ChiBoy

Q:

Can diabetic patients take the supplement called GLUCOCIL with their insulin and the oral medication Metformin? Will there be any side effects?

Amy Campbell

A:

Glucocil is a dietary supplement that contains a blend of mulberry leaf extract, chromium, banaba extract and alpha lipoic acid. The premise behind this supplement is that it works by reducing the absorption of carbohydrate, reduces appetite and promotes insulin sensitivity. There doesn’t appear to be clinical research involving the use of Glucocil (the research cited only involves its individual components), so it’s impossible to say if it’s effective or safe. Because it’s a dietary supplement, it’s not regulated by the FDA, either. Glucocil is intended by the manufacturer to be taken by people who have diabetes and who are on both oral medications and insulin. According to the company’s website, people with kidney or liver disease should not take it, though gastrointestinal upset, loose stools and gas are the only side effects the manufacturer reports. If you are thinking of taking Glucocil, I’d recommend that you first speak with your healthcare provider to make sure that they think it’s safe for you. Also, this supplement is not intended to replace your diabetes medicines, and you still need to follow a healthy eating and physical activity plan if you do decide to take it.

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