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  Category: Articles » Health & Fitness » Supplements » Article

Can Diabetes Be Managed By Supplements?

By Ng Peng Hock

A friend of mine was diagnosed to be mildly diabetic and prescribed some medication. This was the result of his recent annual checkup when he found out that his BMI (body mass index) and fasting glucose levels were high.

But he is a type of person that is resistance to medication. So, he did some research and came across some B-complex supplements that claim to convert glucose to energy. He was not sure whether this may replace the medication he is supposed to take. He, therefore, seeks help from a microbiologist whose advice is as follow.

It is important to get enough B vitamins to balance sugar levels but relying solely on B-complex supplement alone will not solve the problem. Medication should be taken but meanwhile one should also adjust different aspect of his lifestyle.

Physical activity can keep sugar levels balanced, and losing weight can make a big difference in successfully managing diabetes. Diet does play a role, too. One should learn about GI (glycemic index) of foods and choose foods that are low on that scale. These foods will be absorbed slowly and will not stress the body with sudden sugar extremes.

Apply principles of eating well. Boost intake of whole foods, which will smooth out any deficiencies the body might have. One may also start taking multi-vitamin. Here are some guidelines:

- Feast on vegetables;

- Add whole cereals, cold pressed olive oil, lean protein like fish, and snack on nuts, seeds, and low-sugar fruit.

- Keep red meat, butter, fast food and anything sugary to a minimum.

This may be difficult to follow but it is a matter of changing habits.

Besides the abovementioned fundamental changes, there are a few other options:

- Boost intake of antioxidants by taking extra vitamin C (500 mg to 1000 mg) and a vitamin E supplement that is rich in tocotrienols.

- Fish oils protect the heart and arteries, which become more vulnerable with diabetes. Take 1000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.

- Ayurvedic herb Gymnema can help too.

When moving from pills to plate, start with the easiest:

- Cinnamon helps lower sugar. Even half a teaspoon of cinnamon taken every day lowers blood sugar.

- Bitter melon, well established in Indian and Chinese medicine, has been shown to be as powerful as a commonly used diabetic drug. Take its juice regularly.

- Funugreek is also beneficial. The seeds can be ground into a powder or soaked and eaten whole. Start small, with a teaspoon, and increase as required.

Do not take all that are recommended. One or two that can suit the body should be good enough. Make changes conservatively and gradually. Last but not lease, ensure to monitor regularly the blood glucose level.

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