Diabetes Natural Treatment Herbs, Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements that help lower blood sugar, role of diet and food, alternative therapy by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
July 5, 2014

Diabetes mellitus results when the body doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels or when cells in the body don't respond appropriately to insulin. People with type I diabetes mellitus (insulin-dependent diabetes) produce little or no insulin at all. In type II diabetes mellitus (non-insulin-dependent diabetes), the pancreas continues to manufacture insulin, sometimes even at higher than normal levels. However, the body develops resistance to its effects and the sugar in the blood does not enter the cells as well as it should resulting in higher blood sugar levels. Type II diabetes usually begins after age 30 and becomes progressively more common with age. Obesity is a risk factor for type II diabetes; 80 to 90 percent of the people with diabetes are obese. Countires where the food supply has more sugar has individuals who have higher blood sugar levels.

Be physical, work out in a gym or outdoors, lift weights to improve muscle mass and strength
The more you walk, the lower your risk of diabetes.
Daily exercise or lots of physical activity is one of the most important ways to keep blood sugar low and even a 10 to 20 minute walk after a meal can make a difference. Sedentary adults who get a few hours of exercise each week and don't lose weight may still cut their risk of developing a pre-diabetic condition called insulin resistance syndrome. High-intensity weight training coupled with a moderate weight-loss program can help men and women with type 2 diabetes to improve their blood sugar control and also boost their muscle strength and lean body mass. The added muscle is particularly beneficial to people with diabetes because muscles are "major clearance sites" for circulating blood sugar, or glucose.
   People who live in neighborhoods with safe sidewalks, ample parks, good public transportation and ready access to fresh fruits and vegetables are less likely to develop diabetes than others.


Natural supplements for diabetes treatment, herbal products
Before you embark on ingesting supplements, have a discussion with your health care provider to see if they are appropriate for you. If you doctor is not familiar with these herbs and nutrients, you may recommend he or she read this information. If you plan to take supplements for your diabetes, keep your dosages low and start with one or two rather than a whole bunch at one time. Over time you can gradually add more supplements as you become familiar on how they make you feel or influence your blood sugar.

Alpha lipoic acid is one if the most important nutrients to consider for diabetes. Alpha Lipoic acid has been evaluated for blood sugar control, and it may also be considered in diabetic neuropathy and kidney disease. A dose of 10 to 50 mg two or three times a week appears to be appropriate.
Stevia is a no calorie natural sweetener and a wonderful alternative to artificial sweeteners. all diabetics should learn about it. Stevia is a substitute not only for artificial sweeteners, but also for sugar.
Fish oils maintain healthy blood flow, especially in the microcirculation and may increase levels of a hormone called adiponectin that's linked to insulin sensitivity. PLoS One. 2012. Marine N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes in Asians: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Carnitine can reduce oxidative stress in diabetic patients.
Carnosine is a potent antioxidant and should be considered two or three times a week.
Banaba has been used in the Philippines for the treatment of diabetes.
Benfotiamine is a lipid soluble form of thiamine. Preliminary human studies indicate that benfotiamine may be helpful in diabetic neuropathy and to reduce microvascular damage from high blood sugar.
Cinnamon -- 1 to 5 grams daily improves sugar levels and reduces blood lipids.
Ginger herb has been studied with good results. It is a good idea to add a little bit of ginger herb to your daily diet.
Fenugreek is an herb that helps support healthy blood sugar levels.
Acetylcarnitine is a promising treatment for diabetic neuropathy, usually at a dose of 100 to 400 mg daily.
CoQ10
improves the function of endothelial cells lining blood vessels and may slightly help with blood sugar control.  A dose of 20 to 60 mg a day with breakfast
Psyllium half or one teaspoon in a glass of water twice daily with food. Or three capsules twice daily with a meal. Psyllium can lower cholesterol levels.

Cayenne pepper at 5 grams a day was shown in one human study to help keep blood sugar levels lower.
Multivitamins and minerals should be considered daily, they may reduce the risk for infections.
Natural Vitamin C with bioflavonoidsz
Chromium increases insulin sensitivity and binding, also increases number of insulin receptors.
Magnesium may help lower blood pressure in those with diabetes. Getting enough magnesium in your diet could help reduce the risk of getting this blood sugar management disease. People who consumed the most magnesium in foods and from vitamin supplements were about half as likely to develop this disease over the next 20 years as people who took in the least of the mineral. Diabetes Care, published online August 31, 2010. Supplements of this mineral improve insulin sensitivity. Dietary sources of magnesium include green, leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains and nuts, and milk. Many adults do not meet the RDA for magnesium (320 mg per day for women and 420 mg per day for men).

Vanadium Vanadyl sulfate mineral
Flavonoids could be quite helpful
Natural Vitamin E complex at a dose of 20 to 200 mg a few times a week.
Aloe vera gel has been found to be helpful in rodents with diabetes.
Spirulina is a superfood
Astragalus may be helpful in diabetic nephropathy.
Whey protein -
For people with type 2 diabetes, adding whey to high-carbohydrate meals stimulates insulin release and reduces spikes in blood glucose levels after meals.
Ginkgo biloba can improve blood flow, particularly retinal capillary blood flow rate in type 2 diabetic patients with retinopathy.

Diet Rx natural appetite suppressant, benefits
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Provides a variety of antioxidant from two dozen herbs and nutrients
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Balances mood
Improves will power and choice of food selection



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Natural treatment of diabetes
Major lifestyle changes are needed to prevent and treat this condition. It is quite possible to reduce blood sugar levels through proper diet and exercise.
In one small study, a very low-calorie diet of 600 calories a day (liquid diet drinks and non-starchy vegetables) was able to reverse type 2 diabetes. Here are some practical steps:

Eliminate or reduce sugar, fructose, glucose, corn syrup, white bread, honey, molasses, maple syrup, fruit juice or concentrate. Avoid or reduce foods cooked at high temperatures.
People who regularly drink sugar-sweetened beverages are at a higher risk of both diabetes and obesity. White bread, cookies, cakes, pastry, and simple carbohydrates increase the risk for diabetes. Eating whole fresh fruit, especially blueberries, grapes, apples and pears, is linked to a lower risk, but drinking fruit juice has the opposite effect.

Eat more high fiber foods, substitute whole grains for simple carbohydrates. Those who bulk up their diets with plenty of bran and fiber may live longer and are less likely to die of heart diseases .A number of studies have linked higher consumption of whole grains to lower risks of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Eating white rice regularly, as is commonly done in many Asian countries, may increase the risk for developing this high sugar disease.
   Supplementation with flaxseeds reduces fasting blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein B.  J Diet Suppl. 2011. An open-label study on the effect of flax seed powder (Linum usitatissimum) supplementation in the management of diabetes mellitus.

Eating more green leafy vegetables can significantly cut the risk of developing this condition. British Medical Journal, online August 20, 2010.

Red meats and processed meats such as hot dogs appear to increase the risk of diabetes, as does a heavily "Western" diet. U.S. investigators found that people that ate mostly Western foods - including sweets, French fries, refined grains such as white bread, and red and processed meats - were nearly 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes over a 14-year period than people who ate minimal amounts of Western-type foods.

Try to lose some weight, if possible. This is not easy, but give it a try.

Stop smoking - People with type 2 diabetes who smoke cigarettes are more than twice as likely as non-smokers to have impaired kidney function.

Deep sleep -- people who do not get enough sleep on a regular basis may become less sensitive to insulin which, over time, can raise the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.

Excess caffeine ingestion contributes to insulin resistance, try to reduce your caffeine intake but small amounts could be beneficial. Very high caffeine intake keeps blood sugar higher. Coffee, tea, or decaf - no matter what your choice, drinking any of these beverages in a moderate way may reduce your risk of diabetes.
     Dr. Daniela S. Sartorelli of the University of Sao Paulo in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, reports that drinking coffee cuts diabetes risk, but people may need to enjoy their java with lunch if you want to get any benefit.
Dr. Daniela S. Sartorelli
studied 70,000 women and found that those who drank at least a cup of coffee with lunch were one-third less likely to develop type 2 diabetes over several years than non-coffee drinkers. This was true for decaf and caffeinated coffee, with or without sugar. But drinking coffee at any other time of the day didn't influence diabetes risk at all. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010.

Other diabetes herb and supplement options
Many substances found in natural products have an influence on blood sugar. These include terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, and phenolics. Particularly, schulzeines, radicamines, myrciacitrin IV, dehydrotrametenolic acid, and corosolic acid (Glucosol), have shown significant antidiabetic activities.
     Herbs and nutrients that have potential in diabetes treatment include:

Acetyl-L-carnitine improves pain, nerve regeneration, and vibratory perception in patients with chronic diabetic neuropathy: an analysis of two randomized placebo-controlled trials.
Diabetes Care. 2005; Acetyl-L-Carnitine Study Group. Department of Pathology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan.
These studies demonstrate that ALC treatment is efficacious in alleviating symptoms, particularly pain, and improves nerve fiber regeneration and vibration perception in patients with established diabetic neuropathy.

Other supplements for diabetes in common use include Nopal (prickly pear cactus), karela (bitter melon), and tronadora. The popularity of these products varies among people of different ethnicities. Prickly Pear is the most commonly used herbal hypoglycemic among persons of Mexican descent. Karela is more commonly used by persons from Asian countries.

Bitter melon is traditionally used as an anti diabetes agent in Asia, Africa, and South America.
Cumin spice
Dandelion herb
Indian Kino tree, Malabar Kino tree -  Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb.
Myrtle herb
Salacia oblonga herb
Tamarind herb
Yacon herb

Causes of diabetes
Insulin, a hormone released from the pancreas, is the primary substance responsible for maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels. Insulin allows glucose to be transported into cells so that they can produce energy or store the glucose until it's needed. The rise in blood sugar levels after eating or drinking stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin, preventing a greater rise in blood sugar levels and causing them to fall gradually. Because muscles use glucose for energy, blood sugar levels fall during physical activity.
   Genetics, excess calories, high sugar intake, lack of exercise all contribute to high blood sugar levels. Certain medications can elevate blood sugar including some diuretics, phenytoin, niacin, and glucocorticoids. Certain racial and cultural groups are at increased risk: Blacks and Hispanics have a twofold to threefold increased risk of developing type II diabetes, which also tends to run in families.
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients who are treated with inhaled corticosteroids have a higher risk for both the development and progression of high sugar problems.

High doses of the widely popular cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, such as Lipitor and Zocor, increase the risk.

Use of alcohol
Adults who have a drink or two per day may have a lower diabetes risk than teetotalers -- and the link does not appear to be explained by moderate drinkers' generally healthier lifestyle.

Diet and Blood Sugar
Blood sugar (glucose) levels vary throughout the day, rising after a meal and returning to normal within 2 hours. Blood sugar levels are normally between 70 and 110 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood in the morning after an overnight fast. Normal levels tend to increase slightly but progressively after age 50, especially in people who are sedentary. Drinking more than one sugar-sweetened soft drink a day appears to significantly increase one's chances of developing diabetes.

Diagnosis
Fasting blood sugar more than 126, random blood sugar more than 200, or HbA1c more than 7%. HbA1c level times 25 is average blood sugar level.

Complications
Cataracts, retinal damage, atherosclerosis, heart attack, erectile dysfunction, kidney damage, carpal tunnel syndrome, and accelerated aging. In more cases than would normally be expected, people who develop type 2 diabetes have a history of carpal tunnel syndrome. Those with diabetes are more likely to develop cancer, especially of certain organs such as the pancreas and liver.

Diabetes Medicines and Potential Risks
Older, cheaper diabetes drugs are as safe and effective as newer ones. There is no reason to jump on the latest bandwagon of new diabetes drugs -- such as Glaxo Smith Kline's Avandia / Avandamet (rosiglitazone) and Takeda and Lilly's Actos (pioglitazone) -- unless their prices drop and many years go by proving their safety.
   People with type 2 diabetes who take sulfonylureas or insulin appear to be at increased risk of dying from cancer compared with their peers who take metformin. However, this relationship is very preliminary; it is still uncertain whether the increased risks of cancer-related mortality observed are related to a protective effect of metformin or deleterious effects of sulfonylurea and insulin. The so-called sulfonylureas boost production of insulin, while the drug metformin makes the body's existing stores of insulin more effective.

Type one diabetes natural treatment
Shorter sleep duration decreases insulin sensitivity in patients with type 1 diabetes. Therefore, getting regular deep, long sleep can be of benefit. Moderate exercise and morning light exposure help with getting a deep rest at night. Berries could be of benefit as well as certain supplements.

Effect of a dietary supplement containing blueberry and sea buckthorn concentrate on antioxidant capacity in type 1 diabetic children.
Acta Physiol Hung. 2008. Nemes-Nagy E, Szocs-Molnár T, Dunca I, Balogh-Sămărghiţan V, Hobai S, Morar R. Medical Biochemistry Department, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Str. Gheorghe Marinescu, Târgu-Mureş, Romania.
We investigated the relationship between the glycated hemoglobin, C peptide and two antioxidant enzymes. Thirty type 1 diabetic children were treated with a blueberry and sea buckthorn concentrate for two months. After two months of administering the product to diabetic children, the erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity was significantly higher. Levels of glycated hemoglobin were significantly lower. C peptide concentration was significantly higher after treatment with this dietary supplement. Treatment with this dietary supplement has a beneficial effect in the treatment of type 1 diabetic children and it should be considered as a phytotherapeutic product in the fight against diabetes mellitus.

Oral benfotiamine plus alpha-lipoic acid normalises complication-causing pathways in type 1 diabetes.
Diabetologia. 2008. Du X, Edelstein D. JDRF International Center for Diabetic Complications Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA.
We determined whether fixed doses of benfotiamine in combination with slow-release alpha-lipoic acid normalise markers of reactive oxygen species-induced pathways of complications in humans. Male participants with and without type 1 diabetes were studied in the General Clinical Research Centre of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In the nine participants with type 1 diabetes, treatment had no effect on any of the three indicators used to assess hyperglycaemia. However, treatment with benfotiamine plus alpha-lipoic acid completely normalised increased AGE formation, reduced increased monocyte hexosamine-modified proteins by 40% and normalised the 70% decrease in prostacyclin synthase activity. Our results show that the previously demonstrated beneficial effects of these agents on complication-causing pathways in rodent models of diabetic complications also occur in humans with type 1 diabetes.

Taking cod liver oil early in life appears to reduce the chances that children will develop insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes. The protection may possibly come from the anti-inflammatory effects of long-chain n-3 fatty acids found in cod liver oil.

Complications
Diabetic Nephropathy information and how to improve symptoms
Diabetic Neuropathy information and natural therapy
Diabetic Retinopathy information and the use of natural supplements to improve vision in diabetics
 

Diabetes natural treatment and prevention emails
I am managing my diabetes better than I have ever been able to. My cost per month is less than the co pay I used to have for all my drugs. Having banaba, a quality R lipoic acid, and benfotiamine makes my life easier.

I recently purchased R lipoic acid, cinnamon extract, fenugreek and milk thistle and I wanted to know if these supplements could be taken together or not.
   The answer is much more complicated than it would appear. It's best to learn how each supplement by itself influences your blood sugar level before combining.

I have type 2 diabetes under control 5.8 A1C. Is there a recommended dosage for CoQ10 treatment to those with a diabetes condition?
   There is no accepted ideal dosage for coQ10 to those who have diabetes. As a general rule I prefer lower dosages, such as 30 mg rather than 100 mg.

I have type 1 diabetes, what are the best vitamins for me. I am really looking for a one a day or so, I travel a lot for my job and can not take all the herbs and things that would help me out.
    Diet and supplements are not as influential in treating diabetes type one as they are in type two but they can still be helpful.

I have read studies showing people with low levels of vitamin D and magnesium are at higher risk of type II diabetes. I also know that regular exercise and eating a high fiber breakfast are also important in prevention. Do you know if any other nutritional deficiencies can contribute, do you know if any studies on any other vitamins or minerals have shown that low vs high levels can play a role in the development of type II diabetes.
    The management of high blood sugar levels is quite complex and there are a number of nutritional and dietary factors that have a influence.