Introduction: Exercise and the use of herbal supplements are among the therapeutic interventions in controlling type 2 diabetes. This study aimed to compare the effect of exercise and karela supplement on glycemic control and metabolic complications in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Methods: In the present quasi-experimental study, 120 patients with type 2 diabetes were selected by purposive sampling and were randomly divided into 4 groups of exercise, karela supplement, combined, and control. Exercises included 8-week pyramid aerobic training, 3 sessions per week. Karela was consumed in a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight daily in form of karela powder.
Results: There was a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar (FBS), 2-hour postprandial glucose (2hPP), insulin resistance, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1 c) in the intervention groups compared to the control group (P<0.001). Further, there was no significant difference between changes in FBS in the intervention groups (P<0.05), but 2hPP, insulin resistance, and HbA1c were higher in the training and combined groups compared to supplement group (P<0.001); however, there was no difference between the two groups (P>0.05).
Conclusion: According to the results, it can be said that both methods of exercise and karela consumption have a positive effect on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes, but interventions and the combination of exercise and the supplement are more effective in glycemic control than karela alone.