Best and Worst Dietary Supplements for a Diabetic Diet

Are your favorite natural remedies for treating diabetes effective, or even safe? Read our guide on the best dietary supplements for a diabetic diet before you head to the vitamin aisle.

By Sari Harrar from Reverse Diabetes

Consider This: Vitamin D

Is there a link between D and blood sugar control? Getting more than 500 international units (IU) of D daily could cut risk for developing diabetes by 13 percent, Tufts Medical Center researchers report. But benefits haven’t yet been proved for people who already have diabetes, says Oluwaranti Akiyode, PharmD, an associate professor in the department of pharmacy practice at Howard University, who studies the effects of vitamin D in people with diabetes. “Low vitamin D has been associated with poor control in early research, but we don’t know yet if taking more helps,” she notes. “Still, there are good reasons to get enough D, including preventing brittle bones.”

The verdict: A daily supplement is recommended by the Institute of Medicine (600 to 800 IU of D daily) and the National Osteoporosis Foundation (800 to 1,000 IU daily). Since one in three Americans may be low on D, and it’s tough getting enough from food, starting a supplement may be smart. But Akiyode suggests first getting a blood test of your vitamin D levels. If you’re deficient, you may need more than a drugstore tablet to top off your tank. “Your doctor may prescribe a high-dose supplement for a while or just suggest an over-the-counter D supplement from the drugstore. Then have your levels rechecked in a few months.”

Next: Consider Omega-3s for a diabetic diet

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