High blood sugar, also referred to as hyperglycemia, occurs when an excessive amount of glucose is circulating through the blood plasma. Symptoms of hyperglycemia include excessive thirst, blurred vision, feeling tired, frequent urination and the development of infections such as thrush and cystitis. Certain supplements have blood-sugar-lowering properties, and they may help to regulate your blood sugar levels naturally; however, you should always consult with a health care practitioner before taking any new supplement.
Chromium plays a role in the regulation of blood sugar levels, and according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, approximately 90 percent of the American population is low in this essential mineral. Low chromium levels can lead to high blood sugar levels and increase the risk of diabetes. Clinical research has found evidence that taking chromium may not only reduce blood sugar levels in type-2 diabetics but may also lower the amount of insulin that diabetics require. It should be noted that not all studies found that chromium effectively lowers blood sugar, and more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness as a supplement for lowering blood sugar.
Green tea is a traditional and natural method of both regulating and lowering blood sugar levels. A comparison study was conducted on type-2 diabetic patients, 39 of whom were given 500 milligrams of green tea extract three times per day for 16 weeks. Another 38 patients were given a placebo. The study, which was published on March 2014 in the "PLOS ONE" journal, found that green tea extract pills not only improved insulin resistance in the group given the green tea, but it also helped to lower triglyceride levels and to raise levels of high-density lipoprotein, the healthy cholesterol. According to the study authors, green tea shows promise as a blood-sugar-lowering supplement, and further investigation is warranted.
Cinnamon is a well-known blood sugar regulator. Preliminary research suggests that cinnamon may help stimulate receptors for the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin, which in turn helps your body properly use and break down sugar. A paper published in the "Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Journal" in November 2009 found that some studies linked cinnamon to reductions in fasting blood sugar levels in both diabetic and nondiabetic individuals.
Psyllium is a soluble fiber commonly found in laxative supplements. When taken as directed, psyllium is generally well-tolerated and safe, and adding it to your diet can help control blood sugar levels. More specifically, adding it to your meal may help to reduce post-meal blood sugar levels and also increase insulin concentrations. Starting with a low dose of psyllium and mixing it with an adequate amount of water is recommended. Psyllium should not be taken with iron supplements because it can reduce iron absorption. Supplements such as psyllium also can interact with prescription medications, so if you're currently on any medications, including meds for your blood sugar, talk to your doctor before taking psyllium.
- Medline Plus: Blond Psyllium
- Diabetes Australia: Hyperglycaemia
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Chromium
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Green Tea
- PLOS One: Effects of Green Tea Extract on Insulin Resistance and Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Lipid Abnormalities: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, and Placebo-Controlled Trial
- Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism: The Potential of Cinnamon to Reduce Blood Glucose Levels in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance
- Hormone Research: Regulation of PTP-1 and Insulin Receptor Kinase by Fractions from Cinnamon: Implications for Cinnamon Regulation of Insulin Signalling
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effects of Psyllium on Glucose and Serum Lipid Responses in Men With Type 2 Diabetes and Hypercholesterolemia