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From Aberdeen, South Dakota, USA:

I'm a 27 year old, Type 1 for 5 years. I would like to know if supplements such as creatine, vanadyl sulfate, and whey protein powders have been found to help or hurt in the control of diabetes. I'm 6'6" tall, 240 pounds, 12% body fat diabetic who would like to use these supplements to lower my body fat to less than 6-7%.


I really am not an expert on all the possible supplements and diabetes. I am a skeptic. Why? I tell patients that I know that many of the "supplements" really do have medical, pharmacologic effects. I worry that what used to be two or three leaves in a tea is now a half acre of leaves powdered and compressed into a pill. We need the research. I expect some of the "supplements" will be useful.

As an example, I saw that the FDA is proposing that chromium cannot be claimed to have benefit on hyperglycemia, while another group published a study suggesting that chromium might help in weight loss.

Proper diet contains all the known supplements most healthy people need.


Additional comments from Lois Schmidt Finney, diabetes nurse specialist:

A diet which has a variety of foods from all food groups is what is recommended for everyone, including those with diabetes. Chromium may be helpful in folks with Type 2 diabetes, but has not been studied in Type 1 diabetes. Vanadium is a wild card and certainly no supplements are recommended. Creatine supplements are being studied by FDA and we are cautious to recommend them since they may not be beneficial for the health of the kidneys. I am not familiar with whey at all.


[Editor's comment: The American Diabetes Association has a position paper on Unproven Therapies that might be of interest to the reader. WWQ]

Original posting 13 Jul 1998
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet and Alternative Therapies and Explanations


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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