Efficacy and Safety of Nutrient Supplements for Glycaemic Control and Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetes: An Umbrella Review and Hierarchical Evidence Synthesis

Charmie Fong, Simon Alesi, Aya Mousa, Lisa J. Moran, Gary Deed, Suzanne Grant, Kriscia Tapia, Carolyn Ee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

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Background: Nutrient supplements are widely used for type 2 diabetes (T2D), yet evidence-based guidance for clinicians is lacking. Methods: We searched the four electronic databases from November 2015–December 2021. The most recent, most comprehensive, high-ranked systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and/or umbrella reviews of randomised controlled trials in adults with T2D were included. Data were extracted on study characteristics, aggregate outcome measures per group (glycaemic control, measures of insulin sensitivity and secretion), adverse events, and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) assessments. Quality was assessed using A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews Version 2.0 (AMSTAR 2). Results: Twelve meta-analyses and one umbrella review were included. There was very low certainty evidence that chromium, Vitamin C, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (Ω-3 PUFAs) were superior to placebo for the primary outcome of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) (Mean Difference/MD −0.54, −0.54 and ES −0.27, respectively). Probiotics were superior to placebo for HbA1c (Weighted Mean Difference/WMD −0.43%). There was very low certainty evidence that Vitamin D was superior to placebo for lowering HbA1c in trials of <6 months (MD −0.17%). Magnesium, zinc, Vitamin C, probiotics, and polyphenols were superior to placebo for FBG. Vitamin D was superior to placebo for insulin resistance. Data on safety was limited. Conclusions: Future research should identify who may benefit from nutrient supplementation, safety, and optimal regimens and formulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2295
Number of pages20
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • glycaemic control
  • insulin resistance
  • nutrients
  • type 2 diabetes
  • umbrella review

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