Saturday, March 31, 2007

The NIH Reports on Six Dietary Supplements for Diabetes

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) reviewed the safety and effectiveness of 6 dietary supplements commonly used by people with diabetes.

You can view their report here:
Research Report: Treating Type 2 Diabetes with Dietary Supplements

Its publication date is June 2005, so it may not reflect the most recent findings for these supplements. Nonetheless, it provides a good overview of each supplement along with a summary of research findings.

The 6 supplements reviewed were:

Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Coenzyme Q10
Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The agency's recommendations, in short:

"The evidence that is available is not sufficiently strong to prove that any of the six supplements discussed in this report have benefits for type 2 diabetes or its complications."

"The six dietary supplements appear to be generally safe at low-to-moderate doses. However, each can interact with various prescription medications, affecting the action of the medications."

"Consult your health care provider before starting a supplement, especially if you are pregnant or nursing, or considering giving a supplement to a child."