T Nation

Supplements For Diabetes


My mom has diabetes and I wanted to ask some of you folks, who are in the same boat, for your opinion. Her blood sugar levels are borderline high (or in the diabetic range). I'm trying to see what are some supps that could help her out. I guess the biggest thing with this disease is to exercise and control your diet. However, other than fish oils and a good multi-vitamin, I don't really know what can help..

If anyone has got some ideas, please let me know.


This is something you should really be consulting with a physician about. Diabetes is not a joking matter really when it comes to using different types of supplements without first consulting a doctor.

I know you asked about other diabetics to respond, I'm just stating the obvious just in case.


Hey there? I'm a diabetic myself, all i got to say is the right foods and eating them at the right time will surely stabalize blood sugar and another thing that is more helpful then supplements is decaffeinated green tea! Drinking it freshley brewed in the morning and before bedtime will lower blood sugar.
Everything should be eaten in moderation, and with exercise in moderation also.


Type I diabetic here. Haha, been kicking diabetes in the ass for many years and will continue to do so. Aside from regular visits to an endocrinologist, good diet and a regular exercise program are essential.

Tell your Mom to look into regularly taking ground cinnomon. There has been a lot of research lately on the health benefits of cinnomon.


The important thing to remember is that diabetes can be controlled and one can choose to live a long and healthy life with the disease. Take her to the gym with you sometime because many of the principals of a weightlifting lifestyle parallel with good diabetes control.


Bump to the Cinnamon post. Its great for lowering your LDL.



I'm in the same boat.
My mother was diagnosed with Diabetes early last year. Her doctor prescribed the South Beach diet for her and it has worked wonders.
She basically re-learned how to eat.

She's been overweight most of my life and it was quite a shock to her how much hidden sugar there is out there.
Milk in particular, she would drink almost a half gallon a day...which she discovered (surprise!) is loaded with sugar.

So i would suggest that plan as a good start for a non-athlete/bodybuilder dealing with diabetes.
Very easy to follow.

Her blood sugar was through the roof. And she got it under control completely with this diet and no drugs what so ever.

Right now her blood sugar is perfect and she's about 30-40 pounds lighter.

Give your mom a solid nutrition plan to follow as opposed to "tips".


I agree with the majority of posts. You can't fix diabetes with supplements. She needs to control her carb intake and be consistant with it in order to control her glucose levels. She should also spend some time with a nutritionist or registered dietician that can help her with her food intake issues. This is something you can do for her, she needs to take control and make her own choices based on her own education.


Thanks for all the suggestions. I did have a question about green tea. Any particular reason to have the decaffeinated version? I believe Shugart mentioned on the forum that decaffeination can sometimes result in a loss of the anti-oxidants.


On cinnamon, I don't know if anybody saw one of the lastest article on cinnamon...

It is just one articla, but I would have liked to see better results...

Cinnamon supplementation does not improve glycemic control in postmenopausal type 2 diabetes patients.

Vanschoonbeek K, Thomassen BJ, Senden JM, Wodzig WK, van Loon LJ.

Department of Human Biology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands. K.Vanschoonbeek@HB.unimaas.nl

In vitro and in vivo animal studies have reported strong insulin-like or insulin-potentiating effects after cinnamon administration. Recently, a human intervention study showed that cinnamon supplementation (1 g/d) strongly reduced fasting blood glucose concentration (30%) and improved the blood lipid profile in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of cinnamon supplementation on insulin sensitivity and/or glucose tolerance and blood lipid profile in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Therefore, a total of 25 postmenopausal patients with type 2 diabetes (aged 62.9 +/- 1.5 y, BMI 30.4 +/- 0.9 kg/m2) participated in a 6-wk intervention during which they were supplemented with either cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia, 1.5 g/d) or a placebo.

Before and after 2 and 6 wk of supplementation, arterialized blood samples were obtained and oral glucose tolerance tests were performed. Blood lipid profiles and multiple indices of whole-body insulin sensitivity were determined.

There were no time x treatment interactions for whole-body insulin sensitivity or oral glucose tolerance. The blood lipid profile of fasting subjects did not change after cinnamon supplementation.

We conclude that cinnamon supplementation (1.5 g/d) does not improve whole-body insulin sensitivity or oral glucose tolerance and does not modulate blood lipid profile in postmenopausal patients with type 2 diabetes.

More research on the proposed health benefits of cinnamon supplementation is warranted before health claims should be made.



Like anything else, its the consistent basics, not a supp or two, that'll make the difference. I'd go with low glycemic index foods; ie - fiber, meat, other protein foods, veggies and low index fruits. Plus, exercise assists in sugar metabolism too.


dump the caffein, it screws with glucose uptake. search the archives. i believe Berardi wrote the articles about caffein and its effects on glucose and insulin resistance.


A good multi is a MUST!
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Coenzyme Q-10
High fibre too slow the absorbstion of sugars
Exercise to keep weight down

.....and although there are only a few studies done to support my theory, I strongly believe that you should stay away from any products that contain Aspertame.

Aspertame has been shown to raise blood pressure, which will greatly increase the risk of complications.


Creatine and Lipoic acid have been shown to help with muscle glucose uptake, but others are dead on, in that it's all about a proper lifestyle.


Berardi has written several times on T-Nation about the negative side of caffeine.

Read this part of Appetite For Construction called "Coffee Drinkers Beware!"


I have been diagnosed as "pre"-diabetic. The numbers on my glucose tolerance test were not good, not quite diabetic but I was on my way. Like everyone others said, diet and exercise are the biggest things to do. But a couple of supplements my doc recommended are chromium and ALA.


I just wanted to check on aspartame and blood pressure and I actually just found one that had been done on rats.

Technically, the constituents of aspartame have hypotensive effects, which was shown in the study below.

If anyone else found other studies, please share.

J Neural Transm. 1986;66(2):121-8. Related Articles, Links

Acute effects of aspartame on systolic blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

Kiritsy PJ, Maher TJ.

Exogenous tyrosine lowers blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). The artificial sweetener aspartame also elevates blood and brain tyrosine levels in rats by being hydrolyzed to phenylalanine, which is then rapidly hydroxylated to tyrosine in the liver.

Hence we tested the ability of aspartame; its hydrolytic products phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol; and of tyrosine itself to lower blood pressure in SHR. For one week prior to experimentation rats were acclimated to the indirect blood pressure measurement technique; on the day of an experiment they received I.P. injections (mg/kg) of aspartame (12.5-200), tyrosine (25-200) or phenylalanine (100-200), or of aspartic acid or methanol in the doses theoretically contained within 200 mg/kg aspartame.

Animals receiving 50, 100 or 200 mg/kg of aspartame exhibited maximum falls in blood pressure of 17.3, 24.2 and 19.3 mmHg, respectively. All changes were significant, as determined by ANOVA and the Newman-Keuls test (p less than 0.05).

Tyrosine or phenylalanine also lowered blood pressure, but aspartic acid or methanol produced no significant effects. C

o-administration of aspartame with valine, a large neutral amino acid that competes with phenylalanine or tyrosine for brain uptake, attenuated aspartame's hypotensive effect.

These observations suggest that the neurochemical changes produced by aspartame lead to predicted tyrosine-induced changes in blood pressure.



artificial sweeteners are also not good for the insulin resistant for two reasons:
1. ingesting artificial sweeteners still releases insulin, thereby defeating the purpose of diabetics eating artificial sweeteners. apparently the sweet taste is a signal to release insulin.
2. artificial sweeteners actually contain a tiny amount of sugar. read the labels. the amount of sugar is below what the FDA considers a significant amount, and therefore considers these artificial sweeteners sugar-free. confused? good. because it's the type of logic that only makes sense to bureaucrats.



the very act of muscle contraction transports glucose into muscle even in the absence of insulin.


Artificial sweetners that do not contain sugar have 0 effect on insulin, this has been discussed and shown ad nauseam.

Cephalic response to sweet has been shown not to exist for artificial sweetners.

Has for those that do contain sugar, if per paquet you can't even get 1 cal from it, I believe it is insignificant, for insulin response and for diet purposes.