Discover the 11 Best Blood Sugar Supplements in 2023

Balancing blood sugar is vital for overall health, affecting everything from energy levels to serious conditions like diabetes. In 2023, there’s a growing interest in natural ways to maintain this balance, particularly through blood sugar supplements. Packed with beneficial ingredients, they aim to regulate blood sugar and support the body’s insulin production.

In this article, we’ll spotlight the top 11 options for 2023. Whether you’re a health enthusiast or simply seeking natural ways to manage your blood sugar, this guide will provide the necessary insights to make an informed decision regarding blood sugar supplements.

Understanding Blood Sugar and Its Importance

Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is an essential energy source for our bodies, particularly for brain function. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is vital, not just for physical activities but also for cognitive processes.

Balanced blood sugar levels have implications for our overall health and well-being. We benefit from sustained energy, better focus, fewer cravings, and mood stability when these levels are stable. Conversely, fluctuations can lead to fatigue, irritability, and cravings for sugary foods.

Consistently high or unregulated blood sugar can trigger serious health complications like diabetes. This chronic condition arises when the body either fails to produce adequate insulin or can’t effectively use what it does produce. Insulin is crucial to control blood sugar levels, ensuring they don’t swing too high or too low. In its absence, blood sugar levels can dangerously escalate, leading to diabetes and other health issues.

What Are Blood Sugar Supplements?

Blood sugar supplements, derived from natural substances, regulate glucose levels and aid with blood pressure management. They can bolster insulin sensitivity, decelerate sugar absorption, and optimize cellular glucose usage. Common supplements for this purpose include fiber, magnesium, and cinnamon.

A common misconception about these dietary supplements is that they can solely manage or cure conditions like diabetes. Remembering that they should be part of a broader health strategy is essential. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.

Top 11 Blood Sugar Supplements in 2023

Choosing the best blood sugar supplements involves considering their effectiveness in regulating blood sugar, potential side effects, cost, and personal health needs. Below, we’ll delve into a detailed review of the top options, discussing their benefits and potential drawbacks to help you make an informed decision.

Vinegar

Vinegar, containing acidic acid, can benefit digestion by slowing food movement from the stomach to the small intestines. This results in slower absorption of carbohydrates, which can reduce insulin response and damage caused by high blood sugar levels. Furthermore, acetic acid might enhance insulin signaling through various molecular mechanisms. However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of vinegar in preventing or treating type 2 diabetes remains uncertain, as well as its long-term benefits for individuals with impaired glucose tolerance. [1]

Glycine

Glycine holds potential in human clinical trials as a supplement for effectively lowering short-term blood sugar levels and enhancing fasting blood sugar and HbA1c when taken daily. Its efficacy is yet to be established, as most studies lasted less than 24 hours; further research of higher quality and longer duration is required to fully determine its impact on blood sugar levels. [2][3]

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has been studied for its potential to improve blood sugar control. The current evidence, based on 12 trials conducted on individuals with type 2 diabetes, is inconclusive. These trials have investigated the effects of vitamin C on markers of glycemic control. [4][5]

Inositol

Pinitol, a type of inositol, has been found beneficial for managing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. In particular, 3-O-Methyl-D-chiro-inositol (pinitol) has been extensively studied and shown to lower fasting blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance, such as those with type 2 diabetes. [6][7]

Berberine

Berberine, a natural compound, is promising for managing blood sugar and insulin levels in type 2 diabetes patients. Studies have shown to lower blood sugar levels significantly and HbA1c, but more research is needed to understand its effectiveness fully. [8]

Chromium

Chromium supplementation benefits type 2 diabetes patients by regulating blood sugar levels. Research indicates it can reduce the likelihood of developing the condition and minimize spikes in blood sugar levels after meals. If you have kidney or liver disease, it is recommended to refrain from taking chromium supplements. [9][10]

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

ALA, or alpha-lipoic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce oxidation and potentially lower blood glucose levels in the short term. However, its effectiveness in managing complications of type 2 diabetes, like diabetic neuropathy pain, is not consistently proven. [11]

Cinnamon

Cinnamon supplements may help reduce fasting blood glucose levels and slightly enhance HbA1c in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, particularly those with HbA1c levels of 8% or above. [12][13]

Zinc

Zinc supplements can improve insulin sensitivity and lower fasting blood sugar and HbA1c levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. It’s important to note that while many people will benefit from this, not everyone with high fasting blood sugar levels will experience significant changes.[14][15]

Magnesium

Magnesium supplementation enhances insulin sensitivity, particularly in individuals with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes and low magnesium levels. Adding magnesium supplements may decrease inflammation, enhance insulin sensitivity, and modestly decrease fasting blood sugar levels. [16][17]

Fiber

Adding fiber to your diet can enhance blood glucose control, lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and improve blood sugar levels. However, a high-fiber diet should be balanced with adequate fluids to prevent intestinal blockage. [18][19]

How to Use Blood Sugar Supplements

Incorporating blood sugar supplements into your routine, often with meals, requires planning and professional consultation to help regulate glucose levels.

However, it’s important to note that these supplements cannot replace prescribed medications for conditions like diabetes. They are intended to supplement a healthy diet and lifestyle, not substitute medical treatment.

Regarding safety, while most blood sugar supplements are generally safe, they may cause side effects in some people. Depending on the supplement and the individual’s health status, these can range from mild gastrointestinal discomfort to more serious issues. This underscores the importance of consulting a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.

The effectiveness of blood sugar supplements can vary, with results seen from a few weeks to several months, depending on factors like supplement type, dosage, and individual health factors. While beneficial for blood glucose levels, supplements should not be the only control method. Regular check-ups with a healthcare professional, a balanced diet, and regular physical activity are crucial to any health regimen.

Conclusion

In conclusion, blood sugar supplements like those listed in this article can support healthy glucose metabolism and help maintain balanced blood sugar levels. They offer various benefits, from enhancing insulin sensitivity to slowing sugar absorption. However, it’s crucial to remember that these supplements are just one piece of the puzzle.

Achieving and maintaining balanced blood sugar levels is a holistic process that includes a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and periodic check-ups with a healthcare professional. While these supplements can support your efforts, they should not replace prescribed medications or a healthy lifestyle. Everyone’s body is unique, and what works best may vary from person to person. Therefore, always seek professional advice for personalized recommendations before starting any new supplement regimen.

REFERENCES:

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[2] Cruz M, Maldonado-Bernal C, Mondragón-Gonzalez R, Sanchez-Barrera R, Wacher NH, Carvajal-Sandoval G, Kumate J. Glycine treatment decreases proinflammatory cytokines and increases interferon-gamma in patients with type 2 diabetes. J Endocrinol Invest. 2008 Aug;31(8):694-9. doi: 10.1007/BF03346417. PMID: 18852529.

[3] Gannon MC, Nuttall JA, Nuttall FQ. The metabolic response to ingested glycine. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Dec;76(6):1302-7. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/76.6.1302. PMID: 12450897.

[4] Chen H, Karne RJ, Hall G, Campia U, Panza JA, Cannon RO 3rd, Wang Y, Katz A, Levine M, Quon MJ. High-dose oral vitamin C partially replenishes vitamin C levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes and low vitamin C levels but does not improve endothelial dysfunction or insulin resistance. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2006 Jan;290(1):H137-45. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00768.2005. Epub 2005 Aug 26. PMID: 16126809.

[5] Wilson R, Willis J, Gearry R, Skidmore P, Fleming E, Frampton C, Carr A. Inadequate Vitamin C Status in Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Associations with Glycaemic Control, Obesity, and Smoking. Nutrients. 2017 Sep 9;9(9):997. doi: 10.3390/nu9090997. PMID: 28891932; PMCID: PMC5622757.

[6] Kim HJ, Park KS, Lee SK, Min KW, Han KA, Kim YK, Ku BJ. Effects of pinitol on glycemic control, insulin resistance and adipocytokine levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;60(1):1-5. doi: 10.1159/000334834. Epub 2011 Dec 16. PMID: 22179130.

[7] Choi JY, Shin SK, Jeon SM, Baek NI, Chung HG, Jeong TS, Lee KT, Lee MK, Choi MS. Dose-response study of sajabalssuk ethanol extract from Artemisia princeps Pampanini on blood glucose in subjects with impaired fasting glucose or mild type 2 diabetes. J Med Food. 2011 Jan-Feb;14(1-2):101-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.1266. Epub 2010 Dec 7. PMID: 21138376.

[8] Liang Y, Xu X, Yin M, Zhang Y, Huang L, Chen R, Ni J. Effects of berberine on blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic literature review and a meta-analysis. Endocr J. 2019 Jan 28;66(1):51-63. doi: 10.1507/endocrj.EJ18-0109. Epub 2018 Nov 3. PMID: 30393248.

[9] McIver DJ, Grizales AM, Brownstein JS, Goldfine AB. Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Is Lower in US Adults Taking Chromium-Containing Supplements. J Nutr. 2015 Dec;145(12):2675-82. doi: 10.3945/jn.115.214569. Epub 2015 Oct 7. PMID: 26446484; PMCID: PMC4656904.

[10] Frauchiger MT, Wenk C, Colombani PC. Effects of acute chromium supplementation on postprandial metabolism in healthy young men. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Aug;23(4):351-7. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2004.10719378. PMID: 15310739.

[11] Abubaker SA, Alonazy AM, Abdulrahman A. Effect of Alpha-Lipoic Acid in the Treatment of Diabetic Neuropathy: A Systematic Review. Cureus. 2022 Jun 8;14(6):e25750. doi: 10.7759/cureus.25750. PMID: 35812639; PMCID: PMC9264721.

[12] Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003 Dec;26(12):3215-8. doi: 10.2337/diacare.26.12.3215. PMID: 14633804.

[13] Mang B, Wolters M, Schmitt B, Kelb K, Lichtinghagen R, Stichtenoth DO, Hahn A. Effects of a cinnamon extract on plasma glucose, HbA, and serum lipids in diabetes mellitus type 2. Eur J Clin Invest. 2006 May;36(5):340-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2006.01629.x. PMID: 16634838.

[14] Partida-Hernández G, Arreola F, Fenton B, Cabeza M, Román-Ramos R, Revilla-Monsalve MC. Effect of zinc replacement on lipids and lipoproteins in type 2-diabetic patients. Biomed Pharmacother. 2006 May;60(4):161-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2006.02.004. Epub 2006 Mar 29. PMID: 16632297.

[15] Parham M, Amini M, Aminorroaya A, Heidarian E. Effect of zinc supplementation on microalbuminuria in patients with type 2 diabetes: a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Rev Diabet Stud. 2008 Summer;5(2):102-9. doi: 10.1900/RDS.2008.5.102. Epub 2008 Aug 10. PMID: 18795212; PMCID: PMC2556442.

[16] Simental-Mendía LE, Sahebkar A, Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on the effects of magnesium supplementation on insulin sensitivity and glucose control. Pharmacol Res. 2016 Sep;111:272-282. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2016.06.019. Epub 2016 Jun 18. PMID: 27329332.

[17] Verma H, Garg R. Effect of magnesium supplementation on type 2 diabetes associated cardiovascular risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2017 Oct;30(5):621-633. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12454. Epub 2017 Feb 2. PMID: 28150351.

[18] Dreher, M.L. (2018). Fiber in Type 2 Diabetes Prevention  and Management. In: Dietary Fiber in Health and Disease. Nutrition and Health. Humana Press, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-50557-2_11

[18] Dreher, M.L. (2018). Fiber in Type 2 Diabetes Prevention and Management. In: Dietary Fiber in Health and Disease. Nutrition and Health. Humana Press, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-50557-2_11

[19] Reynolds A, Mann J, Cummings J, Winter N, Mete E, Te Morenga L. Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Lancet. 2019 Feb 2;393(10170):434-445. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31809-9. Epub 2019 Jan 10. Erratum in: Lancet. 2019 Feb 2;393(10170):406. PMID: 30638909.

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Dr. Linnea Passaler

Dr. Linnea Passaler has dedicated 20+ years to serving patients, first to a small number of individuals as a successful surgeon and then to thousands of people worldwide as the CEO of a digital health startup. After overcoming her own struggles with a dysregulated nervous system, she created Heal Your Nervous System (HYNS) to empower others in their healing journey. Her combination of neuroscience and somatic work helps those struggling with overwhelm, trauma, burnout, and anxiety to heal their dysregulated nervous systems and thrive.