diabetes natural treatments

Are There Natural Treatments for Diabetes?

Diabetes, Insulin Resistance + Blood Sugar Research

There are many natural treatment options for diabetes.  One of our naturopathic doctors can put together a well researched plan that is ideal for you.


Supplementation with CoQ10 and alpha-tocopherol for 8 weeks was found to reduce levels of glycated hemoglobin and pancreatic lipid peroxidation in those with type 2 diabetes. Source: Nutr Res, 2008; 28(2): 113-21.

In a rat model of insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes, treatment with coenzyme Q10 after a high fat/high fructose diet was found to oppose the effects of a high fat/high fructose diet. Source: PLoS One, 2014 Feb 20; 9(2): e89169.

Oral intake of ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10) was found to have a protective effect on the renal system and minimize type II diabetes. Source: Free Radic Biol Med, 2011 Nov 21.

Ubiquinone (CoQ10) supplementation in type II diabetes patients improved neuropathy symptoms score, neuropathy impairment score, and reduced oxidative stress. Source: J Diabetes Complications. 2012 Jul; 26(4):352-8. Epub 2012 May 16.

Administration of CoQ10 was found to decrease pain hypersensitivity and long-term supplementation was found to prevent development of diabetic neuropathic pain in obese diabetic mice. Source: Neurobiol Dis, 2013 May 16.

Combined supplementation with coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid and vitamin E along with polarized light therapy, was found to be effective at controlling the complications of type 2 diabetes. Source: Bratisl Lek Listy, 2010; 111(4): 205-11.

Supplementation with 200 mg/d of coenzyme Q10 was found to reduce serum haemoglobin A1c and improve total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels after 2 weeks. Source: Minerva Gastroenterol Diabetol, 2013 June; 59(2): 231-6.


Consumption of either pomegranate juice or extract was found to benefit subjects with type 2 diabetes by improving paraoxonase 1, thereby slowing the development of atherosclerosis. Source: J Agric Food Chem, 2008; 56(18): 8704-13.

Sea Buckthorn:

Supplementation with sea buckthorn and blueberry was found ot be beneficial to children with type 1 diabetes. Source: Acta Physiol Hung, 2008; 95(4): 383-93.

Alpha-Lipoic acid:

Supplementation with alpha-lipoic acid was found to reduce symptoms of diabetic neuropathy in 99% of diabetic subjects involved in the study. Source: Bosn J Basic Med Sci, 2008; 8(4): 341-5.

Alpha lipoic acid was found to improve fasting blood glucose, HbA1c and lipid peroxide status in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Source: Metabolism, Volume 60, Issue 4, pages 480-485, April 2011.

Supplementation with alpha-lipoic acid reduced fasting blood glucose in type 2 diabetes patients. Markers of oxidative stress were also lower with supplementation. Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012

Supplementation with alpha-lipoic acid in addition to insulin treatment was found to reduce oxidative stress in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Source: Rev Diabet Stud, 2013 Spring; 10(1): 58-67.

Supplementation with alpha-lipoic acid was found to regulate adipokine and enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and polyneuropathy. Source: Lu Y, Shu-Fei Z, Mei-Qing S, Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao, 2013 July; 35(3): 353-6.


The addition of 6 g of resistant maltodextrin (low-viscous soluble fiber) in drinks and foods was found to lower the response to starchy foods by 20% and 10% respectively. Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2009; 89(1): 114-25.

Vitamin E:

Vitamin E supplementation in patients with glycogen storage disease type 1b phenotype was found to have a beneficial effect on neutrophil counts and reduce the risk of infections. Source: Eur J Pediatr, 2008 Dec 9;.

Supplementation with vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid and omega-3 fatty acids was found to significantly decrease hemoglobin A1c and fasting blood glucose after 90 days of treatment. Source: Ann Med Health Sci Res, 2013 July; 3(3): 442-446.

Cranberry :

Cranberry supplementation may improve lipid profiles in type 2 diabetes patients taking oral glucose-lowering medication. Source: Diabet Med, 2008; 25(12): 1473-7.


Supplementation with glutamine was found to increase circulating concentrations of glucagons-like peptide 1, which plays a role in meal-related insulin secretion. Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2009; 89(1): 106-13.

Maize-based fibers:

Ingestion of maize-based fibers was found to significantly reduce postprandial glycemia in healthy adults. Source: J Am Coll Nutr, 2008; 27(6): 711-8.

Vitamin D3:

Plasma vitamin D concentrations were found to be inversely associated with fasting plasma glucose and insulin concentrations, and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance. Source: J Nutr, 2009; 139(2): 329-34.

300,000 IU vitamin D3 given intramuscularly was found to be associated with beneficial changes in type 2 diabetes patients. Source: Swiss Med Wkly, 2014 March 20; 144; w13942.

Vitamin D deficiency is diabetic hemodialysis patients may be associated with increased risk of sudden cardiac death, cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality. Source: Eur Heart J, 2010 Aug 5.

Vitamin D insufficiency in HIV-positive male patients was found to be associated with impaired insulin sensitivity and a decrease in pancreatic beta cell function. Source: HIV Med; 2013 May 8.

Vitamin D deficiency was found to be associated with an 85% greater risk of type II diabetes mellitus in HIV patients. Source: AIDS, 2010 Dec 20.

Supplementation with vitamin D in early childhood may protect against type 1 diabetes development. Source: Arch Dis Child. 2008 Jun;93(6):512-7.

Vitamin D deficiency in those with diabetes increases the risk of developing peripheral neuropathy. Source: Diabetic Medicine, Volume 29, Issue 1, pages 50–55, January 2012

Vitamin D supplementation may improve glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Source: Kostoglou-Athanassiou I, et al, Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab, 2013 Aug; 4(4): 122-8.

Low serum levels of vitamin D are linked with a high risk of diabetes mellitus in Korean adults. Source: J Nutr, 2011 August; 141(8): 1524-8.


Supplementation with L-carnitine along with sibutramine was found to be significantly more effective at improving lipid profile and insulin resistance, glycemic control and body weight compared to sibutramine alone. Source: Intern Med, 2010; 49(16): 1717-25.


Benfotiamine, a synthetic derivative of thiamine (vitamin B1) used in the treatment of diabetic complications, was found to have anti-inflammatory properties and regulate arachidonic acid metabolites. Source: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Volume 52, Issue 1, pages 182-190, January 2012.


The red pigment astaxanthin, found in some marine animals like shrimp and crustaceans, was found to decrease C-reactive protein levels in some animal models of diabetes. Source: Journal of Food Science, February 2012.

Flax Seed:

Flax seed reduces fasting blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, total cholesterol, triglycerides and more, making it beneficial to diabetics. Source: J Diet Suppl, 2011 Sep; 8(3): 257-65.


A higher intake of anthocyanin-rich foods (blue-purple coloured vegetables and fruits like blueberries and red cabbage) is associated with a lower risk of type II diabetes. Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2012 Apr; 95(4):925-33.


Short term intake of cinnamon may lower glycemic index in type II diabetes mellitus patients. Source: Clin Nutr, 2012 May 12.

Cinnamon extract was found to improve blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.26, Issue 12, Dec. 2012

Addition of 6g of ground cinnamon to instant farina cereal was found to significantly increase blood glucose after 120 minutes. Source: Do J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Nov;112(11):1806-9.


A link was found between total zinc intake and fasting glucose in people carrying the glucose-raising A allele. Source: Diabetes, 2011 Aug 1.

Zinc supplementation was found to be associated with a reduction in fasting glucose and a trend towards reducing glycated haemoglobin. Source: Ruz M, Carrasco F, et al, Food Nutr Bull, 2013 June; 34(2): 215-21.


Dietary heme intake in prepregnant women was found to have a positive and considerable relationship with gestational diabetes mellitus risk. Source: Diabetes Care, 2011 July; 34(7): 1557-63.

Offspring of type 2 diabetes patients were found to have altered expression of genes related to mitochondrial activity, iron status, and oxidative stress markers. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.26, Issue 12, Dec. 2012

Green Tea:

Both green tea and grape seed extract were found to be associated with glycemic control and may be used in blood sugar management. Source: J. Agric. Food Chem., June 15, 2012

The green tea polyphenol (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate was found to reduce postprandial blood glucose levels by inhibiting carbohydrate-digesting amylase enzymes. Source: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 56:11(1647–1654) Nov 2012.


Supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids was found to improve markers of insulin resistance. Source: European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 2011.

Consumption of fish, shellfish, and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids was found to be associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in women. Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2011 June 15.

Omega-3 fatty acid intake was found to be associated with a reduced risk of islet autoimmunity in children with an increased genetic risk for type 1 diabetes. Source: JAMA. 2007 Sep 26;298(12):1420-8.

Omega-3 fatty acid intake was found to be associated with a reduced risk of islet autoimmunity in children with high genetic risk for type 1 diabetes. Source: JAMA. 2007 Sep 26;298(12):1420-8.

Daily omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients significantly reduced serum IL-2 and TNF- α levels. Source: Singapore Med J. 2012 Sep;53(9):615-9.

Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may reduce diabetes risk in Native American groups. Source: Public Health Nutr, 2013 March 21: 1-5

Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA were found to prevent an increase of oxidative stress levels without changing markers of inflammation in type 2 diabetes patients. Source: Int J Prev Med, 2013 Aug; 4(8): 922-8.


Supplementation with selenium may reduce the risk of type II diabetes. Source: Diabetes Care, 2012 Jul; 35(7): 1544-51.


Supplementation with curcumin for 9 months reduced the risk of developing type II diabetes mellitus in prediabetic patients. Source: Diabetes Care, 2012 Jul 6.

After 9 months of curcumin supplementation in pre-diabetic patients, none were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, showing that curcumin could be used in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Source: Diabetes Care. 2012 Nov; 35(11):2121-7.

Curcumin was found to relieve diabetic hyperalgesia, probably by inhibiting action on TNF-alpha and the TNF-alpha receptor 1. Source: Int J Med Sci, 2013; 10(4): 377-81.


A study found chromium imbalances in pediatric patients with type I diabetes. Source: Pediatr Int, 2012 Jul 11.

Chromium possesses insulin-potentiating effects and was found to improve glycemic control when administered along with an antidiabetic medication. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.26, Issue 12, Dec. 2012


Diaphragmatic breathing was found to reduce body mass index, waist-hip ratio, and fasting and postprandial plasma glucose in type 2 diabetes patients. Source: Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2012 Aug; 18(3):151-3.


Supplementation with resveratrol for 3 months significantly improved systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol and total protein in type 2 diabetes patients. Source: Nutr Res. 2012 Jul; 32(7):537-41. Epub 2012 Jul 27.

MTHFR Genetic Mutation:

Type 2 diabetics who are carriers of a mutation in the MTHFR gene have an increased risk of kidney and eye disease compared to diabetics without the mutation. Source: Journal of the Renin-Angiotensin Aldosterone System, May 2012.

Vitamin K:

Higher intakes of vitamin K in elderly individuals with high risk of cardiovascular disease were found to significantly lower risk of type II diabetes. Source: Am J Clin Nutr November 2012.

Stem cells:

Researchers have identified and isolated stem cells from the adult pancreas and discovered a way to make them produce insulin. This could potentially be a cure for type 1 diabetes in the future. Source: Type 1 Diabetes, Pathology, Issue 652, 15 November, 2012.

Tai Chi:

Diabetic patients with neuropathy were assigned to Tai Chi for 12 weeks and saw a significant improvement in total symptoms scores, glucose control, balance, and quality of life. Source: J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Dec;18(12):1172-8. Epub 2012 Sep 17.


Lifestyle interventions such as weight reduction, dietary modification and increased exercise led to a 39% decrease in the risk of developing type2 diabetes. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.27, Issue 3, Feb 2013.

Regular activity breaks during prolonged sitting decreased postprandial glycemia and insulinemia in healthy, normal-weight adults. Source: Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;98(2):358-66.


Daily supplementation with ginger was found to significantly lower levels of insulin, LDL cholesterol, Triglycerides, and the HOMA index, and increase the QUICKI index. Source: Int J Food Sci Nutr, 2013 March 18

Daily supplementation with ginger (2 g per day) was found to improve insulin sensitivity and some fractions of lipid profile. Source: Int J Food Sci Nutr, 2013 March 18


A 500 mg per day increase in total flavonoids was found to be associated with a 5% reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Source: Clinical Nutrition, 2013; [Epub ahead of print].

Olive leaf:

Olive leaf extract supplementation led to a 15% improvement in insulin sensitivity and a 28% improvement in pancreatic beta-cell responsiveness compared to placebo. Source: PLoS One, 2013; 8(3): e57622.

Acupuncture :

Treatment with acupuncture over 15 days was found to significantly reduce numbness and alterations in temperature perception in the lower extremities. Source: J Acupunct Meridian Stud, 2010; 3(2): 95-103.


Antioxidants, which help with inflammation and oxidative stress, have been proven to shorten healing time and improve wound closure of diabetic lesions and ulcerations. Source: Nutrition & Metabolism 2011, 8:80, 17 November 2011

Vitamin C:

Individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus that supplemented with either vitamin C, vitamin E or a combination of the two experienced significant improvements in blood pressure, plasma fasting blood glucose and HbA1c. Source: Glob J Health Sci, 2013 March 20; 5(3): 183-7.


Inulin supplementation in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients was found to significantly decrease fasting plasma glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin, and malondialdehyde levels, as well as increase total antioxidant capacity and superoxide dimustase activity. Source: Diabetes Metab J, 2013 April; 37(2): 140-8.


A high protein diet was found to lower blood glucose postprandially in persons with type 2 diabetes and improve overall glucose control. Source: Am J Clin Nutr October 2003 vol. 78 no. 4 734-741

Acacia Arabica:

Oral treatment with Acacia Arabica extract for 21 days was found to decrease serum glucose, insulin resistance, total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol, malondiadehyde and increase HDL-cholesterol and CoQ10 levels in diabetic rats. Source: Hegazy GA, Alnoury AM, et al, Saudi Med J, 2012 July; 34(7): 727-33.

Vitamin B12:

Vitamin B12 and calcium supplementation may alleviate metformin-associated cognitive performance decline in type 2 diabetes patients taking metformin. Source: Diabetes Care, 2013; [Epub ahead of print, Sept 5, 2013].


The highest quartile of seaweed (algae) consumption showed a 34% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in Korean men. Source: Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo), 2010; 56(1): 13-18.


Naringin, a flavonoid responsible for grapefruit’s bitter taste, was found to improve glucose tolerance and liver mitochondrial dysfunction without decreasing total body weight. Source: Nutrients, 2013 Feb 27; 5(3): 637-50.

Olive oil:

Consumption of olive oil as opposed to sunflower oil was found to be associated with a lower risk of obesity, impaired glucose metabolism, hypertriglyceridemia, and low HDL cholesterol. Source: Soriguer F, Rojo-Martinez, et al, Eur J Clin Nutr, 2013 July 17.

Grape Seed Extract:

Grape seed extract was found to be associated with glycemic control and may be used in blood sugar management. Source: J. Agric. Food Chem., June 15, 2012


Calcium and vitamin D intake were independently associated with insulin sensitivity in African American women but not European American women. Source: Nutr Metab (Lond), 2010; 7: 28.


Dietary supplementation with bioactives from blueberries may improve insulin sensitivity obese, non-diabetic, insulin-resistant individuals. Source: J Nutr, 2010 Aug 19.


Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a steroid hormone in the human body, was found to improve insulin resistance and inflammatory markers in the elderly. Source: Aging (Albany NY). 2011 May; 3(5): 533–542.