Illegal diabetes products are often labeled as dietary supplements, alternative medicine, ayurvedic, or homeopathic. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns consumers to avoid such products.
"Bogus products for diabetes are particularly troubling," says Gary Coody, R.Ph., national health fraud coordinator for FDA.
"People with chronic or incurable diseases may feel desperate and become easy prey. There are effective options available to help manage this serious disease rather than exposing patients to unproven and risky products."
Effective options for diabetes and pre-diabetes include diet, exercise, and prescription medications. However, if consumers delay or discontinue effective treatments in favor of "all natural" products, they risk serious health complications such as hypoglycemia, amputations, kidney disease, blindness and death.
Over 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, including about 7 million who are undiagnosed. Millions more have pre-diabetes, meaning they have higher than normal blood sugar levels.
"Products that promise an easy fix might be alluring," says Coody, "but consumers are gambling with their health."
If you're diabetic or pre-diabetic, find out which common—and dangerous—dietary supplements are sold online or at drugstores.