Simple lifestyle and nutrition changes can make a big difference for people with diabetes. The latest supplements everyone is talking about include melatonin, grape seed extract and CoQ10. Find out more about each of these supplements and if they are beneficial for people with diabetes.
- CoQ10 is a supplement that may be useful as a supplemental therapy for blood sugar control. It is also reported to help reduce the risk of cardiac disease. CoQ10 is an element involved in energy production in our bodies as well as an antioxidant. It is a helper-vitamin our bodies manufacture in a limited amount. It can also be found in vegetable oil, poultry and fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel. The levels of CoQ10 found in the body can decrease when people age or have diseases such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, AIDS, neuromuscular disorders, Parkinson’s or take statin medications for elevated cholesterol. Because it relates to energy metabolism, supplements may help improve blood sugar control for people with diabetes. Some studies have shown a reduction in blood sugars as well as lower cholesterol and blood pressure. There is still insufficient evidence to draw definite conclusions about the benefits of taking CoQ10 supplements. Talk to your doctor about the latest research and whether taking CoQ10 supplements could be beneficial for you.
- Europe has been using grape seed extract as a health care treatment for years. Studies have shown it can be beneficial for cardiovascular conditions, high cholesterol and poor circulation. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation and help with eye diseases related to diabetes. Grape seed extract comes from the seeds of red wine grapes. Known as procyanidin oligomers, it contains antioxidants such as Resveratrol. It has been studied for a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, skin damage, cardiovascular disease and PMS. The studies continue to be inconclusive. Discuss grape seed extract with your doctor, as it may interact with certain medications such as aspirin, blood thinners, certain heart medicines and others.
- Many people who suffer from insomnia wind up with type 2 diabetes. Conversely, people with diabetes might have trouble sleeping at night. A recent study revealed taking prolonged-release melatonin can improve sleep and A1C levels for those with diabetes and insomnia. Additionally, a recent JAMA study has shown diabetes type 2 might be linked to the amount of melatonin a person secretes. Those who secrete lower amounts of melatonin during sleep have a significantly increased risk of developing diabetes. Melatonin is a hormone that helps to control other hormones and makes it possible for people to develop regular sleep patterns. Taking melatonin supplements may help people get better sleep and reduce some of the risks associated with type 2 diabetes.
- Always discuss supplements with your doctor before taking them. Use blood glucose meters to check your blood sugar levels before and after taking supplements to gauge your body’s reaction. While supplements can be helpful, they are never substitutes for insulin or other medications prescribed by your doctor. It is also important to maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Exercise for a least a half hour a day, eat well-balanced meals and sleep for at least seven hours each night for optimum well-being.
The right supplements can help people with diabetes improve blood sugar control, get better sleep and feel energized throughout the day. Melatonin, grape seed extract and CoQ10 have shown potential benefits in some research studies. However, it is important to consult with your doctor before taking any supplements to ensure they are right for you.