Glipizide is a sulfonylurea drug used to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes.
In a preliminary trial, administration of Ginkgo biloba who were taking oral anti-diabetes medication resulted in a significant worsening of glucose tolerance. Ginkgo did not impair glucose tolerance in individuals whose diabetes was controlled by diet.1 Individuals taking oral anti-diabetes medication should consult a doctor before taking Ginkgo biloba.
In a randomized study of 15 patients with type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes, fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) (100 grams per day for ten days) was reported to reduce blood sugar, urinary sugar excretion, serum cholesterol, and triglycerides, with no change in insulin levels, compared with ten days of placebo.2 In a study of 60 people with type 2 diabetes, fenugreek (25 grams per day for 24 weeks) was reported to significantly reduce blood glucose levels.3 People using glipizide should talk with their doctor before making any therapy changes.
Herbs such as Gymnema sylvestre will often improve blood-sugar control in diabetics.
In a study of people with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes and low blood levels of magnesium, treatment with glipizide was associated with a significant rise in magnesium levels.4 In a randomized trial with eight healthy people, 850 mg magnesium hydroxide increased glipizide absorption and activity.5 In theory, such changes could be therapeutic or detrimental under varying circumstances. Therefore, people taking glipizide should consult with their doctor before taking magnesium supplements.
1. Kudolo GB. The effect of 3-month ingestion of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) on pancreatic beta-cell function in response to glucose loading in individuals with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J Clin Pharmacol 2001;41:600–11.
2. Sharma RD, Raghuram TC, Sudhakar Rao N. Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and serum lipids in type 1 diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr 1990;44:301–6.
3. Sharma RD, Sakar A, Hazra DK, et al. Use of fenugreek seed powder in the management of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Nutr Res 1996;16:1131–9.
4. McBain AM, Brown IR, Menzies DG, Campbell IW. Effects of improved glycaemic control on calcium and magnesium homeostasis in type II diabetes. J Clin Pathol 1988;41:933–5.
5. Kivisto KT, Neuvonen PJ. Enhancement of absorption and effect of glipizide by magnesium hydroxide. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1991;49:39–43.
Last Review: 05-01-2013
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