Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

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


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:06
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.