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What are the Different Types of Vitamins for Diabetics?

By Ron Marr
Updated Feb 29, 2024
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Contrary to conventional wisdom, people with diabetes do not necessarily require a special regimen of vitamin supplements. Nutritionists and the medical community appear to agree that consumption of whole foods — served as balanced meals and snacks — provide all of the nutrients the diabetic needs. There are exceptions to this rule, and pregnant women, diabetics on a low-calorie diet, and vegans might consider an intake of extra vitamins. Vitamins for diabetics are also helpful for those with food allergies, kidney disease, some elderly individuals, and people whose gastrointestinal system fails to absorb the proper level of essential nutrients.

Research is constantly changing, and knowledge increasing, on the topic of vitamins for diabetics. It is thought that vitamin D supplements might possibly help a diabetic better control his blood sugar levels. This is not astonishing news, as vitamin D is relatively uncommon in food; non-diabetics are also urged to increase vitamin D intake. Diabetics and non-diabetics can both feel safe taking a vitamin D supplement of 800 to 1,000 International Units (IU) per day.

Vitamins for diabetics are usually viewed with a hesitant eye, and rarely receive recommendation as a healthful addition to one’s daily diet. Vitamin C, which is generally considered good for just about everyone, might be physically disadvantageous for diabetic women. It can be taken, but the maximum daily dosage should not exceed 300 mg per day, Vitamin B6 should never be taken by a diabetic individual, due to its effect on blood sugar levels, unless specifically prescribed by a physician.

The verdict is till out on vitamin E, as well as on mineral supplements such as chromium and magnesium. Research concerning vitamins for diabetics is sometimes contradictory, but the general consensus is that supplements are not required except in patients with special dietary needs or specific medical conditions. Some schools of thought do tend to think that niacinamide, not to be confused with niacin, might reduce insulin dependence. Again, evidence is inconclusive.

Safe vitamins for diabetics are considered those taken in very small doses; the amounts should not exceed 150 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Further, supplements containing iron should be avoided by men and post-menopausal women. A single daily multi-vitamin or mineral supplement is likely the safest route for a diabetic who wishes to integrate a supplement into his treatment and health maintenance plan. Even in this case, the supplement should not be taken without first seeking medical consultation. Some vitamins and minerals can interact poorly with a diabetic’s prescription medications.

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