Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease characterized by high level of sugar (glucose) in the blood due to the lack of or resistance to insulin. Human body uses carbohydrates and fats to produce energy and proteins to grow and develop. After a person eats something, nutrients have to get inside the cells. Lack or resistance to insulin in diabetics prevents glucose to enter different cells in the body. Instead, glucose remains in the blood, causing different health problems.
Various studies have been researching effects of different supplements in diabetes management. Scientists and doctors studied effects of alpha lipoic acid, chromium and vanadium on diabetes patients and their medical problems related to this illness. Some other studies looked into effects of different herbs and herbal products, such as fenugreek or evening primrose oil on diabetics.
Effects of Alpha Lipoic Acid
This substance is known to be powerful antioxidant and thus able to fight against free radicals in the body, preventing any potential damage they could make. Therefore it could prevent the damage to the brain and the heart, as well as the damage done to blood vessels.
Patients suffering from diabetes have been known to have more free radical than healthy people. As the result, these patients may suffer from different heart diseases, atherosclerosis, some nerve damage and eye problems. According to the studies, alpha lipoic acid can improve peripheral insulin sensitivity, which in turn can positively affect the level of glucose in the blood and cardiovascular risks. Additionally, this antioxidant is also proven to be efficient in the management and relief in diabetic neuropathy pain.
Chromium in Diabetes
Several studies have recommended chromium supplements to diabetic patients. These should be used in early stages of the disease and taken for a long period of time, in order to control high blood glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol in these patients. Chromium supplements have also been found to decrease accumulation of fat and weight gain and to reduce the need for drugs in diabetics. This supplement has been therefore claimed to decrease the risk of health complications associated with diabetes.
Vanadium Supplements in Diabetics
Human body contains only traces of vanadium. However, there are studies revealing that this trace metal have effects similar to insulin, especially on the skeletal muscles, adipose (fat) tissue and on the liver as well. For people suffering from diabetes mellitus, vanadium supplements have been found out to improve control of blood sugar.