2000 ADA Annual Meeting

Symposium Organized by the Office of Dietary Supplements

National Institutes of Health



Is There a Role for Dietary Supplements in the Management of Diabetes?

Lessons from Clinical Studies


Diabetes mellitus represents a spectrum of disorders whose primary clinical manifestation is an absolute or relative lack of insulin, or insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, affects approximately 90 percent of the 10.3 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes. An additional 5.4 million persons also are estimated to have Type 2 diabetes but remain undiagnosed. Rates of diabetes and milder forms of glucose abnormalities are increasing in the U.S. Above age 65 years; almost half of Americans have abnormal glucose levels. The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes is related to a variety of factors, many of which are also associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Many public health agencies emphasize in their programs and messages that both CVD and Type 2 diabetes may be prevented or at least postponed by lifestyle changes that maintain weight and physical activity. The overall impression from studies to date is that individuals with diabetes may have somewhat different nutrient requirements from the general population.

Users of dietary supplements often report that they take supplements to reduce the risk of disease or generally to promote health. Over 100 million Americans regularly use dietary supplements. Data from NHANES III indicated that for the total U.S. population, the prevalence of dietary supplement use by adults 20 years of age to over 80 years ranges from about 36 percent to 51 percent. More current and smaller national surveys project higher usage of dietary supplements, particularly in certain population groups.

Disease prevention research includes the identification of risk factors and interventions that prevent the occurrence of disease (or its progression, if detectable but asymptomatic). In a broader sense, it also includes analysis of the etiology and mechanisms of disease that may contribute basic knowledge applicable to future preventive interventions. Similarly, dietary supplement research is conducted across many scientific disciplines and supported by a wide array of methods. This presentation will bring to together experts in the field of diabetes and nutrition who have developed methods, designed, and/or conducted clinical studies to evaluate the potential role for dietary supplements in individuals at risk of developing diabetes mellitus or with diagnosed disease.

Topical areas to be covered include:

Linda Kao, Ph.D.

Department of Epidemiology

Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Baltimore, MD

John C. Cunningham, Ph.D.

Deputy Provost and Professor of Nutrition

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Hank Lukaski, Ph.D.


Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center

Grand Forks, ND

Katherine Chauncey, PhD, RD, CDE

Department of Family and Community Medicine

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Lubbock, TX

At the conclusion of this presentation the participant should/will be able to: