Complementary medicines in diabetes

Vitamin D

A recent meta-analysis showed vitamin D and calcium insufficiency negatively influence glycaemic control and combined supplementation of both nutrients may be beneficial in optimising glucose metabolism.1 

Metformin/French Lilac 

Metformin was developed from the herb French lilac (Galega officinalis). One of the main side-effects associated with long term use is vitamin B12 deficiency.2 

There is a role for testing serum B12 levels in people with diabetes taking metformin for long periods.

Alpha lipoic acid

Alpha lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant found in every cell that helps convert glucose into energy.3 

A recent five-week trial of oral alpha-lipoic acid in three different doses also demonstrated benefits, significantly improving neuropathic symptoms in diabetic patients compared with placebo.4