This systematic review identified nine studies of the effects of various herbal supplement on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. The reviewers found significant benefits for Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato), Silybum marianum (milk thistle), and Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek).
The reviewers found nine randomised trials with a total of 487 patients that reported HbA1c after at least 8 weeks of follow-up.
Readers of this paper should consider:
- The quality of individual studies, particularly the sample size and possible co-interventions
- The length of follow-up, and whether any benefit might be sustained in the long term.
- Heterogeneity between different studies.
- Possible adverse effects, such as possible interactions with medication.
Suksomboon N, Poolsup N, Boonkaew S, Suthisisang CC. Meta-analysis of the effect of herbal supplement on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]