We all know the sugar rush feeling after a particularly indulgent meal or beverage—a brief sensation of hyperactivity quickly followed by a sugar crash, that bone-weary exhaustion that makes you just want to crawl in bed. If this sounds familiar, you’ve had a glimpse into the roller coaster effect that sugar can have on our energy levels and how hard our body must work to keep it all in balance.
You see, we quiteliterally run on sugar—every cell and organ in our body requires glucose. The food we eat gets broken down into glucose for ready absorption into our bloodstream and insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, helps our body take glucose out of the bloodstream and put it into our cells to be converted into energy or stored for later use.
Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced is one of the most important steps you can take for overall health and vitality. Besides eating a wholesome diet rich in low-glycemic whole fruits, vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates, you can optimize your blood sugar levels by including supplements that promote glucose balance.
Here are our picks for the top 10 supplements you can take to support healthy blood sugar levels.
This fat- and water-soluble antioxidant attacks free radicals in the body, protecting our organs and tissues. To balance blood sugar, alpha-lipoic acid helps convert glucose into energy in our body’s cells and can increase insulin sensitivity after just four weeks of supplementation1.
Banaba Leaf Extract
This extract, from the leaf of the Southeast Asian tropical Banaba tree, contains corosolic acid that helps transport glucose from the blood into cells for use as energy. In one study, subjects taking Banaba leaf extract for just two weeks saw a drastic balancing of glucose levels2.
We need chromium for proper metabolism, but studies show that this trace mineral is also a master blood sugar regulator when taken consistently3.
A spice made from the bark of Cinnamomum trees, cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant that works to improve blood glucose control by slowing stomach emptying after meals and enhancing insulin sensitivity4.
The seeds of this aromatic plant support balanced blood sugar levels by slowing digestion and carbohydrate absorption. Fenugreek may also stimulate insulin production due to an abundance of amino acids. In one study, three years of Fenugreek supplementation prevented blood sugar issues5.
American ginseng, a North American root often used in herbal medicine, has been shown to balance after-eating blood sugar levels when taken before or with a meal6.
Native to the tropical forests of India, the leaves of Gymnema Sylvestre normalize blood sugar by increasing insulin levels, reducing glucose absorption, and improving sugar uptake7.
Magnesium is a mega-important mineral responsible for more than 300 chemical reactions in our body, so it’s no surprise that it benefits blood sugar levels as well. Supplementation of this vital mineral can increase insulin sensitivity and support healthy glucose levels8.
By interacting and communicating with our cells, the beneficial bacteria in our body are responsible for performing a countless number of health-promoting functions, including promoting digestive, metabolic, and immune health and helping to keep our blood sugar stable9.
There is a correlation between vitamin D levels and the body’s ability to effectively metabolize glucose; those with blood sugar issues often have low vitamin D levels. This is because vitamin D improves insulin sensitivity, which means that you’ll need less insulin to properly balance blood sugar levels. Studies show that correcting a deficiency of this important vitamin can lead to significant increases in sensitivity10. In one recent trial, one year of vitamin D3 supplementation was associated with significant balancing of fasting glucose levels in adult participants11.
As you add supplements to your regimen, make sure to look for high quality, effective formulas like Hyperbiotics Glucose Support. With seven targeted probiotic strains, vitamin D3, and Banaba leaf extract, Glucose Support includes three of the top ten nutrients for blood sugar balancing, as well as BIO-Tract®, a patented time release delivery method that delivers the good bacteria deep into your gut where they can get to work supporting your health.
Because every cell in our body needs glucose to function, having the right balance of sugar in our blood is imperative. From our brain function and mood to energy, endurance, and weight, our blood sugar affects nearly every aspect of our health.
Like our blood sugar, life is truly a balancing act—eating well, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and taking targeted supplements will go a long way towards health and harmony for your body and mind!
1. Kamenova, P. (2006). Improvement of insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus after oral administration of alpha-lipoic acid. Hormones, 5(4), 251-258.
2. Judy, W. V., Hari, S. P., Stogsdill, W., Judy, J. S., Naguib, Y. M., & Passwater, R. (2003). Antidiabetic activity of a standardized extract (Glucosol™) from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves in Type II diabetics. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 87(1), 115-117.
3. Anderson, R. A., Cheng, N., Bryden, N. A., Polansky, M. M., Cheng, N., Chi, J., & Feng, J. (1997). Elevated Intakes of Supplemental Chromium Improve Glucose and Insulin Variables in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes, 46(11), 1786-1791.
4. Lu, T., Sheng, H., Wu, J., Cheng, Y., Zhu, J., & Chen, Y. (2012). Cinnamon extract improves fasting blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin level in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes. Nutrition Research, 32(6), 408-412.
5. Gaddam, A., Galla, C., Thummisetti, S., Marikanty, R. K., Palanisamy, U. D., & Rao, P. V. (2015). Role of Fenugreek in the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus in prediabetes. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders, 14(1).
6. Vuksan, V., Sievenpiper, J. L., Koo, V. Y., Francis, T., Beljan-Zdravkovic, U., Xu, Z., & Vidgen, E. (2000). American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L) Reduces Postprandial Glycemia in Nondiabetic Subjects and Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Archives of Internal Medicine, 160(7), 1009.
7. Kumar, S. N., Mani, U. V., & Mani, I. (2010). An Open Label Study on the Supplementation of Gymnema sylvestre in Type 2 Diabetics. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 7(3), 273-282.
8. Guerrero-Romero, F., Simental-Mendía, L., Hernández-Ronquillo, G., & Rodriguez-Morán, M. (2015). Oral magnesium supplementation improves glycaemic status in subjects with prediabetes and hypomagnesaemia: A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Diabetes & Metabolism, 41(3), 202-207.
9. Karamali, M., Dadkhah, F., Sadrkhanlou, M., Jamilian, M., Ahmadi, S., Tajabadi-Ebrahimi, M., . . . Asemi, Z. (2016). Effects of probiotic supplementation on glycaemic control and lipid profiles in gestational diabetes: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Diabetes & Metabolism. doi:10.1016/j.diabet.2016.04.009
10. Osati, S., Homayounfar, R., & Hajifaraji, M. (2016). Metabolic effects of vitamin D supplementation in vitamin D deficient patients (a double-blind clinical trial). Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews. doi:10.1016/j.dsx.2016.01.007
11. Sun, X., Cao, Z., Tanisawa, K., Ito, T., Oshima, S., & Higuchi, M. (2016). Vitamin D supplementation reduces insulin resistance in Japanese adults: A secondary analysis of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition Research. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2016.07.006
Emily Courtney is a Writer and Editor at Hyperbiotics and mom to two fun and active boys. Emily is passionate about natural wellness and helping others learn about the power of probiotics for vibrant health! For more ideas on how you can benefit from the power of probiotics and live healthier days, be sure to subscribe to her newsletter