Penn Herb Wellness Guide

Type 2 Diabetes

Also indexed as:Blood Sugar (Diabetes), Diabetes, Type 2, High Blood Sugar
Also known as adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes can often be managed by carefully monitoring your diet. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

SupplementAmountWhy
Alpha Lipoic Acid
600 to 1,200 mg a day3 stars[3 stars]
Taking alpha lipoic acid may improve insulin sensitivity and help protect against diabetic complications such as nerve damage.
Brewer’s Yeast
9 grams (about 2 teaspoons) per day3 stars[3 stars]
Chromium-rich brewer’s yeast has been shown to be useful in treating type 2 diabetes in several ways, including by improving blood glucose control.
Cayenne Topical

(Diabetic Neuropathy)
Apply an ointment containing 0.025 to 0.075% capsaicin four times a day to areas of nerve pain3 stars[3 stars]
Topically applied capsaicin (from cayenne) may help relieve nerve pain.
Chromium
200500 mcg per day, or more under doctor supervision3 stars[3 stars]
Chromium has been shown to be useful in treating type 2 diabetes in several ways, including by improving blood glucose control.
Fenugreek
5 grams or more per day3 stars[3 stars]
Fenugreek seeds appears to lower blood glucose levels by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and absorption.
Fiber
15 grams (about 1 tablespoon) per day3 stars[3 stars]
Taking fiber supplements may improve blood glucose control and reduce insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes.
Folic Acid
6 mg methylfolate per day3 stars[3 stars]
Folic acid supplementation may improve blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. Folic acid also lowers homocysteine levels and preliminary evidence suggests it may help to prevent and treat diabetes complications.
Glucomannan
1 to 10 grams per day3 stars[3 stars]
Glucomannan delays stomach emptying, leading to more gradual glucose absorption and lower blood glucose levels after meals.
Magnesium
200 to 600 mg of elemental magnesium per day3 stars[3 stars]
People with type 2 diabetes tend to have low magnesium levels. Supplementing with magnesium may improve glucose metabolism and help prevent diabetes-related cardiovascular disease.
Probiotics
7 billion CFU or more of a mix of probiotic strains per day3 stars[3 stars]
Probiotics can improve blood glucose control, as well as cholesterol and triglyceride levels, in people with type 2 diabetes.
Psyllium
5 grams (about 1 teaspoon) twice per day with meals3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with psyllium has been shown to be a safe and well-tolerated way for people with type 2 diabetes to improve control of blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine

(Diabetic Neuropathy)
500 to 1,000 mg three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Taking acetyl-L-carnitine may improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Aloe
100 to 300 mg per day2 stars[2 stars]
Aloe vera leaf gel may help lower blood glucose levels and hemoglobin-A1c, a marker of long-term glycemic control, in people with type 2 diabetes.
American Ginseng
1 gram three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with American ginseng may help improve blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.
Asian Ginseng
5 grams of powdered root or an equivalent dose of Asian ginseng extract per day2 stars[2 stars]
Asian ginseng may help restore healthy insulin sensitivity and improve blood glucose and lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Berberine

(High Cholesterol)
500 mg two to three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
Berberine may improve blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity and decrease risks of cardiovascular and other complications in people with type 2 diabetes.
Bilberry
160 mg two to three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
Bilberry may improve glucose metabolism and lower the risk of some diabetic complications, such as diabetic retinopathy.
Biotin
9 to 15 mg per day2 stars[2 stars]
Biotin may improve glucose and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes and reduce pain from diabetic nerve damage.
Bitter Melon
2 grams per day2 stars[2 stars]
Bitter melon may help lower blood glucose levels and improve overall metabolism in people with type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon
1 to 3 grams per day2 stars[2 stars]
Cinnamon may improve glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Coenzyme Q10
100200 mg per day2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with CoQ10 may improve blood glucose control, insulin sensitivity, and cardiovascular health.
Crepe Myrtle
32 or 48 mg of an herbal extract standardized to contain 1% corosolic acid2 stars[2 stars]
Crepe myrtle has been used in folk medicine to treat diabetes, and preliminary research suggests it may lower blood glucose levels.
Green Tea
The best effective dose is unknown, but doses providing 450 mg of total green tea polyphenols (catechins) per day are considered moderate; doses providing 800 mg of EGCG or more per day have been linked to liver injury and are not considered safe.2 stars[2 stars]
Green tea may protect cardiovascular health and improve metabolism.
Gymnema
400 to 1,000 mg per day2 stars[2 stars]
Gymnema may stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin and help normalize blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.