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Type 2 Diabetes

Also indexed as:Blood Sugar (Diabetes), Diabetes, Type 2, High Blood Sugar
Also known as adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes can often be managed by carefully monitoring your diet. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful. 
SupplementAmountWhy
Alpha-Lipoic Acid
600 to 1,200 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
Taking alpha lipoic acid may improve insulin sensitivity and help protect against diabetic complications such as nerve damage.
Brewer’s Yeast
9 grams (about 2 teaspoons) daily3 stars[3 stars]
Chromium-rich brewer’s yeast has been shown to be useful in treating type 2 diabetes in several ways, including by improving blood glucose control.
Cayenne Topical

(Diabetic Neuropathy)
Apply an ointment containing 0.025 to 0.075% capsaicin four times daily to areas of nerve pain3 stars[3 stars]
Topically applied capsaicin (from cayenne) may help relieve nerve pain.
Chromium
200 to 500 mcg daily, or more under doctor supervision3 stars[3 stars]
Chromium has been shown to be useful in treating type 2 diabetes in several ways, including by improving blood glucose control.
Fenugreek
5 grams or more daily3 stars[3 stars]
Fenugreek seeds appears to lower blood glucose levels by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and absorption.
Fiber
15 grams (about 1 tablespoon) daily3 stars[3 stars]
Taking fiber supplements may improve blood glucose control and reduce insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes.
Folic Acid
6 mg methylfolate daily3 stars[3 stars]
Folic acid supplementation may improve blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. Folic acid also lowers homocysteine levels and preliminary evidence suggests it may help to prevent and treat diabetes complications.
Glucomannan
1 to 10 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Glucomannan delays stomach emptying, leading to more gradual glucose absorption and lower blood glucose levels after meals.
Magnesium
200 to 600 mg of elemental magnesium daily3 stars[3 stars]
People with type 2 diabetes tend to have low magnesium levels. Supplementing with magnesium may improve glucose metabolism and help prevent diabetes-related cardiovascular disease.
Probiotics
7 billion CFU or more of a mix of probiotic strains daily3 stars[3 stars]
Probiotics can improve blood glucose control, as well as cholesterol and triglyceride levels, in people with type 2 diabetes.
Psyllium
5 grams (about 1 teaspoon) twice daily with meals3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with psyllium has been shown to be a safe and well-tolerated way for people with type 2 diabetes to improve control of blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine

(Diabetic Neuropathy)
500 to 1,000 mg three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Taking acetyl-L-carnitine may improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Aloe
100 to 300 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Aloe vera leaf gel may help lower blood glucose levels and hemoglobin-A1c, a marker of long-term glycemic control, in people with type 2 diabetes.
American Ginseng
1 gram three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with American ginseng may help improve blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.
Asian Ginseng
5 grams of powdered root or an equivalent dose of Asian ginseng extract daily2 stars[2 stars]
Asian ginseng may help restore healthy insulin sensitivity and improve blood glucose and lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Berberine

(High Cholesterol)
500 mg two to three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Berberine may improve blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity and decrease risks of cardiovascular and other complications in people with type 2 diabetes.
Bilberry
160 mg two to three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Bilberry may improve glucose metabolism and lower the risk of some diabetic complications, such as diabetic retinopathy.
Biotin
9 to 15 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Biotin may improve glucose and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes and reduce pain from diabetic nerve damage.
Bitter Melon
2 grams daily2 stars[2 stars]
Bitter melon may help lower blood glucose levels and improve overall metabolism in people with type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon
1 to 3 grams daily2 stars[2 stars]
Cinnamon may improve glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Coenzyme Q10
100 to 200 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with CoQ10 may improve blood glucose control, insulin sensitivity, and cardiovascular health.
Crepe Myrtle
32 or 48 mg of an herbal extract standardized to contain 1% corosolic acid2 stars[2 stars]
Crepe myrtle has been used in folk medicine to treat diabetes, and preliminary research suggests it may lower blood glucose levels.
Green Tea
The best effective dose is unknown, but doses providing 450 mg of total green tea polyphenols (catechins) daily are considered moderate; doses providing 800 mg of EGCG or more daily have been linked to liver injury and are not considered safe.2 stars[2 stars]
Green tea may protect cardiovascular health and improve metabolism.
Gymnema
400 to 1,000 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Gymnema may stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin and help normalize blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Hairy Basil
10 grams three times daily with meals2 stars[2 stars]
Taking hairy basil seeds may help lower blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Holy Basil
1,000 to 2,500 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Taking holy basil may help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood glucose levels.
L-Carnitine
2 to 4 grams daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with L-carnitine may reduce glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, and support medical therapies for type 2 diabetes.
Milk Thistle
140 mg of silymarin three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with milk thistle extract may improve blood glucose levels, HbA1c, and insulin sensitivity, and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.
Multivitamin

(Infection)
Follow label instructions2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with a multivitamin–mineral may give your body the nutrients it needs to help prevent common infections.
Onion
2 to 3.5 ounces fresh onion daily2 stars[2 stars]
Onion may lower blood glucose levels and improve glucose tolerance in people with type 2 diabetes.
Pinitol
400 mg three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Pinitol may improve glucose metabolism in people with type 2 diabetes.
Pycnogenol
100 to 200 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Pycnogenol may improve blood glucose control and help prevent diabetes complications such as retinopathy in people with type 2 diabetes.
Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B12

(Diabetic Neuropathy)
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Taking vitamin B1 combined with vitamin B12 may improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B6

(Diabetic Neuropathy)
25 mg of vitamin B1 daily, with 50 mg of vitamin B6 daily2 stars[2 stars]
Taking vitamin B1 combined with vitamin B6 may improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Vitamin B12

(Diabetic Neuropathy)
1 to 10 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common in people being treated medically for type 2 diabetes. Supplementation can restore healthy levels and prevent dangerous long-term consequences of B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B6
35 mg of pyridoxal 5-phosphate twice daily2 stars[2 stars]
People with type 2 diabetes, and especially those with diabetes complication, tend to have low levels of active vitamin B6, a nutrient needed for healthy metabolism.
Vitamin C
500 mg one to two times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C may lower blood glucose levels and protect cardiovascular health.
Vitamin D
1,332 IU daily2 stars[2 stars]
4,000 IU per day
Vitamin D

(Diabetic Neuropathy)
2,000 IU of vitamin D daily for three months2 stars[2 stars]
In a preliminary trial, supplementing with vitamin D per day significantly improved pain by almost 50% in patients with diabetic neuropathy.
Vitamin E

(Diabetic Retinopathy)
1800 IU daily2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin E supplementation may protect against diabetic retinopathy.
Vitamin E

(Diabetic Neuropathy)
900 IU daily2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin E supplementation may protect against neuropathy.
Zinc
15 to 25 mg of elemental zinc daily2 stars[2 stars]
People with type 2 diabetes, especially those being treated with anti-diabetes medications, tend to be zinc deficient. In those with zinc deficiency, supplementation may improve blood glucose regulation and reduce insulin resistance.
Açaí
100 grams (about 3 ounces) açai berry pulp or the equivalent daily1 star[1 star]
Preliminary evidence suggests açai may have benefits in type 2 diabetes.
Amylase Inhibitors
Varies depending on source1 star[1 star]
Amylase inhibitors from various medicinal herbs and plant foods may reduce the usual after-meal rise in blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.
Evening Primrose Oil
4 grams daily1 star[1 star]
Preliminary research suggests evening primrose oil may be helpful for preventing and treating diabetic neuropathy.
Fish Oil
6 grams (about 1.25 teaspoons) of fish oil, providing approximately 2,000 mg of combined EPA and DHA, daily1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with fish oil can reduce inflammation and may lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Fructo-oligosaccharides
10 to 20 grams (about 2 to 4 teaspoons) daily1 star[1 star]
Fructo-oligosaccharides improve metabolic healthy by supporting growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Supplementing with fructo-oligosaccharides may improve blood glucose and lipid levels.
Ginkgo
120 mg daily1 star[1 star]
Ginkgo may improve the efficacy of commonly used anti-diabetes medications. It also appears to help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes-related complications.
Goldenseal
1 gram daily of berberine for two months 1 star[1 star]
Preliminary research with berberine (an active compound in goldenseal) for two months lowered blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Green Coffee Extract
Amount providing 400 to 450 mg chlorogenic acid daily1 star[1 star]
Drinking either regular or decaffeinated coffee has been associated with reduced type 2 diabetes risk in several studies.
Hibiscus
One cup of hibiscus tea two to three times daily1 star[1 star]
Hibiscus is a traditional remedy for diabetes. Preliminary research suggests it may lower blood pressure and improve lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Inositol
500 to 2,000 mg daily1 star[1 star]
Inositol has been shown to improve glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, and preliminary evidence suggests it may lower HbA1c in people with type 2 diabetes.
Manganese
1.8 to 2.6 mg daily1 star[1 star]
Manganese is important as an antioxidant and metabolic regulator. Supplementation to prevent deficiency may be helpful for people with type 2 diabetes.
Medium-Chain Triglycerides
1 to 3 tablespoons MCT oil daily1 star[1 star]
Replacing other dietary fats with medium-chain triglycerides may lead to metabolic benefits in people with type 2 diabetes.
Mistletoe
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Mistletoe extract has been shown to stimulate insulin release from pancreas cells, and it may reduce diabetes symptoms.
Moringa
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Moringa has been used traditionally to treat diabetes.
Olive Leaf
500 mg of olive leaf extract or three cups of olive leaf tea daily1 star[1 star]
Preliminary research suggests olive leaf may improve glucose metabolism and have benefits for people with type 2 diabetes.
Quercetin
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Quercetin has been found to improve glucose metabolism and reduce complications in animal models of type 2 diabetes.
Reishi
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Reishi may have some beneficial action in people with diabetes.
Taurine
Refer to label instructions1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with taurine may affect insulin secretion and action and may help some people with type 2 diabetes.
Vanadium
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vanadyl sulfate, a form of vanadium, may improve glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Less than 2 grams daily1 star[1 star]
Dietary niacin (vitamin B3) is important for healthy management of cholesterol and triglycerides; however, high dose supplementation with niacin could worsen glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Yerba Mate
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Preliminary research suggests yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) tea may improve measures of blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.