Cinnamon supplements are either made from whole cinnamon powder or an extract. Many studies suggest it helps lower blood sugar and improves diabetes control. Cinnamon may help your body’s cells better respond to insulin. In turn, this allows sugar into your cells, lowering blood sugar. The recommended dose of cinnamon extract is 250 mg twice a day before meals. For a regular (non-extract) cinnamon supplement, 500 mg twice a day may be best.
American ginseng, a variety grown primarily in North America, has been shown to decrease post-meal blood sugar by about 20% in healthy individuals and those with type 2 diabetes. American ginseng may improve your cells’ response to and increase your body’s secretion of insulin. Taking up to 3 grams of American ginseng daily may help lower fasting blood sugar and blood sugar after meals. Note that ginseng may interact with warfarin and other drugs.
Probiotic supplements, which contain beneficial bacteria or other microbes, offer numerous health benefits and may improve your body’s handling of carbohydrates. Animal studies suggest that probiotics may decrease blood sugar by reducing inflammation and preventing the destruction of pancreatic cells that make insulin. Several other mechanisms may be involved as well.
Berberine isn’t a specific herb, but rather a bitter-tasting compound taken from the roots and stems of certain plants, including goldenseal and phellodendron. The review also noted that berberine supplements taken alongside diabetes medication helped lower blood sugar more than medication alone.
Vitamin D deficiency is considered a potential risk factor for type 2 diabetes. In one study, 72% of participants with type 2 diabetes were deficient in vitamin D at the start of the study. After two months of taking a 4,500-IU supplement of vitamin D daily, both fasting blood sugar and A1C improved. Ask your doctor for a vitamin D blood test to determine the best dose for you. The active form is D3, or cholecalciferol, so look for this name on supplement bottles.
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