A lack of insulin prevents the body from readily converting sugar into energy.
Some medications – usually tablets – could help to keep glucose at normal levels.
But, taking gymnema supplements may help to lower your blood sugar, scientists have claimed.
Gymnema has been used to lower blood sugar, and increase insulin secretion, it’s been reported.
Used as a complementary treatment, the supplements could reduce the absorption of sugar from the intestine.
“One of the alternative medicines to both diabetes and obesity could be Gymnema sylvestre plant preparation,” said researchers form the University of Mumbai.
“It’s known to have a good effect for curbing of diabetes by blocking sugar binding sites and hence not allowing the sugar molecules to accumulate in the body.”
The supplements should only be taken under doctor’s supervision, although there are few negative side effects.
“Gymnema is not a substitute for diabetes medication,” warned medical website Healthline.
“While lowering high blood sugar is generally a positive thing in people with diabetes, lowering it too much can be extremely dangerous.
“Check your blood sugar levels more often until you know how it affects your body. Also check every time you increase the dosage.”
Gymnema supplements shouldn’t be taken by pregnant women, or those that are breast-feeding.
You could lower your risk of diabetes by eating a healthy, balanced diet, according to the NHS.
If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight could prevent the condition.
If you have diabetes, regular exercise lowers blood sugar levels.
Aim to complete at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.