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: Magnesium

One in four people with diabetes may be low in magnesium. High blood sugar and diuretic drugs (which many with diabetes take for high blood pressure) can make your body excrete too much; low levels may affect your ability to use insulin. However, there’s little evidence that getting more than the recommended amounts has extra blood sugar benefits. And too much magnesium can be harmful.

The verdict: Your doctor should check magnesium levels before you start a supplement. Don’t take extra on your own. “If you have kidney damage, which is fairly common in diabetes, your magnesium levels may already be too high,” Shane-McWhorter says. “Excess magnesium may cause low blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat.” A multivitamin with about 100 mg of magnesium, plus several servings of whole grains and green vegetables, may supply all you need. The recommended dietary allowances for magnesium are 400 mg a day for men ages 19 to 30; 420 mg for men after 30; 310 mg for women ages 19 to 30; 320 mg after age 30. The tolerable upper intake for magnesium in supplement form is 350 mg a day.

Next: Consider Psyllium for a diabetic diet

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