Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 142–148 | Cite as

Nutritional Supplements and Their Effect on Glucose Control

  • Tanya Lee
  • Jean-Jacques DugouaEmail author


Type 2 diabetes is a growing health concern. The use of nutritional supplements by patients with type 2 diabetes is estimated at somewhere between 8% to 49%. The objective of this review was to search the scientific literature for advances in the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes with nutritional supplements. Twelve databases were searched with a focus on extracting studies published in the past 3 years. The following nutritional supplements were identified as potentially beneficial for type 2 diabetes treatment or prevention: vitamins C and E, α-lipoic acid, melatonin, red mold, emodin from Aloe vera and Rheum officinale, astragalus, and cassia cinnamon. Beta-carotene was shown to be ineffective in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Ranging from preclinical to clinical, there is evidence that nutritional supplements may be beneficial in the treatment or prevention of type 2 diabetes. Health providers should investigate drug-nutritional supplement interactions prior to treatment.


Diabetes Diabetes mellitus Non-insulin-dependent diabetes T2D DM Nutrition Nutritional supplements Dietary supplements Natural health products NHP CAM Complementary in alternative medicine α-Lipoic acid ALA Coenzyme Q10 Vitamin E Chromium Cinnamon Emodin Red mold Astragalus 



Conflicts of interest: T. Lee: none; J-J Dugoua: has received grant support from New Chapter, has received honoraria from Celt Naturals, and has stock in Newtopia, Inc.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Canadian College of Naturopathic MedicineMiltonCanada
  2. 2.Graduate Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Leslie Dan Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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