Schizophrenia, Diabetes, and CAM

Schizophrenia, Diabetes, and Complementary and Alternative Medicine

It is said that people with schizophrenia die 25 years earlier than healthy people. Diabetes is one on the big reasons people with schizophrenia die early. Losing weight through healthy diet and exercise seem to be the best way to prevent and treat diabetes. The Mediterranean and Asian diets are two of the healthiest diets for prediabetics and diabetics. Another good strategy is the 2-hour diet. Stagger a big meal with a snack every two hours, so you will not ever really be Schizophrenia, Diabetes, and CAMhungry and overeat. Below is a list of “go-to” information for those who may be interested in supplementation of their diets with micro and macro nutrients. From :


Dietary supplements used in the management of Diabetes includes Alpha-lipoic, chromium, omega 3 fatty acids, polyphenols, garlic, magnesium, coenzyme Q10, vanadium, folic acid, selenium, vitamins B6, C and E, zinc and copper.


Pharmacol Rep. 2011;63(4):849-58.

Lipoic acid – biological activity and therapeutic potential.

Gorąca A1, Huk-Kolega H, Piechota A, Kleniewska P, Ciejka E, Skibska B.

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α-Lipoic acid (LA; 5-(1,2-dithiolan-3-yl)pentanoic acid) was originally isolated from bovine liver by Reed et al. in 1951. LA was once considered a vitamin. Subsequently, it was found that LA is not a vitamin and is synthesized by plants and animals. LA is covalently bound to the ε-amino group of lysine residues and functions as a cofactor for mitochondrial enzymes by catalyzing the oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate, α-ketoglutarate and branched-chain α-keto acids. LA and its reduced form – dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA), meet all the criteria for an ideal antioxidant because they can easily quench radicals, can chelate metals, have an amphiphlic character and they do not exhibit any serious side effects. They interact with other antioxidants and can regenerate them. For this reason, LA is called an antioxidant of antioxidants. LA has an influence on the second messenger nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and attenuates the release of free radicals and cytotoxic cytokines. The therapeutic action of LA is based on its antioxidant properties. Current studies support its use in the ancillary treatment of many diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, autoimmune diseases, cancer and AIDS. This review was undertaken to gather the most recent information regarding the therapeutic properties of LA and its possible utility in disease treatment.


Can Fam Physician. 2009 Jun;55(6):591-6.

Complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Nahas R1, Moher M.

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To review clinical evidence supporting complementary and alternative medicine interventions for improving glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus.


MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched from January 1966 to August 2008 using the term type 2 diabetes in combination with each of the following terms for specific therapies selected by the authors: cinnamon, fenugreek, gymnema, green tea, fibre, momordica, chromium, and vanadium. Only human clinical trials were selected for review.


Chromium reduced glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) and fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels in a large meta-analysis. Gymnema sylvestre reduced HbA(1c) levels in 2 small open-label trials. Cinnamon improved FBG but its effects on HbA(1c) are unknown. Bitter melon had no effect in 2 small trials. Fibre had no consistent effect on HbA(1c) or FBG in 12 small trials. Green tea reduced FBG levels in 1 of 3 small trials. Fenugreek reduced FBG in 1 of 3 small trials. Vanadium reduced FBG in small, uncontrolled trials. There were no trials evaluating microvascular or macrovascular complications or other clinical end points.


Chromium, and possibly gymnema, appears to improve glycemic control. Fibre, green tea, and fenugreek have other benefits but there is little evidence that they substantially improve glycemic control. Further research on bitter melon and cinnamon is warranted. There is no complementary and alternative medicine research addressing microvascular or macrovascular clinical outcomes.


Mediators Inflamm. 2014;2014:502749. doi: 10.1155/2014/502749. Epub 2014 Aug 28.

Unraveling the complex relationship triad between lipids, obesity, and inflammation.

Khan SA1, Ali A2, Khan SA3, Zahran SA1, Damanhouri G4, Azhar E5, Qadri I2.

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Obesity today stands at the intersection between inflammation and metabolic disorders causing an aberration of immune activity, and resulting in increased risk for diabetes, atherosclerosis, fatty liver, and pulmonary inflammation to name a few. Increases in mortality and morbidity in obesity related inflammation have initiated studies to explore different lipid mediated molecular pathways of attempting resolution that uncover newer therapeutic opportunities of anti-inflammatory components. Majorly the thromboxanes, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, lipoxins, and so forth form the group of lipid mediators influencing inflammation. Of special mention are the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids that regulate inflammatory mediators of interest in hepatocytes and adipocytes via the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways. They also exhibit profound effects on eicosanoid production. The inflammatory cyclooxygenase pathway arising from arachidonic acid is a critical step in the progression of inflammatory responses. New oxygenated products of omega-3 metabolism, namely, resolvins and protectins, behave as endogenous mediators exhibiting powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-regulatory actions via the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). In this review we attempt to discuss the complex pathways and links between obesity and inflammation particularly in relation to different lipid mediators.

Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2014;65(1):1-8.

Allium sativum: facts and myths regarding human health.

Majewski M.


Garlic (Allium sativum L. fam. Alliaceae) is one of the most researched and best-selling herbal products on the market. For centuries it was used as a traditional remedy for most health-related disorders. Also, it is widely used as a food ingredient–spice and aphrodisiac. Garlic’s properties result from a combination of variety biologically active substances which all together are responsible for its curative effect. The compounds contained in garlic synergistically influence each other so that they can have different effects. The active ingredients of garlic include enzymes (e.g. alliinase), sulfur-containing compounds such as alliin and compounds produced enzymatically from alliin (e.g. allicin). There is a lot of variation among garlic products sold for medicinal purposes. The concentration of Allicin (main active ingredient) and the source of garlic’s distinctive odor depend on processing method. Allicin is unstable, and changes into a different chemicals rather quickly. It’s documented that products obtained even without allicin such as aged garlic extract (AGE), have a clear and significant biological effect in immune system improvement, treatment of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, liver and other areas. Some products have a coating (enteric coating) to protect them against attack by stomach acids. Clinically, garlic has been evaluated for a number of purposes, including treatment of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cold or the prevention of atherosclerosis and the development of tumors. Many available publications indicates possible antibacterial, anti-hypertensive and anti-thrombotic properties of garlic. Due to the chemical complexity of garlic and the use of different processing methods we obtain formulations with varying degrees of efficacy and safety.


ScientificWorldJournal. 2014;2014:461591. doi: 10.1155/2014/461591. Epub 2014 Aug 5.

Variation in macro and trace elements in progression of type 2 diabetes.

Siddiqui K1, Bawazeer N2, Joy SS1.

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Macro elements are the minerals of which the body needs more amounts and are more important than any other elements. Trace elements constitute a minute part of the living tissues and have various metabolic characteristics and functions. Trace elements participate in tissue and cellular and subcellular functions; these include immune regulation by humoral and cellular mechanisms, nerve conduction, muscle contractions, membrane potential regulations, and mitochondrial activity and enzyme reactions. The status of micronutrients such as iron and vanadium is higher in type 2 diabetes. The calcium, magnesium, sodium, chromium, cobalt, iodine, iron, selenium, manganese, and zinc seem to be low in type 2 diabetes while elements such as potassium and copper have no effect. In this review, we emphasized the status of macro and trace elements in type 2 diabetes and its advantages or disadvantages; this helps to understand the mechanism, progression, and prevention of type 2 diabetes due to the lack and deficiency of different macro and trace elements.


Altern Med Rev. 2002 Apr;7(2):94-111.

Mitochondrial factors in the pathogenesis of diabetes: a hypothesis for treatment.

Lamson DW1, Plaza SM.

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A growing body of evidence has demonstrated a link between various disturbances in mitochondrial functioning and type 2 diabetes. This review focuses on a range of mitochondrial factors important in the pathogenesis of this disease. The mitochondrion is an integral part of the insulin system found in the islet cells of the pancreas. Because of the systemic complexity of mitochondrial functioning in terms of tissue and energetic thresholds, details of structure and function are reviewed. The expression of type 2 diabetes can be ascribed to a number of qualitative or quantitative changes in the mitochondria. Qualitative changes refer to genetic disturbances in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Heteroplasmic as well as homoplasmic mutations of mtDNA can lead to the development of a number of genetic disorders that express the phenotype of type 2 diabetes. Quantitative decreases in mtDNA copy number have also been linked to the pathogenesis of diabetes. The study of the relationship of mtDNA to type 2 diabetes has revealed the influence of the mitochondria on nuclear-encoded glucose transporters and the influence of nuclear encoded uncoupling proteins on the mitochondria. This basic research into the pathogenesis of diabetes has led to the awareness of natural therapeutics (such as coenzyme Q10) that increase mitochondrial functioning and avoidance of trans-fatty acids that decrease mitochondrial functioning.
J Physiol Pharmacol. 2014 Oct;65(5):603-11.

Essentiality and toxicity of vanadium supplements in health and pathology.

Gruzewska K1, Michno A, Pawelczyk T, Bielarczyk H.

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The biological properties of vanadium complexes have become an object of interest due to their therapeutic potential in several diseases. However, the mechanisms of action of vanadium salts are still poorly understood. Vanadium complexes are cofactors for several enzymes and also exhibit insulin-mimetic properties. Thus, they are involved in the regulation of glucose metabolism, including in patients with diabetes. In addition, vanadium salts may also normalize blood pressure and play a key role in the metabolism of the thyroid and of iron as well as in the regulation of total cholesterol, cholesterol HDL and triglyceride (TG) levels in blood. Moreover, in cases of hypoxia, vanadium compounds may improve cardiomyocytes function. They may also exhibit both carcinogenic and anti-cancer properties. These include dose- and exposure-time-dependent induction and inhibition of the proliferation and survival of cancer cells. On the other hand, the balance between vanadium’s therapeutic properties and its side effects has not yet been determined. Therefore, any studies on the potential use of vanadium compounds as supplements to support the treatment of a number of diseases must be strictly monitored for adverse effects.


World J Diabetes. 2015 Mar 15;6(2):333-7. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v6.i2.333.

Antioxidant role of zinc in diabetes mellitus.

Cruz KJ1, de Oliveira AR1, Marreiro Ddo N1.

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Chronic hyperglycemia statue noticed in diabetes mellitus favors the manifestation of oxidative stress by increasing the production of reactive oxygen species and/or by reducing the antioxidant defense system activity. Zinc plays an important role in antioxidant defense in type 2 diabetic patients by notably acting as a cofactor of the superoxide dismutase enzyme, by modulating the glutathione metabolism and metallothionein expression, by competing with iron and copper in the cell membrane and by inhibiting nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-oxidase enzyme. Zinc also improves the oxidative stress in these patients by reducing chronic hyperglycemia. It indeed promotes phosphorylation of insulin receptors by enhancing transport of glucose into cells. However, several studies reveal changes in zinc metabolism in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus and controversies remain regarding the effect of zinc supplementation in the improvement of oxidative stress in these patients. Faced with the serious challenge of the metabolic disorders related to oxidative stress in diabetes along with the importance of antioxidant nutrients in the control of this disease, new studies may contribute to improve our understanding of the role played by zinc against oxidative stress and its connection with type 2 diabetes mellitus prognosis. This could serve as a prelude to the development of prevention strategies and treatment of disorders associated with this chronic disease.