Complementary and alternative medicine for diabetes mellitus: an overview of systematic reviews
Article first published online: 3 AUG 2012
© 2012 The Authors. FACT © 2012 Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies
Volume 17, Issue 3, pages 142–148, September 2012
How to Cite
Posadzki, P., Lee, M. S. and Ernst, E. (2012), Complementary and alternative medicine for diabetes mellitus: an overview of systematic reviews. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 17: 142–148. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7166.2012.01159.x
- Issue published online: 3 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 3 AUG 2012
- Complementary and alternative medicine;
- diabetes mellitus;
- systematic review
Background Many patients with diabetes mellitus report the use of CAM.
Objectives To summarise and critically evaluate systematic reviews of any type of CAM for the treatment of diabetes.
Methods Four electronic databases were searched to identify all relevant systematic reviews published between January 2000 and May 2011.
Results Twelve systematic reviews met the inclusion criteria. These reviews evaluated the effectiveness of any type of CAM, herbal medicine, qi gong, tai chi, massage, moxibustion and yoga for the treatment and/or management of diabetes mellitus. Reviews also assessed the effectiveness of: pharmacological and lifestyle interventions to prevent or delay the onset of the disease; the effectiveness of herbal remedies and dietary supplements for glucose control; and the effectiveness of yoga-based programmes on physiologic and anthropometrical risk profiles and related clinical outcomes. Six reviews were of high quality and six indicated high risk of bias. Eleven reviews arrived at cautious or negative conclusions. One systematic review of massage reported positive conclusions.
Conclusions Evidence supporting the effectiveness of CAM as a treatment option for diabetes is scarce.