Benefits and Safety of 3 Natural Products for Diabetes

The sharp rise in the cases of diabetes recently in both the developed world and third-world countries is a major public health problem. Because natural products are available without a prescription, more and more people are turning to these to take advantage of their benefits.

However, a big concern for the clinicians as well as pharmacists is the safety of these natural products. Most notably, when people take them with prescription medications.

Here, we look at the 3 natural diabetes products and their safety profile.

#1. Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential electrolyte necessary for at least 300 reactions that take place daily inside your body. You can get your dose of magnesium by taking seaweed, eating green leafy vegetables, legumes, and nuts.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes, in most cases, have lower levels of magnesium. Thus, the use of magnesium supplements in diabetics has increased considerably in recent years. It is believed that magnesium deficiency, hypomagnesemia, reduces the rate of glucose transport from blood into the cells. The recommended dose of magnesium for diabetes patients is 300 to 600 mg daily.

Magnesium is generally safe for daily consumption for longer periods of time. However, it can cause digestive problems including diarrhea and lose motions. You should consult your doctor or pharmacist if you also take certain types of water pills, antibiotics, and medications that prevent bone loss if you’re considering taking magnesium.

#2. Chromium

Your body needs this mineral in very small amounts. Like magnesium, chromium facilitates the transport of glucose from the blood to cells. If you have both diabetes and chromium deficiency, you should consider taking a supplement. The normal dose of chromium is 100 to 500 μg two times a day.

Though safe for general use, chromium can cause problems if you have disorders of the kidney or thyroid.

#3. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)

ALA is a naturally occurring nutrient that prevents cellular damage and restores your levels of vitamins C and E.

In diabetes patients, ALA increases the production of insulin from the pancreas. Moreover, ALA supplements may work to relieve the symptoms of nerve damages in diabetics.

The normal dose (300 to 600 mg/day) is safe and well tolerated in most patients. However, higher doses may cause adverse effects like nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. You should be especially careful if you are also taking medications for thyroid problems. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before trying any of these natural remedies for diabetes.


[expand title=”References“]

  • Canadian Journal of Diabetes. URL Link. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  • World Journal of Diabetes. URL Link. Retrieved November 5, 2017.


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