The following supplements have been shown to be helpful:
People with low blood levels of vitamin E are more likely to develop type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Vitamin E supplementation has improved glucose tolerance in people with type 2 diabetes in most, but not all, double-blind trials. Vitamin E has also improved glucose tolerance in elderly people without diabetes. Three months or more of supplementation may be required for benefits to become apparent. The amount used is at least 900 IU of vitamin E per day. In one of the few trials to find vitamin E supplementation ineffective for glucose intolerance in people with type 2 diabetes, damage to nerves caused by the diabetes was nonetheless partially reversed by supplementing with vitamin E for six months. Animal and preliminary human data indicate that vitamin E supplementation may protect against diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy, serious complications of diabetes involving the eyes and kidneys, respectively, though no long-term trials in humans have confirmed this preliminary evidence.
Selenium enhances the action of vitamin E. Also supplement vitamin C, 500 – 1000 mg each day, as vitamin C converts vitamin E into its helpful form after oxidation.
Chromium supplements improve glucose tolerance in people with both type 2 and type 1 diabetes, apparently by increasing sensitivity to insulin. Chromium improves the processing of glucose in people with prediabetic glucose intolerance and in women with diabetes associated with pregnancy. Chromium, is an essential mineral required for normal insulin function. Supplementation with chromium could potentially enhance the effects of drugs for diabetes (e.g., insulin or other blood sugar-lowering agents) and possibly lead to hypoglycemia. Therefore, people with diabetes taking these medications should supplement chromium only under the supervision of a doctor.
Diabetes-induced damage to the eyes is more likely to occur in magnesium-deficient people with type 1 diabetes. In magnesium-deficient pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, the lack of magnesium may even account for the high rate of spontaneous abortion and birth defects associated with type 1 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association admits “strong associations…between magnesium deficiency and insulin resistance” but will not say magnesium deficiency is a risk factor. Many doctors, however, recommend that people with diabetes and normal kidney function supplement with 200-600 mg of magnesium per day.
Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful natural antioxidant. Preliminary and double-blind trials have found that supplementing 600-1,200 mg of lipoic acid per day improves insulin sensitivity and the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. In a preliminary study, supplementation with 600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid per day for 18 months slowed the progression of kidney damage in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Supplementing with GLA has been found in double-blind research to improve nerve function and to relieve pain symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Diabetics cannot convert GLA from linoleic acid. The recommended daily dose for diabetes it is 480 mg per day of GLA.
Many people with diabetes have low blood levels of vitamin B6. Levels are even lower in people with diabetes who also have nerve damage (neuropathy). Vitamin B6 supplementation has improved glucose tolerance in women with diabetes caused by pregnancy. Vitamin B6 supplementation is also effective for glucose intolerance induced by birth control pills.
Biotin is a B vitamin needed to process glucose. When people with type 1 diabetes were given 16 mg of biotin per day for one week, their fasting glucose levels dropped by 50%. Similar results have been reported using 9 mg per day for two months in people with type 2 diabetes. Biotin may also reduce pain from diabetic nerve damage. Some doctors try 16 mg of biotin for a few weeks to see if blood sugar levels will fall.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is needed for normal blood sugar metabolism. Animals with diabetes have been reported to be CoQ10 deficient. People with type 2 diabetes have been found to have significantly lower blood levels of CoQ10 compared with healthy people. In one trial, blood sugar levels fell substantially in 31% of people with diabetes after they supplemented with 120 mg per day of CoQ7, a substance similar to CoQ10. In people with type 1 diabetes, however, supplementation with 100 mg of CoQ10 per day for three months neither improved glucose control nor reduced the need for insulin. The importance of CoQ10 supplementation for people with diabetes remains an unresolved issue, though some doctors recommend approximately 50 mg per day as a way to protect against possible effects associated with diabetes-induced depletion.
Zinc, plays a role in combating oxidative stress, which has been linked to aging and inefficient glucose regulation. People with type 1 diabetes tend to be zinc-deficient, which may impair immune function.
Vanadium works with chromium, magnesium, and zinc to help balance your blood sugar, preventing energy ups and downs.*
It is always important to work with your doctor to help you establish a diet and exercise program along with the necessary medication you need to control blood sugar levels. Nutritional supplements are good as they provide the nutrients necessary for helping the body to regulate your blood sugar levels. Oats contain fiber that also helps to regulate glucose levels. Supplements like GlucoVert Blood Sugar Matrix contain most of the ingredients that is mentioned in the first answer. But you may want to check with your doctor first before taking any supplements.