Therapeutic Supplements for Diabetes
Therapeutic Supplements for Diabetes
The use of supplements in the management of a complex disorder such as diabetes must be equally complex. Following the recommendations for diabetes presented below, the protocols for other, related medical problems will be suggested as well.
Note that the recommendations are directed primarily at the symptoms of diabetes, not at the disorder itself. Until a cure for the disorder is discovered, controlling its damage is paramount.
There are several major avenues of treatment for diabetes. All presume that the patient is taking a high-potency, easily assimilated, multivitamin-mineral complex as a basis for other specific, symptom-targeted supplements. The global objective of this approach is to limit, prevent, or in some cases reverse the vascular and neural damage seen in diabetes. This involves
- Improving the oxygen delivery capacity of the circulatory system by stopping, eliminating, or circumventing vascular blockage, thus improving cellular and neural health.
- Preventing diabetes-induced metabolic breakdowns.
- Reducing oxidative stress.
- Inducing angiogenesis (regenerating
- Changing the lipid characteristics of blood corpuscles to make them less brittle and more capable of entering the small capillaries.
- Preventing endoneural hypoxia (oxygen deficiency in the tissues).
The following are the most important supplements for the aggressive treatment of diabetes:
- Aminoguanidine. As described above, glycosylation is a major biological development that causes degenerative vascular disease. It is caused by the prolonged exposure of amino acids to elevated glucose levels. The ability of aminoguanidine to prevent this process makes it the single most important supplement for those with diabetes. Earlier reports of toxicity were investigated by the Life Extension Foundation, and safe levels of usage have now been determined. Still, regular liver tests should be performed.
Recommended dosage: 300 mg daily
The FDA currently prevents the purchase of aminoguanidine domestically. For a directory of offshore suppliers write to:
International Society for Free Choice
9 Dubnoc Street
64368 Tel Aviv, Israel
- Antioxidants. Oxidative damage plays critical roles in the complications of diabetes, including being part of the glycosylation process. Here are the most important antioxidants used to combat this oxidative stress:
- Alpha-lipoic acid (aLA), also known as thioctic acid. Alpha-lipoic acid has also been shown to be useful in the maintenance of neural health (Garrett, 1997). It is suggested that vitamin B12 in the form of methyl-cobalamin be taken concurrently since aLA may cause B12 depletion. Recommended dosage: 250 mg 2 times daily.
- Proanthocyanidins (grape seed/skin extract). These may be the most concentrated natural antioxidants available. They also inhibit a dangerous enzyme known as COX-2 that interferes with the body's levels of a beneficial substance called prostacyclin (discussed below). The newest and most effective form of proanthocyanidins is Biovin. Recommended dosage: 100 mg twice daily.
- Vitamin E. This nutrient also protects prostacyclin, widens blood vessels, and thins the blood. Recommended dosage: 400 mg initially, gradually raised to 400 mg, 2 or 3 times daily.
- Vitamin C. Recommended dosage: 2500 mg daily, in divided doses.
- Coenzyme Q10. CoQl0 is also an immune boosting agent. Recommended dosage: 30 to 100 mg daily.
- Life Extension Mix. 3 tablets, 3 times a day provides broad-spectrum protection against free radicals.
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC). This may be the single most important nutrient in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, capable of demonstrating "a significant amelioration of symptoms" (Quatraro, 1995). Recommended dosage: 500-1000 mg twice daily.
- Aspirin. This ubiquitous medication has numerous benefits for diabetics. Besides its blood thinning (stroke preventing) properties, it is the painkiller that does not interfere with prostacyclin (Drvota, 1990). Even more significant was the finding of Malik and Meek (1986) that aspirin actually blocked glycosylation. Recommended dosage: One regular strength aspirin every other day.