Body health

    6important vitamins and minerals for diabetics

    Aug 24, 2020

    Vitamins and minerals are very important for the normal functioning of the body and are required in minute quantities[1]. They are even more important for those who suffer from diabetes, as can alter the nutritional status of the individual [2]. 

    Certain subgroups of individuals with diabetes including the elderly, vegans, and pregnant and lactating women are at particular risk for such nutritional deficiencies [3]. 
    Diabetes is associated with increased oxidative stress, an underlying mechanism for inflammation [4]. This fact supports the use of antioxidant supplementation in diabetic patients to prevent long-term complications [5].

     However, if you are taking a multivitamin supplement, make sure it doesn’t interact with another medication.

    Here are some important vitamins and minerals which are useful for diabetics:

    1- Vitamin D:
    Vitamin D has a vital role in calcium metabolism and its deficiency may lead to some serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, bone problems, and cardiovascular diseases [6].
     Vitamin D deficiency is linked to type I diabetes [7]. It can also aggravate glucose intolerance, linked to type II diabetes [8]. Vitamin D also has an active role in the functional regulation of the pancreas, especially beta cells [9]. 

    Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin upon sun exposure. Older people, who can’t efficiently make vitamin D are at more risk of having vitamin D deficiency. 

    2- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine):
    There is more risk of thiamin deficiency in individuals with both types I and type II diabetes mellitus [10] than normal individuals.
    Thiamine supplementation has proven effective in treating diabetes [11]. Benfotiamine, a metabolite of thiamine, reduces neuropathic pain in diabetes [12].

    3- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin):
    Metformin, a drug used for treating diabetes, induce vitamin B12 malabsorption and increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency [13, 14]. Vitamin B12 shows significant symptomatic improvement in patients with severe diabetic neuropathy [15].
    Vitamin B12 deficiency is common in older people and vegans. Animal products including fish, meat poultry, eggs, and dairy products are rich in vitamin B12.

    4- Magnesium:
    Magnesium deficiency is associated with chronic diseases, one of them is diabetes [16]. Elderly and young teens are more at risk of magnesium deficiency [17]. In type II diabetes, magnesium may help reduce glucose intolerance [18].
     Magnesium-rich foods like whole grains, nuts, and green leafy vegetables are recommended [19]. 

    5- Iodine:
    Iodine is essential for growth and development. The thyroid gland is largely dependent on iodine for its functions [20]. Iodine deficiency can cause weight gain, fatigue, dry and flaky skin, and more.
     A significant increase incidence of diabetes is seen in patients with hyperthyroidism compared to normal individuals [21].

    6- Zinc:
    Zinc plays an important role in the synthesis, storage, and secretion of insulin [22], a hormone that regulates our blood glucose levels [23]. Diabetes is responsible for the increased urinary loss of zinc and disturbs body homeostasis [24]. 
    Zinc reduces the risk of type II diabetes in zinc-deficient groups [25, 26]. Zinc deficiency leads to aggravated glucose intolerance [27], which is the main cause of type II diabetes.

    Diabetes is a chronic disease and deficiency of important minerals and vitamins may occur in long run. This deficiency is more evident in people who don’t eat a well-balanced diet or elderly. Multivitamin supplementation is required.
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