I saw a leaflet advertising a diabetes remedy. The man who had taken it claimed it had a profound effect on his diabetes. Would it be safe for me to try a similar product?
Many herbal products make claims about the benefits for people with diabetes. However, there is no way of knowing what the long term effects are of taking more than normal dietary amounts of these substances. The issue of taking additional supplements is a complex one and debates are always about what constitutes an effective but safe amount. The whole area of food supplements either herbal, natural or chemical is a grey area as food supplements are not regulated. This means that different brands of supposedly the same substance can vary widely in quality and contents.
Some regulations exist to ensure that the product contains what is claimed on the label and that it meets a standard of quality. The amounts usually recommended to aid normalization of blood sugars are above daily-recommended doses. Examples of research into the benefits of supplements are quoted regularly but many of these studies are of short duration, lack a comparison group and have not been rigorously designed. I would be very reluctant to recommend purchasing a product without the approval of the diabetes team caring for the person with diabetes.
My father, age 70, has insulin dependent diabetes. He is forever catching colds and getting chest infections. could taking a vitamin C supplement help and would it be ok to take?
Vitamin C supplements can help, however if your father is eating plenty of fruit and vegetables he may not need to take a supplement. I would advise you to discuss this with your diabetes consultant or pharmacy before purchasing supplements.