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How Do I Choose the Best Blood Sugar Supplements?

A number of different supplements, including cinnamon, chromium, and fiber, may help control blood sugar.
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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 March 2014
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There are a variety of blood sugar supplements available on the market, and many of them have shown great effectiveness in lowering and managing blood sugar levels. Spices, herbs and mineral supplements, such as cinnamon and chromium, have been shown to be effective in lowering blood sugar when taken as blood sugar supplements, as well as supplements of fiber and alpha lipoic acid. Taking a supplement shouldn't be the only preventive measure for managing blood sugar levels in individuals, but may prove a good step toward leading a healthier lifestyle.

Studies have shown that cinnamon taken as a supplement, twice daily, aids in proper blood sugar management for people with diabetes and poorly controlled blood sugar levels. Animal studies have shown that supplementing with cinnamon helps activate insulin receptors, which aid in the proper utilization and conversion of blood sugar for energy. Four grams of cinnamon, or half of a teaspoon, per day have been shown to directly affect blood sugar levels in a positive way. Many capsule forms contain 500-1,000 milligrams per capsule, and two capsules per day are recommended when taking cinnamon for blood sugar.

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Chromium is an essential mineral needed in small amounts to help regulate proper blood sugar function. As the active component of glucose tolerant factor, chromium plays a role in effectively producing insulin. The hormone insulin works by taking blood glucose into cells to be used for energy. Deficiencies of chromium may lead to improper insulin signaling and thus uncontrolled blood sugar. People may use chromium as blood sugar supplements if they do not receive enough through their diet.

Alpha-lipoic acid is an essential antioxidant which helps destroy free radicals in the body, as well as improving blood sugar levels. Many blood sugar supplements contain alpha-lipoic acid for its beneficial effects on blood glucose levels. This antioxidant has been shown to lower blood sugar levels as well as decrease pain associated with nerve damage from the effects of diabetes, also called peripheral neuropathy. Clinical studies have shown that 1,000 milligrams are capable of lower blood sugar levels.

Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate which has been shown to slow down the digestibility of carbohydrates, aiding in a slow release of insulin. Psyllium husks are commonly used as blood sugar supplements before a meal containing carbohydrates so that the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose occurs slowly, which in turn has a smaller effect on blood sugar levels. Since psyllium husks are concentrated sources of fiber, it is important to keep the supplement at its suggested serving size. Overdosing on psyllium husks may result in constipation and intestinal cramps.

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