More than 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes and 90% aren’t even aware they have it. Being prediabetic increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.1
Blood Sugar Support by Beyond Vita contains the best science-backed supplements for blood sugar support.
Berberine is a bioactive compound found in many different plants native to India, Asia and other countries that has a long history in traditional herbal medicine.
Berberine may help lower blood sugar by promoting the regeneration and functional recovery of beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells produce and secrete insulin so berberine can promote the production of insulin. Berberine may also increase insulin sensitivity so the insulin that is secreted works better.2,3,4,5
In a 2009 study on 36 participants with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, researchers found that berberine supplementation decreased HbA1c by 21% and fasting blood glucose by 35%. They concluded that berberine is a potent oral hypoglycemic agent.6
Another study with 116 participants with type 2 diabetes found similar results. HbA1c decreased by 12% and fasting blood sugar by 20%. Researchers concluded berberine is a safe and effective treatment for type 2 diabetes.7
Researchers in a review of several studies claim that berberine is as effective as conventional oral hypoglycemics for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.8
Additionally, berberine has been shown to improve fasting blood sugar levels in people with metabolic syndrome.9
Berberine may help lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.
2. Banaba Leaf
Banaba leaf is a tropical plant native to southern Asia. It’s also known as pride of India or Lagerstroemia speciosa. Traditionally, in herbal medicine it has been used in the treatment of diabetes.
Corosolic acid from banaba leaf has been reported to lower blood sugar levels within 60 mins in diabetics.13 It is suspected corosolic acid is able to due this by indirectly activating cells to take up glucose from the blood by reducing insulin resistance.14 Because of this, researchers claim it may be useful for treating type 2 diabetes.15
Some researchers claim banaba leaf extract has insulin-like glucose transport inducing activity.16
In a 2003 study, researchers reported that participants who took banaba leaf extract saw a 30% decrease in blood glucose.17
Researchers in another study claim that banaba leaf and corosolic acid both may be beneficial in addressing metabolic syndrome symptoms.18
Banaba leaf may help lower blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity.
Cinnamon is a spice from the inner bark of the Cinnanomum cassia and Cinnamomum verum tree.
Cinnamon is thought to improve insulin sensitivity through the insulin sensitizing effects of some polyphenols. Researchers also say that cinnamon may help prevent and alleviate type 2 diabetes.22
In a trial of 60 people with type 2 diabetes cinnamon supplementation reduced average fasting blood glucose by 29% and the researchers noted cinnamon can reduce the risk factors associated with diabetes.23
Another trial on 79 participants with type 2 diabetes also found cinnamon reduced fasting blood sugar by 10.3%.24
Cinnamon was also shown to significantly reduce HbA1c in a trial with 58 participants.25
Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity.
Since chromium is needed for insulin to function in the body, chromium deficiency has been linked with an increased risk of developing diabetes.34
A randomized clinical study from 2015 on 71 patients with high A1c found that chromium supplementation lowered fasting blood glucose an average of -31.0 mg/dL in patients with type 2 diabetes. The researchers concluded chromium had a beneficial effect on blood sugar control.37
Researchers also found in a study of 62,160 adults that people who used chromium supplements reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 27%.38
Chromium may help lower blood sugar levels.
5. Bitter Melon
Bitter melon (Momordica charantia), also known as bitter gourd, is a tropical vine native to Asia, Africa and South America. Traditionally as a herbal medicine it’s been used in the treatment of diabetes in India.
Researchers in a 2018 randomized and placebo-controlled study involving 52 participants with prediabetes found that bitter melon supplementation lowered fasting blood glucose levels.42
In another study researchers found that bitter melon led to significant reductions in both fasting and post meal blood sugar levels.43
Bitter melon has also been shown to significantly reduce HbA1c, weight, BMI and fat percentage according to another 2018 study.44
Researchers have demonstrated a lower risk for the onset of metabolic syndrome in people supplementing with bitter melon.47
Additionally, bitter melon could be more effective than the medicine rosiglitazone in the management of diabetes and it’s related complications according to a 2009 study.48
Bitter melon may help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
Alpha-lipoic acid, also known as ALA and lipoic acid, is a compound made by the body and found in all human cells. It acts as a powerful antioxidant to reduce damage from free radicals.
ALA may help lower blood sugar by enhancing glucose transport and utilization. In a randomized and controlled trial of 74 patients with type 2 diabetes, researchers found that oral supplementation of alpha-lipoic acid can improve insulin sensitivity.52
Another study on participants with type 2 diabetes found that ALA increases glucose disposal from the blood by augmenting the actions of insulin.53
Researchers also reported a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar in a third study on type 2 diabetics receiving alpha-lipoic acid supplementation.54
Peripheral insulin sensitivity has also been shown to improve as a result if ALA supplementation.55
Alpha-lipoic acid may help lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics.
Gymnema, also known as Gymnema sylvestre, is woody vine native to parts of Asia, Africa and Australia. It’s popular in Ayurvedic medicine and it’s name in Hindi is gurmar which means “sugar destroyer”.
Gymnemic acid from gymnema is able to promote the release of insulin from beta cells in the pancreas by activating certain pathways the body uses to control the storage of sugar from the blood.59,60,61
Increasing the amount of insulin released results in a decrease in blood sugar. That is why gymnema is a possible treatment for hyperglycemia that’s related to type 2 diabetes.62
Gymnema is also able to protect and even regenerate beta-cells in the pancreas.63
In a study of 22 type 2 diabetics researchers found gymnema extract was able to significantly lower blood sugar in the participants. In addition 5 of the 22 diabetic participants were even able to stop the use of their medication and use gymnema extract to maintain a normal blood sugar level. The researchers concluded that gymnema can repair beta cells in the pancreas.64
Gymnema may be able to lower blood sugar by increasing the production of insulin.
8. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to have a negative effect on the cells that produce insulin called beta cells. Additionally, vitamin D has been shown to have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity.67,68,69
Researchers in a 2008 study concluded that normal vitamin D levels provide protection against developing type 2 diabetes.70
Vitamin D may help lower blood sugar by improving beta cell function and insulin sensitivity.
Vanadium has been investigated in diabetics with promising results.71 In non-insulin dependent diabetics vanadium has been shown to increase glycogen synthesis which was able to lower blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity in the study participants.72
Another study on vanadium in type 1 diabetics found the participants were able to reduce their daily doses of insulin from 37.2 to 25.8 units while at the same time their mean fasting blood sugar level fell from 238 to 152 mg/dL. The researchers concluded vanadium is safe and effective for long term use in type 1 diabetics.73
Vanadium may help lower blood sugar levels.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is plant in the legume family from Eurasia. It has traditionally been used to reduce blood sugar levels.
In a 2009 study involving 24 type 2 diabetics, researchers found fenugreek supplementation resulted in a 25% decrease in fasting blood sugar.79
Researchers in a 3 year randomized and placebo controlled study on 140 women with prediabetes found that participants who did not take fenugreek had a 4.2 times higher chance of developing diabetes compared to the participants that took fenugreek.80
In another study in 2017, researchers found fenugreek can help reduce fasting blood sugar as well as HbA1c.81
Fenugreek may be able to help lower fasting blood sugar.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that is required for many different biological processes including energy metabolism.
Low magnesium intake has been associated with developing type 2 diabetes in a meta-analysis of 13 studies involving 536,318 participants.85
A 2014 study concluded that magnesium intake may be beneficial in reducing the risk of developing diabetes.86
In a randomized double-blind controlled trial, researchers found that magnesium decreased fasting blood sugar levels by 22.3% and HbA1c by 20.8% compared to the placebo group.87
Magnesium may help lower blood sugar levels.
CoQ10, also known as coenzyme Q10, is an important compound that plays many vital roles in the body including energy generation.
A 2014 randomized double-blind and placebo controlled study found that CoQ10 supplementation significantly lowered fasting blood sugar and HbA1C.91
A 2018 meta-analysis on 13 trials involving 765 patients with type 2 diabetes reported that CoQ10 may assist with blood sugar control.92
CoQ10 may also slow the progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes according to researchers.93
Researchers in another meta-analysis of 18 studies also found that CoQ10 supplementation can reduce blood glucose levels.94
CoQ10 may help lower blood sugar levels.
13. Curcumin and Turmeric
Curcumin is the key bioactive curcuminoid found in the roots of the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa) that has a long history in traditional medicine.
In a 2013 randomized double-blind and placebo controlled study on 100 type 2 diabetics, curcumin supplementation was shown to significantly reduce both fasting blood sugar and HbA1c. The researchers suspect the glucose lowering effect is due to the ability of curcumin to reduce free fatty acids in the blood.95
Researchers in a 9 month study with 240 pre-diabetics reported that compared to 16.4% of participants in the placebo group, 0% of the curcumin group developed type 2 diabetes during the study. They also reported curcumin improved the overall function of the beta-cells in the pancreases of the participants.96
Curcumin may help lower blood sugar levels and prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
These are the best science-backed supplements for blood sugar support and optimization.
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