Supplements, seriously

I am currently on medication as a T2 (Metformin and Jardiance) and I am also taking a couple of daily supplements, this one in particular: along with a Vitamin D gummy.

I have heard about apple cider vinegar and a myriad of other stuff. I even tried a six-pill “Diabetes Vitamin” pack that I got a Costco. I took that for a while, I have not idea if there was any net positive gain.

Does anybody give serious credence to supplements like this? As in marked improvement as a result of taking them versus not taking them? Is it all a waste of time and money?


As a type 2 of 32 years I have tested several different supplements and true cinnamon and apple cider vinegar. None really made much difference one way or the other.

I take glucosamine for my knees, a multivitamin, collagen for sun ravaged skin. The only supplement that is diabetes related is alpha lipoic acid which is good for nerve health.

Realize this is my experience and opinion, others may see different results.

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I think that most of the supplements for sale are useless at best, and some are outright harmful.

I see one issue facing people who have diabetes is that we often restrict our diets in the interest of maintaining good glucose control. Any dietary restrictions put us at risk of deficiencies, particularly of micronutrients, a number of which may not even be fully understood at this point. So more than vitamins or trace minerals, more than the amino acids we cannot produce, we deprive ourselves of variety and potentially pay the price.

My personal answer is to eat as much of a variety of fresh foods as I can find and are affordable, we cook mostly at home, lots of vegetables, moderate amounts of meat, and we focus on whole grains for carbs, and if I deprive myself of anything, it is highly processed, or purely high fat foods. I avoid corn syrup. I don’t over sweeten my foods. Really, I don’t eat much differently than I did before catching diabetes.

No supplements or anything else for me.

I’m grateful not to have any allergies or food intolerances!


Not diabetes specific, but we all can use Vitamin D3. I saw a great improvement in my husband’s mental abilities when he started taking D3. We don’t spend anywhere near the sunlight we need to make it on our own, especially through the winter in colder climates.


We are all different, but many just control 1 part of the 3 part problem. Controlling Blood Glucose alone does not do much good if part 2 Cholesterol is not managed simultaneously as well as part 3 atherosclerosis. Cholesterol issues can be easily identified using advanced lipid testing and atherosclerosis by getting a CAC coronary scan.

Unless you measure and know the extent of these 3 issues, you can’t start a diet, exercise, and medication (including supplements) plan to manage your overall health best.

This is the Lipid test I get through Ultalabs, and costs $168
Cardio IQ Advanced Lipid Panel Plus

CAC scans are readily available in the $50-$100 range at most hospitals.

As our population ages, you will see more and more
functional cardiologists are closely involved with the endo as there is no point in having great BG control to have a heart attack from calcium buildup. The three issues are highly integrated and how one is managed affects the other two.

First of all, I have nothing against supplements, apart from being an offshoot of the medical industry - there’s not many reasons why they can’t also make money. But they are less-regulated than the Metformin and Jardiance that you also take. I just have one question… Why do you feel that you need to take supplements at all? Are you not getting the required results from your Doctor prescribed medicines?

Like you, I have no problem with supplement providers/companies making money. Provided there is no misrepresentation or false claims. Everybody has an opinion as to the actual benefits of a given product, may work for some, not so much for others. I believe that creates a field of skepticism, as with many things I guess.

As to your “why” question, it’s a fair one. Part of my objective set is to clean up my diet enough and exercise enough to reduce or otherwise get off of the prescribed meds if at all possible. I am taking supplements in line with that goal. In other words, if at some point I can stop taking meds and manage my BG with diet, exercise and OTC supplements, I will certainly do that. Hence my question about their effectiveness, generally speaking.

I eat healthy,take B12 as I take metformin . I also drink milk and get sunshine. Not a big believer in things like vinegar. I figure if they worked well the pharma people would be all over it. Nancy 50

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Thanks @Nancy50. Most (if not all) nutritionists will tell you getting needed vitamins from the food you eat is best. Then they will follow up with how difficult that actually is for many people.

I think in the case of those of us with diabetes, the general rules of “eat better and exercise” are compounded by the food choices and/or physical ailments that inhibit exercise. Not making excuses by any means, just outlining a reality.

And, I think your logic is very sound. If there was some benefit that could be demonstrated and easily capitalized on, business would be booming.