Natural Remedies for Diabetes
Research Findings on Alpha-Lipoic Acid
The evidence on ALA as a natural remedy for type 2 diabetes and obesity is limited. There are a number of small studies in animals and in people that have shown hints of beneficial effects. In a few of these studies, some possible benefit from ALA was seen in:
More research is needed to document whether there is any benefit of using ALA to treat diabetes and to better understand how it works.
Side Effects and Possible Risks With Alpha-Lipoic Acid
While ALA appears to be safe for the general adult population, people with diabetes need to know that using it as a natural remedy for diabetes might lower blood sugar too much; they would need to monitor their blood sugar level especially carefully. ALA may also:
- Lower blood levels of minerals (such as iron)
- Interact with some medicines (such as antacids)
- Decrease the effectiveness of some anticancer drugs.
Other possible side effects of ALA include headache, skin rash, and stomach upset.
Natural Remedies for Diabetes: Chromium
Chromium is a metal and an essential trace mineral. It is found in foods such as:
- Animal fats
- Brown sugar
- Some spices
- Whole-wheat and rye breads
- Brewer's yeast.
It is marketed in supplement form (capsules and tablets) as:
- Chromium picolinate
- Chromium chloride
- Chromium nicotinate.
Research Findings on Chromium
There are scientific controversies about the use or need for chromium supplementation by people with diabetes. It is difficult to determine, including through tests, whether a person has a chromium deficiency. Also, it is not known whether it is beneficial to take chromium supplementation as a natural diabetes remedy; there is a lack of rigorous basic science studies to explain or support any evidence of benefit. Most research scientists conclude that there is not enough evidence to show that taking chromium supplements is beneficial for people with diabetes.