Diabetes is a condition that affects the way the body uses energy. More than 29 million Americans are affected by diabetes and close to one-quarter of these individuals do not know they have the disease. An additional 86.1 million Americans have pre-diabetes. Many people believe they can prevent or control these disease by taking various dietary supplements, but that may not be the case.
A wide variety of supplements may claim to reduce your risk of developing diabetes, help you better manage the disease or prevent it all together. Some of these supplements include chromium, herbal supplements, Chinese herbal medicines, bitter melon, milk thistle, aloe vera, magnesium and vitamin D. Thus far, numerous studies in this area have been inclusive on the effects of these supplements on diabetes; and further research is needed.
Taking these medications to try to control or prevent diabetes may actually do more harm than good. Some herbal supplements can interact with medications you are taking and produce undesirable results. Some dietary supplements could present serious side effects.
If you have diabetes, it is important for you to check with your health care provider before taking dietary supplements.
It is helpful to know there a way to manage diabetes or reduce your risk of developing the disease. There is strong evidence that eating a healthy diet; and engaging in physical activity, monitoring blood glucose and taking medicines as prescribed by a doctor is the solution for managing and reducing the risk of diabetes. Many of the dietary supplements that people take to reduce the risk of or manage their diabetes can be found in eating a well-balanced diet with the right amount of whole grain foods, vegetables, fruits, low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products, lean cuts of meat, fish or poultry and beans each day – and by paying attention to portion sizes.
More information on healthy living is available at the Whitley County Cooperative Extension Service. Call 549-1430; e-mail DL_CES_WHITLEY@EMAIL.UKY.EDU; or visit the office located at 4275 N. Highway 25W in Goldbug.