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I have a 5 year old who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about 10 months ago. She is on both Humalog and NPH twice daily. I also give her 100 mg alpha lipoic acid in the a.m. and Bittermelon 200 mg in the p.m. Are there any side effects that I should be concerned about?


I have only heard of bittermelon taken as the whole fruit -- in Asia -- as a modest assist is lowering glucose in Type 2 diabetes. Since there are no controlled studies of which I am aware and I don't know how it's supposed to work, I can't say whether it is likely to have any benefit in Type 1 diabetes, whether a supplement is known to have the same effect as the whole food, or what any potential side effects might be. My web search turned up essentially empty handed.


Additional comments from Dr. O'Brien:

I have not heard of bittermelon as an adjunct therapy for any form of diabetes. Alpha lipoic acid has been popular in Germany as an antioxidant in the treatment of polyneuropathy in Type 2 Diabetes; but a careful report in a recent volume of Diabetes Care by Ziegler et al., Volume 22, page 1296, 1999 failed to confirm this. No significant side effects were reported; but I also would not expect it to be of value in Type 1 Diabetes.


Original posting 13 Oct 1999
Posted to Alternative Therapies and Explanations


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:06
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