauds. But I do like some supplements.

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I’m doing intermittent fasting now as well, and I found that I need to decrease insulin doses since I see my BG dropping without taking bolus from about 9 to noon(I take one unit in the morning to take care of what remains of DP and take care of FOTF) so that means i need to reduce my basal. while I haven’t seen a decrease in my bolus yet, it makes sense because I’ve been doing this for less than two weeks.

I could’ve have reduced the bolus if i were still doing the same level of control but now i’m going for a tighter control since i gave up all fruit as well, so now I aim for BG around 4’s or low 5’s.

with exercise to be honest I’ve been lazy, the fact that i could keep my weight constant for the past three years through mere dieting plus recent injuries have contributed to that laziness but I’m trying to find ways to exercise more. I’m planning to start on the Body By Science program soon.

Kater87: It is not as if there are several different contributors to diabetic complications, but a single, complex, multi-stage process which causes the complications. For this reason, suppressing any one of the stages in the process will break the causal chain. You can break it at the initial stage of hyperglycemia, at the next stage of the advanced glycation end products that result from the metabolism of excess glucose, or at the stage of the inflammation that the advanced glycation end products cause. It makes sense to break the long chain of causes at the stage where this can most effectively and safely be done, which is arguably inflammation, since the patient will not die from overdosing on anti-inflammatories, in contrast to an insulin overdose, which can be lethal.

It is worth noting that hummingbirds ordinarily have a blood glucose level six times higher than humans have, but they neve develop complications as humans would. This is because the full causal chain linking hyperglycemia at the beginning with complications.at the end is not present in hummingbirds, so this is yet further evidence that you don’t have to intervene at the hyperglycemia stage to stop the process…

Ordinary medicine tends to treat diseases according to which symptoms were first spotted and understood. Since diabetes was first known to be a disease of excess sugar in the urine, reducing sugar was seen as the route to repairing what was wrong. But now that we know more about the process of complication formation, we can consider other stages for intervention.