Natural and Miracle Cures for Diabetes: Your thoughts

(yes, I know… I was supposed to be gone -getting ready to go out the door shortly)

I just got a message from a member (type 2) asking about “Milagro de la Selva”. For those of you who came aboard recently, this is a product that a member (currently banned from the site) came along introducing to the community in a SPAM-like fashion.

The question from this member was:
“Does the stuff help or is it snake oil? Snake oil = bogus. I am a T2 and am looking for some natural help with sugar control, if there is such a thing???”

I want to put the question out there for the community to share their thoughts on.

On a personal level, here are my thoughts:
Type 1’s are a little less prone to be targeted with this type of natural product, because of the nature of type 1: you simply DO NOT produce insulin (or are well on your way to get there) and any products promising a miracle cure for type 1 should most likely be seen with a suspicious eye.

Not just here, but in numerous other websites that deal with diabetes, you will encounter ads (the “Ads by Google ads” you see to your right) that promote numerous products of all kinds. Many of these are targeted specifically to Type 2’s. In general, you should be suspicious towards ANYTHING that promises miraculous results. But, when in doubt, come back here and post your question about the product you are uncertain about.

Now, in reply to the Milagro de la Selva question, I can’t answer the question properly, but if I am to judge from the disrespectful techniques employed to promote it, I don’t have the best impression about them.

P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, the Ads by Google on the TuDiabetes site generate revenue (not a TON, but some), which is invested back in TuDiabetes. In the near future, we will be dedicated a percentage of any revenue generated this way to diabetes-related causes.

If you ever see an ad in the Ads by Google bar that you feel promotes a bogus product, please let me know about it. Though we cannot control which new ads appear, we have the means of removing ads that are on display.

I put together a page that reviews the scientific evidence about all the supplements that have had any research to see if they have any impact on diabetes. Supplements for Diabetes

The short version is that there is some small evidence for Alpha Lipoic Acid, and anecdotally some people find it helpful for neuropathy, but may others do not.

The rest of the items that have been touted as helpful often rely on research done by someone with a financial interest in the food or chemical involved and these claims rarely hold up to more research. Often if you read the research you’ll see that the “improvement” occurred in a petrie dish or that no blood sugar measurements were made to confirm that the supplement made an impact.

Finally, quite a few of these supplements in better controlled research turn out to be harmful–including vitatmis and minerals like selenium. This may be because most supplements are now imported by China and are filled with poisons from their toxic water supply, or because the pills don’t contain what they say they contain.

Whatever the reason, I’m inclined to follow the advice of Quentin Grady who has been posting about nutrition for years on and get my vitamin, minerals and other nutritionally related “supplements” from fresh vegetables–locally grown when possible, and other foods. If you Google Quentin’s posts you’ll find several that give long discourses about the various micronutrients found in various kinds of foods and their functions in the body.

My quick and dirty first test on any ad: If they use the word ‘Cure’ - it’s bogus. There is no cure for diabetes.

If they’re -selling- it, then… treat wtih extreme skeptisim. After all, they can’t make money by saying ‘maybe this works!’,‘this could possibly work’, ‘we think this might work but don’t know for sure’. I don’t trust companies to tell the truth when asking for money.

The other problem of course is that there is no real regulation (as I understand things) of the suppliment market. The amount it says on the bottle is not necessarily what you are getting, sometimes the version of suppliment matters, and you may not know that, and so on and so forth. Plus you don’t get a lot of information. How long does it take to be effective? (Instantly? A Month? Year?) How long does the effect last? ( 3 hrs? 12hrs? 1 week?). What’s the most effective dosage?

Plus who knows how your suppliments could react to what you’re already on. Do you know all the side affects of the suppliments? Some supplements may help with blood sugar but thin your blood. If you take that with blood thinner drugs that could be real big problem!

On the other hand, not all suppliments are bunk. I don’t know about diabetes, but I have seen suppliments work for other conditions, so you don’t want to discount anything. But I would say, be patient, and be careful. Talk to your doctor about it, and research, research, research. If you do take something, take really good records, and don’t change anything else for a while - then you can track to see if you really are getting a benefit.

If I see that it says “cure diabetes” and doesn’t say specifically what type I think hoax. On a myspace group, every once in awhile someone will pop on with these cures and once they actually responded back to our questions-they seriously didn’t know there were two types and kept going on and on about what “mainstream medicine” doesn’t want us to know. Yes, there are evil scientists who know an herbal cure and they aren’t telling us-ummm sure!
I am also kind of skeptical of mainstream medicine, but know there is a balance between the two. I am kind of a hippy (although I no longer have that long crazy hair-donated it to locks of love), and my family is very distrusting of doctors but we realize that somethings are out of our hands and we do have to put some faith in mainstream medicine, if we didn’t have insulin my son would die. On the other hand, I do sometimes feel bullied by non-endicrinologists-like just recently a pediatrician basically called me neglectful and stupid because I didn’t want my sons vaccinations to be given to him all at once (mmr, chickenpox, flu) a week after he was released from the hospital (but that’s a whole other rant). I also have a rod in my back from a doctor who didn’t know what he was doing when he was treating me for scoliosis. But like any parent who has had a child diagnosed with diabetes, I’ve read tons of books and researched just about everything on the internet and have realized mainstream is our choice, and our son would not be alive if it weren’t for the fact that we turned to mainstream medicine.

I find the supplement question interesting. I am not opposed to them at all, though I am probably biased from working for a company that produces some. As was already mentioned anything claiming to be a cure is immediately dismissed as b.s. And I do think it’s best to get as much nutrition as possible from the actual food you eat, particularly fruits and veggies.

I’m not necessarily convinced that things work, but I guess I’m more laid back about them being safe and “so what” if they don’t. It could come back to bite me, really, but oh well. Right now I’m taking a multivitamin, as well as extra fish oil, chromium, magnesium, and vitamin d. I took some ALA for awhile but I’m not right now. There’s just a limit to the number of pills I can swallow per day. I also add cinnamon to food I didn’t before, like yogurt, so I guess you could say I’ve made an effort to consume more of that.

Jenny, not surprisingly I enjoyed reading your page on supplements. I have a question that is a little OT to this thread. This is not the first time that I have read information on fructose that implied it doesn’t increase blood glucose. These statements completely perplex me and I’m interested because I am kind of back and forth on how much fruit I eat. I know fruit raises my b.g.; I thought fruit sugars were fructose. What am I missing?

Fructose has a different chemical structure than glucose and is digested differently. Some people think that fructose digests at a slower rate so that bloodsugar doesn’t spike the way it does with glucose. But yes, it still raises your bloodsugar levels.

Fruit contains a mix of sugars, not just fructose.

Bogus, bogus, and more bogus. I especially love when they dance around the word “cure” but don’t quite say it. I especially love it when they include the disclaimer about “please consult your physician first”.

When I first took diabetes at the ripe old age of 10 my mom put me on some type of root pill that was suppost to “cure” Type 1 diabetes needless to say it didn’t. So now I look at all ads that say cure with alot of distaste.

They have to say ‘consult your physician’ or they will be put in jail, that’s why everyone uses it. Even your physician (through their insurance) abstains from any responsibilities and releases themselves. In other words, physicians themselves say ‘consult your physician’.

No entity is allowed to officially say ‘cure’; actually I don’t think any organization says that word, it doesn’t exist for any disease. Does the FDA, AMA or WHO have a cure for anything? The replacements they all use for that word is effective treatment and symptom reduction.

I think it’s all a scam. If you really want to try it, it’s your money and only you can decide how to spend it, but at the very least, don’t stop or decrease whatever you’ve been prescribed by a doctor to keep your BG’s in check (pills or insulin). Having high BG’s from cutting back on your prescribed meds will ultimately cost you much more than whatever cash you spend on herbs, roots, juices or whatever else.

There’s always the discussion about how we’re the cash cows for Big Pharm. You’re fooling yourself if you don’t think everyone who’s looking to make a quick buck doesn’t see us like that too. There are umpteen opportunities to take crazy advantage of 'betics who are prone to frustration with the never-ending management, and always wishing there was a easier way. As with most things, the easy way is not the best way.

It’s sad, and I hate to see this part of humanity, but people want to take advantage of us. Don’t let them.

You wrote :
"P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, the Ads by Google on the TuDiabetes site generate revenue (not a TON, but some), which is invested back in TuDiabetes. In the near future, we will be dedicated a percentage of any revenue generated this way to diabetes-related causes.

If you ever see an ad in the Ads by Google bar that you feel promotes a bogus product, please let me know about it. Though we cannot control which new ads appear, we have the means of removing ads that are on display. "

I eventually gave up filtering the Ads by Google on my blog; instead I positioned a link to the brilliant Glucobate site directly above the Ads with a comment to click on that first if an Ad for a cure appears. You might consider doing something similar here. I suspect that people do read it, because I only get trivial income from them despite reasonable site traffic.

If you haven’t seen the Glucobate site, it’s here:
Be sure to click on a link, any link, once the page opens.

Cheers, Alan, T2, Australia

I would have to say that via the tag of the post “Natural and Miracle cures”… for the first 2 years I was diagnosed I did everything (with moms influence) to heal thyself. My mom has issues with the “medical world” and was convinced I could be healed, or cured, or assisted with natural remedies, powers, etc. I jus felt kinda sick most of the time. And you never know how bad you felt until you feel BETTER. Needless to say, my body was crying out for insulin… because the pancreas just wasn’t making it. I had “the talk” with my mom and explained it was the right thing for me and my body- and I started insulin injections. 13 years later, here I am. And my mom has seen how insulin/injections has helped me lead my adult life healthy, have kids, etc. Thank goodness I took control of it myself! With that said, she still passes things my way she hears about and the recent one is “Jamun”. Gotta appreciate mom and her focus on finding a CURE for us!