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5 Responses

  1. LaurenK
    LaurenK August 8, 2008 at 8:41 pm | | Reply

    If type 1 diabetics take a supplement that wrings dry their remaining tiny population of islet cells, they risk burning these cells out. We want to keep whatever scraps of beta cells we have — secreting even tiny amounts of endogenous insulin is beneficial, plus future therapies may focus on cloning or otherwise increasing beta cell mass. I stopped taking all supplements that promise improved glycemic control for that reason.

    There are tons of supplements that have varying degrees of efficacy. Lots of them “work” in the short term — they lower blood sugar. (I personally had one of the nastiest and scariest lows of my life while on a combination supplement for diabetics.) BUT we don’t know the renal clearance of these supplements, we don’t know if they have hepatotoxic effects, we don’t know if they are good for overall health in the long run.

  2. Norae Ferrara, RD
    Norae Ferrara, RD August 9, 2008 at 6:18 pm | | Reply

    Medicinal herbs work! They really do. And for this reason, we have to be careful when we add them into an already-established diabetic routine. If you are on medication, you have a higher risk of having a low. As you can see in the study, yes, it is true no one had a low taking the tea. However, it also states the study participants were newly diagnosed and
    “drug-naive”…meaning they were not on any other medications to lower blood sugar.

    As a registered dietitian I am trained to improve chronic conditions with changes in diet–with food. I also believe in herbs, and when I encounter patients who want to use food AND herbs or supplements to control their diabetes, I refer to a licensed Naturopathic Doctor (ND) who is trained in both herbal medicine and traditional western medicine. I recommend each of you seek out the same support before adding an alternative therapy to your routine.

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