diabetes supplement
Diabetes Medication

My Supplements

One of the questions that readers ask me the most is what supplements I take. While I respond to individual email requests answering their questions, until now I have resisted writing generally on this topic.

I do study supplements, but am no expert. Eventually, however, I’ve realized that no one is. Certainly not our doctors, most of whom don’t know or care the first thing about supplements.

Most doctors will tell you that supplements are worthless. That they are worse than useless, giving you no more than expensive urine, is a famous line I remember from a doctor’s article years ago.

I do agree that most supplements are nothing but a waste of money. This goes double for supplements that supposedly control — or worse are reputed to “cure” — diabetes. In fact, I’ve written often here about how some people who should know better than I do say we still don’t have any high quality clinical trials of the efficacy of any supplements. I actually called my most recent article on the subject, “Snake Oil Supplements.”

With all of these caveats, I have nevertheless studied the subject carefully. My library contains and I have read all the many reference works and books reviewing supplements. While proof that they will help me is totally lacking or incomplete, I know that I am too old to wait for it.

So, without further ado here is the list of supplements that I am taking right now. This list changes regularly as I learn about supplements that I think — or hope — will help my body or mind to function better or that I begin to doubt:

Neptune krilll oil 500 mg twice a day for omega-3 fatty acid

L-arginine powder 5 grams together with 750 mg of L-citrulline to improve the elasticity of my arteries

Psyllium husk caps 2,000 mg three times a day for fiber

Benfotiamine 150 mg three times a day to prevent micro-vascular complication

Pycnogenol 125 mg per day to help control my blood glucose level (article coming soon)

Baby aspirin 1 tablet daily to thin my blood (helps protect my heart)

Ginkgo biloba 120 mg twice a day to improve my memory

Alpha lipoic acid 100 mg as a powerful antioxidant

Co-Q10 200 mg per day to help protect my heart

Vitamin D3 9000 IU per day for many conditions

Magnesium 150 mg three times per day for normal muscle and nerve function, to keep my heart rhythm steady, to support my immune system, to help keep my bones strong, and to help regulate my blood glucose level

Alive multi-vitamin without iron three times per day, just in case

This list is in no particular order. The omega-3, aspirin, and just about any brand of multi-vitamin probably have the best degree of proof that they will help us.

Do you have serious issues with any of these supplements? Or do you have some others that you think that we should use?

This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.

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  • Dale at

    Is taking whey protein good or bad with type 2 diabetes?

  • Dale at

    What is your thoughts on taking whey protein with type 2 diabetes?

    • David Mendosa at

      Dear Dale,

      Good question! So good in fact that I will write an article to answer it.

      Meanwhile, please answer my question directly in an email to me at mendosa@mendosa.com and tell me there how many grams of protein you get on an average day, not counting any whey protein or other protein powder?


  • Luis at

    Very good information on supplements. Will make it known among our patients in Spain.

    Regards, Luis

  • Juvenon Supplement Info at

    Very informative post on supplements, indeed. Thanks for sharing.

  • David Mendosa at

    Dear Sharon,

    Thanks for sharing your turmeric discovery. This is the first that I have heard that it may help control the dawn phenomenon. I hope that others will add reports of their experiences with it here.


  • Sharon Horst at

    I was having high morning readings & nothing was working. Tried pycnogenol(sp. ?), then vingegar. No luck. Am now getting remarkably lower readings using 1/2 t. powdered turmeric at night; 10 to 20 points less. The stuff is awful to swallow with water, but the capsules don’t seem as effective. If this works it’s worth the trouble. Has anyone any experience or info on the use of turmeric?
    Thanks, Sharon

  • Debbie James at


    Thanks for all your information. I have linked your site to my blog, http://www.YourDreamSizeBlog.com as I think the information about The Glycemic Index is awesome.

    I agree that a lot of supplements are useless. I recently discovered a couple that are Patented, all natural, no stimulants, with clinical trials. One in particular, might be of interest. Don’t know how it relates to Diabetes. http://www.RaiseYourEnergyLevel.com. A doctor has formulated this supplement and not a company.

    I also love your photography. Thanks for all you do.

    Debbie James

  • Martha Katona at

    David, congrats on being who you are. I hope to contribute as much as you have.

    On the subject of ALA, it has glucose lowering properties at 1500mg per day and above. When combined with a balanced protein and carb diet (see my blog) it is responsible for a 30 point post-prandial glucose drop for someone my size.

    Dr. Norman Shealy tells me the upper limit for doseage of ALA is 2000mg per day in divided doses, always with food.

    When I added ALA to my balanced protein and carb diet, I was off insulin in 5 days. A real workhorse. I take 1800 mg daily, in divided doses, always with food.

    Thanks again. I would appreciate you looking at my blog. I have lost 110 pounds, even with half a pancreas, and my diabetes is under control. I enjoy my 100 carb grams daily, but I always have 100 gm protein at the same time. Equal amounts protein and carbs. I use whey protein a great deal because it is low fat, and also because it is the only source of protein that alkalinizes the body.

    Best wishes to all.
    Martha Katona

  • bj shannon at

    am i reading correctly that you take a multivitamin 3x per day? are you concerned about the dosage of any of the things in it? for instance, that would really boost your d3.

  • Lawrence Olson at

    I first ran across a supplement with ALA in it advertised in MIT Technology Review. The name is Juvenon . A tablet contains ALA 400mg
    Acettyl L -Camitine HCL 1000mg, and Biotin 300mcg. Claims to Sustain Energy Level, Promotes Brain Cell Function, & Support Metabolic Efficiency. Dosage: 2tabs/day. I have been on Juvenon for 3 1/2 years. Considerable research info availible, a good place to start (of course) is at Juvenon website.
    It would seem likely that there would be a certain amount of per-review by having had
    Juvenon advertised in MITTR. FYI I also am a type 2 Diabetic

  • David Mendosa at

    Dear Meredith,

    Sorry, but I don’t know. Maybe someone else knows the answer and can advise us.


  • Meredith Uttley at

    Is it critical to use long acting alpha lipoic acid?