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Vitamins for Diabetics

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 23/01/2024
  • 2 min read

Diabetes influences how the body processes blood glucose (a.k.a. blood sugar). To manage this health condition and prevent complications, blood sugar must be within the target range.

Although there is no cure for the ailment, diabetics who maintain a healthy lifestyle coupled with consuming a nutrient-rich diet can prevent the condition from escalating. Including nutritional supplements for diabetes in their meal plan can help overcome deficiencies and, in certain cases, can also curb symptoms.

Let’s take a look at what would be the best vitamins for diabetics.

Essential Vitamins for Diabetic Patients

To know which vitamin for a diabetic patient would help in improving their specific case it is important to be aware of their deficiencies. According to a study by the American Diabetes Association, vitamin D can help prevent the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also reduce the risk of obesity. In a different instance, patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus consume metformin as part of their treatment, which may lead to vitamin B12 deficiency.

The combination of metformin and vitamin B12 deficiency is well known, and patients are also advised a daily intake of vitamin B12 for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

The following table lists some of the best vitamins for diabetics:

Vitamin  Health Benefit  Food Sources
Vitamin B1 Provides relief from the pain of neuropathy Fortified breakfast cereals, beans, lentils, fish, etc.
Vitamin B6 Prevents diabetic retinopathy  Chickpeas, tuna, salmon, poultry, dark leafy greens, etc.
Vitamin B7 Boosts enzyme glucokinase activity Eggs, avocado, sweet potato, nuts, seeds, etc.
Vitamin B9 Curbs the risk of developing gestational diabetes Dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, whole grains, etc.
Vitamin B12 Keeps blood and nerve cells healthy  fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products 
Vitamin C Lowers blood glucose, increases insulin synthesis and secretion, improves insulin resistance, and reduces complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus  Citrus fruits, brussels sprouts, broccoli, potatoes, etc.
Vitamin D Improves insulin resistance and promotes insulin secretion in the body Cod liver oil, salmon, swordfish, tuna fish, dairy, and plant milk fortified with vitamin D
Vitamin E Improves blood oxygenation, combats pollutants, and regulates insulin sunflower, safflower, and soybean oils, almonds, peanuts, Beet greens, collard greens, spinach, etc.  
Vitamin A Essential for the development of the pancreas and insulin-producing β cells Leafy greens, tomatoes, red bell peppers, fish oil, milk, eggs, etc.

As can be determined from the table above, vitamin B complex for diabetics is an essential inclusion in their healthcare routine. There are several options for multivitamins for diabetic patients.

However, it is important to speak with your doctor before consuming any additional supplements.

Varying Requirements of Vitamin Supplements for Diabetic Patients

Type 1 Diabetes: This is an auto-immune condition wherein the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Essential Vitamins for Type 1 Diabetes Recommended Dose
Vitamin D 15 – 20 mcg (varies with age)
Vitamin B12 300 – 10,000 mcg (in case of deficiency)

Type 2 Diabetes: In this chronic condition, the body either does not produce enough insulin or resists insulin.

Essential Vitamins for Type 2 Diabetes Recommended Dose
Vitamin C Women: 75 mg  Men: 90 mg
Vitamin E 15 mg (individuals over the age of 14)
Vitamin B6 1.3 – 1.7 mg

Gestational Diabetes: This diabetes affects pregnant women between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. Those who develop gestational diabetes are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Pregnant women must consult their doctor before taking nutritional supplements for diabetes. Being aware of your vitamin needs can help you choose the right vitamin supplements for diabetics to help manage your blood sugar better.

Which Vitamin Deficiencies Can Cause Diabetes?

While vitamin B complex for diabetics is an important dietary inclusion, deficiency of vitamin D has been identified as a risk factor for diabetes in several studies.

These studies show the association between low levels of vitamin D and increased risk for type 2 diabetes and its complications. Unfortunately, however, deficiency of the “sunshine” vitamin is far too common, especially among older adults.

According to another study, a deficiency of vitamin A in the diet damages beta cells, which lowers insulin production and subsequently increases blood sugar levels. Ultimately, this leads to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Therefore, multivitamins for diabetic patients are an important dietary inclusion as they help in better management of diabetes. To effectively manage diabetes lifestyle changes and essential supplements for diabetic patients are two important healthcare factors.

However, before including vitamin supplements for diabetics in their routine, patients must consult their doctor.

Whole Foods vs Vitamins for Diabetic Patients

Generally, health experts recommend individuals consume vitamins and minerals from food instead of supplements. Whole foods comprise fibre, enzymes, and other compounds that assist the body in absorbing the essential nutrients from food.

So, diabetic patients must also aim to consume a healthy and nutritious diet to obtain the necessary vitamins.

However, individuals with deficiencies and with specific conditions, such as the combination of metformin and vitamin B12, will need supplements to help their bodies. A deficiency in vitamins can be determined via a blood test.

In Conclusion

Vitamin supplements can help address certain complications and side effects of diabetes. However, because diabetes is a chronic health condition, and it may be challenging to determine who will be susceptible to the ailment, it is advisable to get diabetes coverage on your health insurance policy.

Alternatively, if you are opting for critical illness insurance, you can check if the plan includes diabetes. This is because the onset of diabetes comes with a significant financial investment, which can dent your savings and compel you to re-look at your financial plan.

The benefits of health insurance extend beyond financial assistance to offer peace of mind to the insured. However, before investing in a policy, one must analyse different health insurance plans to find suitable coverage based on your healthcare needs.

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