Six Popular Diabetes Supplements and Their Effect on Type II

For someone with diabetes, often there are 6 supplements recommended by well-meaning persons. These are alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, magnesium, coenzyme Q10, garlic, omega-3 fatty acids. The following info relates findings by the government regarding the effectiveness of every one of these supplements.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Above normal levels of blood glucose are one cause of oxidative stress. It is believed that alpha-lipoic acid should be beneficial due to its antioxidant abilities. There have been some small studies in animals and in people showing some beneficial results. The concern to understand is that someone with diabetes needs to be aware that an alpha-lipoic acid supplement could lower blood sugar a great deal. So you’d want to pay careful attention to your blood sugar level. Alpha-lipoic acid might also reduce blood concentrations of some minerals (iron) and can interfere with some medicines (such as antacids), and due to its antioxidant capabilities it might diminish the effectiveness of some anticancer drugs.


Chromium is often sold in the form of chromium picolinate, and chromium polynicotinate. Chromium can add to insulin and have effects on blood sugar by causing it to become too low. Some other low dosage side effects might include skin irritation, headache, weight gain, insomnia and sleep problems (which could result in mood changes). High doses for one having diabetes could result in the development of kidney Reversirol concerns. Above all, it is just not known whether there is any benefit for someone with diabetes to take chromium, and there currently is a lack of substantiated, scientific science studies to support a benefit.


Popular supplements of this mineral include Calcium-Magnesium-Zinc tablets and liquid forms of magnesium. Magnesium is involved in muscle function and helps the heart, nerves, and making proteins. Those with diabetes commonly have reduced levels of magnesium. Research currently found that magnesium didn’t influence blood glucose control. Additionally, low magnesium levels might make glucose control worse in type II diabetes and might contribute to further complications. Although there is some evidence that magnesium supplementation might be helpful for insulin resistance. Magnesium supplements seem to be safe at low doses, however at high doses they can cause extremely low blood pressure and irregular heart rate and other problems. Magnesium could also affect antibiotics.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) helps cells make energy and also acts as an antioxidant. CoQ10 has not been shown to affect blood glucose control. CoQ10 seems to be safe for most of the adult population. CoQ10 might interact with certain medicines (such as warfarin) and those used for high blood pressure and cancer chemotherapy.


This is the same type of garlic as used on food. It is a herb that also thins the blood. “Allicin” gives garlic its strong taste and odor, and it is the main component of garlic that is looked at the most. One of the claims for garlic is that the rates of some diseases are smaller in countries where lots of garlic is consumed (although a direct correlation has not been proven). There are some reports that indicate that garlic may have some related activities that may be relevant to the treatment of diabetes, but also nothing has been proven directly. Garlic is safe for most adults, particularly the fresh or crushed garlic. One thing to note is that garlic may interfere with the action of birth control pills, and cyclosporine, and medications that are broken down by the liver, and those medications designed to thin the blood. Garlic is also known for that garlic breath “odor”.

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