Blood sugar supplements are designed to help boost your body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels. Deterioration in these abilities can be caused by a poor diet or obesity, and can lead to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
By harnessing biologically active compounds in naturally-occurring ingredients like cinnamon and berberine, blood sugar supplements might help you boost your metabolic health for better blood glucose control. They’re not a cure for diabetes, but research suggests that these ingredients might be able to help. Check out these surprising benefits from the kinds of compounds you’ll find in a good blood sugar supplement.
Blood sugar supplement benefits
1. Cinnamon extract may help improve blood sugar control when taken before meals
Research shows that cinnamon can improve diabetes control (2).
One particular study found that people with prediabetes experienced an 8.4% decrease in their fasting blood sugar after taking 250 mg of cinnamon before breakfast and dinner for three months (3). For some participants, it was enough to take them out of the prediabetes category.
Another study followed people with type 2 diabetes. These participants took either 120 mg or 360 mg of cinnamon before breakfast for three months. At the end of the study, they experienced an 11% or 14% reduction in fasting blood sugar, respectively (4).
Furthermore, this study found that their blood sugar average over three-months decreased by about 0.67% to 0.92%.
2. Cinnamon improves your body’s response to insulin
This means that your body has to produce less insulin to work, which is essential if you have diabetes. Furthermore, this also allows your cells to absorb sugars easier and at a faster rate, which brings down your blood sugar levels even more.
One point of interest is that regular cinnamon contains quite a bit of coumarin, which can harm your liver. Luckily, the Ceylon variety of cinnamon contains much less coumarin. Most of the supplements we reviewed contain Ceylon cinnamon for this reason.
3. Berberine helps to decrease fasting blood sugar
Berberine is another common ingredient in blood sugar supplements because it can help lower your blood sugar according to a few scientific studies.
One extensive study review that looked at 27 different studies found that people with type 2 diabetes who took berberine alongside diet and lifestyle changes experienced a reduction in fasting blood sugar by about 15.5 mg/dl. This is a significant drop (5).
This review also noted that taking berberine alongside diabetes medication lowered participant’s blood sugar significantly more than just medication alone.
4. Berberine makes it easier for blood glucose to get into your muscles
Berberine is thought to help with blood sugar because it may improve insulin sensitivity and help sugar pass into your muscles easier (6).
The one inconvenience with berberine is that it needs to be taken a few times a day with meals to work correctly.
Otherwise, you won’t see significant results. Furthermore, this extract may also cause digestive disturbances, including constipation, gas, and diarrhea. For this reason, a lower dose of 300 mg is often recommended.
Berberine can also interact with a few medications, so it is essential to check with your doctor before taking it.
5. Blood sugar supplements work best in combination with diet and exercise
Blood sugar supplements are so easy and accessible that they are often paired with other methods of lowering blood sugar as well, such as dietary changes and exercise. Studies have shown that they work even better when used alongside these other methods.
Blood sugar supplement side effects
Blood sugar supplements may interact with certain medications. If you’re on a separate medication for your blood sugar levels, some of these supplements may interact. Having blood sugar that is too low is potentially deadly. If your blood sugar stays too low for too long, you can enter a coma and potentially die.
Because of this, it is essential to use these supplements by themselves. If you’re on some sort of other diabetic medication, you should work closely with your doctor to use the correct dosages. Your diabetic medication may need to be lowered as you use these supplements as well, so be sure to mention that you’re taking them to your doctor.
Blood sugar supplements are not a cure for diabetes. While we all wish we could cure diabetes and prediabetes with a pill, this is not possible. These supplements can help you manage your blood sugar but they are not going to be a complete cure for your condition. Insulin and other medication will likely be necessary.
With all these treatments together, though, you may find yourself managing your situation better than you could otherwise.
We recommend using these supplements carefully and alongside your usual medication. Speak with your doctor if you’re afraid of any interactions or if you think your medication might need to be lowered.
Blood sugar supplements don’t work for everyone. While some studies did find positive effects on blood sugar levels when using these supplements, this was not true for everyone. Some studies found little to no effect (7).
You may try a supplement and not experience anything. If this happens, feel free to try another since many do contain different ingredients.
Some ingredients work better for some people than others, so it may take some experimentation to discover a supplement that will work for you.
Blood sugar supplement dosage
There are quite a few different ingredients that blood sugar supplements can contain. Each of these ingredients has its important dosage information. Of course, the potency matters as well, which can vary quite a bit from supplement to supplement.
You should follow the dosage instructions on the back of the supplement bottle that you decide to use. Each company will have its own dosage information depending on what is in their pills and the potency of their ingredients. Some require only one pill a day, while others require that their pills be taken with food.
If your supplement calls for you to take it alongside a meal, you must follow these instructions as carefully as possible. If you don’t, you may find that the supplement doesn’t work correctly. Many that require to be taken alongside a meal only work for the meal that they are taken with. If you do not take the pill with a meal, it will not work.
Blood sugar supplement FAQs
Q: How can I naturally lower my blood sugar?
A: Your blood sugar can be lowered best through diet. What you eat has a direct effect on your blood sugar. When you eat foods, they are digested into sugars, which are then absorbed into your bloodstream.
This raises your blood sugar. If you eat fewer carbohydrates, your blood sugar will be lower. You can also concentrate on eating foods higher in fiber, as fiber will slow down your digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes.
Another way to slowly lower your blood sugar naturally is to take a blood sugar supplement. These supplements contain ingredients that have been scientifically proven to lower blood sugar levels.
Many of these supplements contain things like cinnamon or berberine, which have both lowered blood sugar levels in clinical trials. These supplements are not cures, but they can add to your overall success, especially when paired with a healthy diet.
Q: Can a low carb diet help control blood sugar?
A: Yes, one of the primary drivers of the increase in metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in recent years is thought to be the prevalence of diets high in processed carbohydrates.
Foods like refined flour and sugar put an immense stress on your metabolic system, because they flood your body with a lot of glucose all at once, which then has to be regulated via your insulin response.
A lower carb diet, a diet high in fiber, or taking a carb blocker supplement are all effective ways to lessen the stress on your body’s metabolic system and improve blood sugar control.
Q: Can lowering my blood sugar help with weight loss?
A: Unhealthy blood sugar levels might cause you to gain weight, and the opposite might be true too. Dropping excess body weight might also be easier if you have better control over your blood sugar, since hunger cravings are related to your body’s regulation of insulin and blood glucose levels.
Q: How is insulin related to blood sugar?
A: Insulin is a hormone that your body uses to pull glucose out of your blood and into muscles or fat cells. When your insulin control is poor, your body can’t regulate blood sugar as accurately as it needs to, and as a consequence your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be.
Being exposed to high levels of blood sugar over long periods of time is the primary cause of many of the health complications of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, so maintaining healthy control over your blood sugar is essential for staying healthy long-term.
Related: Our top blood sugar supplement picks
Better blood sugar control is a matter of improving your body’s response to insulin and helping glucose that’s in your blood get to the cells where it’s needed. Research suggests that a good blood sugar supplement with ingredients like cinnamon or berberine might be able to assist in this process by helping improve your insulin response.
These supplements appear to be especially helpful when taken right before a meal, since that’s when your body is exposed to the biggest glycemic load.
Though they aren’t a cure for diabetes, blood sugar supplements might be able to improve your overall metabolic health and boost your blood glucose control.