Could Vitamin A Deficiency Be A Cause Of Type 2 Diabetes?
A new study published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry claims to have identified a potential driver of type 2 diabetes: vitamin A deficiency. The researchers, from the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY, say their findings may lead to new treatments for the condition. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in the US, accounting for 90-95% of all diagnosed cases. The condition is characterized by insulin resistance, in which insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are unable to function effectively. According to senior author Dr. Lorraine Gudas - chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at Weill Cornell - and colleagues, vitamin A boosts beta cell activity, meaning lack of the vitamin may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. There are two types of vitamin A. Preformed vitamin A, referred to as retinol, is present in meat, poultry, fish and dairy products, while pro-vitamin A, or beta-carotene, is found in many fruits and vegetables. Vitamin A aids cell growth and contributes to a healthy immune system and vision. Past studies have shown that, during fetal development, vitamin A is key for beta cell production. But Dr. Gudas and colleagues say it was unclear as to whether vitamin A played such a role in adulthood. Removal of dietary vitamin A led to beta cell loss in adult mice To find out, the team analyzed the beta cell development among two groups of adult mice; one group of mice had been genetically modified to be unable to store dietary vitamin A, while the other group was able to store the vitamin from foods as normal. The researchers found that the mice unable to store vitamin A experienced beta cell death, meaning these mice were unable to produce insulin. What is more, when the researchers removed vitamin A from Continue reading >>
Vitamins And Minerals
Tweet Depending on the type of treatment regimen you use to control your diabetes, there are some vitamins and minerals that may be beneficial for your condition. Before adding any vitamins or adding dietary supplements to your daily diet, discuss these changes with your healthcare team and doctor to ensure they are safe alongside any prescribed medication you're on. ALA and GLA ALA (alpha-lipoic acid) is a versatile and potent antioxidant, and may function to help diabetic neuropathy and reduce pain from free-radical damage. Also, some studies link ALA to decreased insulin resistance and thus the control of blood sugar. GLA (gamma-lipoic acid) is another naturally occurring antioxidant that is present in evening primrose oil, borage oil and blackcurrant seed oil. GLA may improve the function of nerves damaged by diabetic neuropathy. Biotin Biotin works in synergy with insulin in the body, and independently increases the activity of the enzyme glucokinase. Glucokinase is responsible for the first step of glucose utilisation, and is therefore an essential component of normal bodily functioning. Glucokinase occurs only in the liver, and in sufferers from diabetes its concentration may be extremely low. Supplements of biotin may have a significant effect on glucose levels for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Carnitine (L-Carnitine, Acetyl L-Carnitine) Carnitine is required by the body in order to correctly use body fat in the production of energy. It is naturally occurring and derives from hydrophilic amino acids. Diabetics who try carnitine generally respond well, and high levels of fat in the bloodstream (cholesterol and triglycerides) may fall fast. Carnitine helps to break down fatty acids in the body and binds acyl residues. For these reasons, it may be useful to pre Continue reading >>
- Does Vitamins Help to Prevent Diabetes?
- Caffeinated and Decaffeinated Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and a Dose-Response Meta-analysis
- Insulin, glucagon and somatostatin stores in the pancreas of subjects with type-2 diabetes and their lean and obese non-diabetic controls
Could Vitamin D Help To Fight Diabetes?
With diabetes now reaching epidemic proportions, unearthing an innovative way to tackle the condition is pressing. A new study investigates whether vitamin D might provide a new route to treatment. Boosting vitamin D's activity might, eventually, help to battle diabetes. Currently, there are around 30 million people in the United States living with type 2 diabetes , a lifelong condition that cannot yet be cured. Obesity , one of the major risk factors, is steadily rising, meaning that the number of people with type 2 diabetes is likely to follow suit. The condition is caused by faulty beta cells in the pancreas. These cells manufacture and release insulin , the hormone essential for controlling glucose levels in the blood. If beta cells produce too little insulin, or none at all, glucose can accumulate in the blood at levels that are toxic to cells and tissues. A recent study, now published in the journal Cell , looked into a novel way of protecting beta cells, thereby slowing the onset of diabetes . The researchers, from the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, concentrated on a well-known compound: vitamin D . Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin because it is created in our skin in response to direct sunlight. Previous studies have found a connection between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of diabetes, but the mechanisms involved have been challenging to unravel. This is due, in part, to the wide-reaching physiological functions of vitamin D; for instance, vitamin D is involved in cell growth, bone maintenance, neuromuscular activity, and the immune system. Also, importantly for this study, it has been implicated in inflammation . "We know that diabetes is a disease caused by inflammation. In this study, we identified the vitamin D receptor as an Continue reading >>
Diabetes And B12: What You Need To Know
Vitamin B12 is necessary for a healthy nervous system and healthy blood cells. The best way to get vitamin B12 is through your diet. This important vitamin is found in meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products. If you don’t eat enough of these foods, it could leave you with a deficiency. Consuming enough vitamin B12 isn’t the only problem. Your body also needs to be able to absorb it efficiently. Some medications like Pepcid AC, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Zantac, as well as others used to treat acid reflux, peptic ulcer disease, and infection, may make it harder for your body to absorb B12. Another medication that may interfere with B12 absorption is metformin, a common type 2 diabetes treatment. Simply having diabetes may make you more prone to B12 deficiency. A 2009 study found that 22 percent of people with type 2 diabetes were low in B12. Read on to learn the symptoms of B12 deficiency, what it could mean for your overall health, and what you can do about it. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may be mild at first, and not always obvious. If you’re slightly low on B12, you may not have any symptoms at all. Some of the more common early symptoms are: tiredness weakness loss of appetite weight loss constipation It may be easy to dismiss these as minor complaints, but over time, insufficient B12 can lead to bigger problems. Very low levels of B12 can result in serious complications. One of these is called pernicious anemia. Anemia means you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells. This deprives your cells of much-needed oxygen. According to a study in the Journal of Oral Pathology Medicine, less than 20 percent of those with a B12 deficiency experience pernicious anemia. Symptoms of anemia include: fatigue pale skin chest pain dizziness headache You may even lose Continue reading >>
The Best Supplements For Diabetes
While eating a healthy diet (which includes mini-fasting) and exercising regularly are necessary to lower blood sugar naturally, these are not the only parts of my natural approach to managing diabetes. Nutritional support is also a key component of achieving healthy blood sugar levels. Supplements to Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels Are Critical One reason nutritional support is so important is because diabetes is a nutritional wasting disease. Elevated glucose levels act like a diuretic and cause substantial loss of nutrients in the urine. Therefore, people with type 2 diabetes are likely to be deficient in important water-soluble vitamins and minerals. Incredibly, most experts specializing in diabetes make no attempt whatsoever to replace lost nutrients, leaving their patients to suffer the inevitable consequences of nutritional deficiencies. A second reason nutritional supplements are essential is that certain nutrients work to support your body’s ability to use insulin, which can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Anyone who has diabetes should—at a minimum—take a high-quality vitamin and mineral supplement every day. Research has shown that taking a potent daily multivitamin dramatically reduces the incidence of infection and the number of sick days taken by patients with type 2 diabetes. Must-Have Supplements for Diabetes In addition to a multivitamin, make sure you are getting the following nutrients to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Many are included in multivitamins, but not always at the dosages I recommend. If your multi comes up short, supplement with additional doses of the specific nutrients until you’re taking the recommended amount. B-Complex Vitamins Vitamins B6 and B12 specifically support nerve health, which is critic Continue reading >>
Vitamin Deficiencies In People With Diabetes: The Supplements You Need
As an orthopedic surgeon, I have many patients with diabetes who tell me, “I can’t have surgery because I won’t heal.” That is certainly not the case, however. Diabetes does affect the small blood vessels and the function of immune cells when blood sugar is high, but with proper nutrition and blood sugar management, people with diabetes are very safe to undergo knee replacements, abdominal surgery, and many elective procedures. It is critical, of course, that people with diabetes who undergo elective or traumatic surgery work closely with their doctor to manage their blood sugar, but supplementation is also a vital part of recovery. Diabetes frequently causes nutritional deficiencies, often initiated by changes in diet or medications. As a result, people with diabetes must use supplements. Helping my patients identify their nutritional deficiencies and educating them on the importance of essential vitamins has made an overwhelming difference in their recovery from surgery and their overall daily health. The following essential vitamins are often deficient in people with diabetes. Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 is bound to protein in food. The activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease in the stomach releases vitamin B12 from its protein. Once it is released, vitamin B12 begins to work quickly. It is important for the formation of red blood cells, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. It also supports the digestive system in keeping glucose levels stable. A simple blood test can determine the level of B12 in the body. Adults who have a value below 170 to 250 pg/mL are considered deficient in the vitamin. An elevated blood homocysteine level or elevated methylmalconic acid level may also suggest a B12 deficiency. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are megalob Continue reading >>
Best Vitamins For Diabetics
Eating a varied diet rich in natural sources of vitamins is a good idea for diabetics. Nutritional support is critical for diabetics because diabetes tends to drain nutrients. When levels of glucose are high in the blood, the body tries to ‘wash’ the excess sugar out. This is why diabetics need to use the washroom frequently. Unfortunately, diabetics also lose nutrients via their urine. Research studies show that diabetics are repeatedly found to be deficient in important water-soluble vitamins and minerals. What’s more, the loss of these vitamins worsens the body’s ability to manage blood sugar, creating a vicious cycle. Combining a healthy diabetes diet plan and a daily exercise routine with the best vitamin supplements for diabetics goes a long way in achieving stable blood sugar levels. What Vitamins Are Diabetics Deficient In? The term vitamin is short for “Vital Amino Acid”. This means that these are vital for the proper functioning of hundreds of chemical processes in the body which the body cannot manage by itself. Proper blood sugar control is one such function for which vitamins are critical. There are 13 essential vitamins that the human body requires and they must be obtained from an external source — through food and/or supplements. Diabetics need two kinds of vitamins: Water Soluble – Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, Biotin, and Folate are water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body for longer periods of time. Diabetics are often deficient in these vitamins since they pass greater amounts of urine daily. As their body tries to get rid of extra sugar, diabetics lose more water-soluble vitamins than most others. That’s why diabetics need to to get these vitamins daily in doses larger than what normal people need. Luckily, you can get all Continue reading >>
6 Of The Best Dietary Supplements For A Diabetic Diet—and 3 You Should Avoid
Should I take supplements? From cinnamon and magnesium to herbal formulas claiming to smack down high blood sugar, “diabetes-friendly” supplements are popping up in health food stores and drugstores and in the medicine cabinets of more and more people with diabetes. More than 50 percent of people with diabetes say they’ve used dietary supplements, according to one 2011 study—and at least one in four has given herbal remedies a try. The big question: Should you? “People with diabetes may be looking for something that seems less potent than a medication or something that will treat other health issues beyond blood sugar control, such as high cholesterol,” notes Laura Shane-McWhorter, PharmD, a University of Utah professor of pharmacotherapy and author of The American Diabetes Association Guide to Herbs & Nutritional Supplements: What You Need to Know from Aloe to Zinc. But experts are reluctant to recommend supplements to people with diabetes for two important health reasons. First, there’s virtually no research on long-term safety. Second, no supplement controls blood sugar as effectively as diabetes drugs (in combination with a healthy lifestyle). “There are no miracle treatments for diabetes,” Shane-McWhorter says. “The most important thing to know if you have diabetes is that no supplement will take care of it for you. Diabetes is a condition that can be well-controlled with a healthy lifestyle plus medication if needed. A supplement can’t replace those.” And new science is changing the supplement landscape. In consulting the latest research as well as supplement experts for this report on the best-studied and most widely used supplements, we found that some popular pills—chromium, we’re talking about you—aren’t living up to their reput Continue reading >>
Could Lack Of Vitamin A Be A Cause Of Diabetes?
Could lack of vitamin A be a cause of diabetes? Researchers have found that blocking vitamin A receptors on the surface of pancreatic beta cells reduces insulin secretion. Researchers have found that vitamin A may be crucial to the insulin-secreting function of beta cells, a discovery that could open the door to new treatments for diabetes. Diabetes is estimated to affect more than 29 million people in the United States. Type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases, and this arises when the beta cells of the pancreas fail to produce enough insulin - the hormone that regulates blood glucose - or when the body is no longer able to use insulin effectively. Type 1 diabetes , which accounts for the remaining 5 percent of cases, occurs when the immune system destroys beta cells, hampering insulin production. In a new study - recently reported in the Endocrine Journal - researchers from the United Kingdom and Sweden discovered that there are large quantities of vitamin A receptors on the surface of beta cells, called GPRC5C. "When we discovered that insulin cells have a cell surface expressed receptor for vitamin A, we thought it was important to find out why and what the purpose is of a cell surface receptor interacting with vitamin A mediating a rapid response to vitamin A," says study co-author Albert Salehi, of the University of Lund in Sweden. On partially blocking the vitamin A receptors in beta cells from mice - eliminating the ability of vitamin A to bind to these cells - the team found that their ability to secrete insulin was reduced in response to sugar. Vitamin A deficiency may destroy beta cells For their study, Salehi and colleagues also tested beta cells derived from humans with and without type 2 diabetes. Again, the researchers Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Vitamin Supplements: What To Know
It's hard to ignore the ads about dietary supplements for diabetes. The promises sound so appealing that you may start to ask yourself: Does chromium really amplify insulin response in people with type 2 diabetes? Will alpha lipoic acid relieve the burning, tingling, and numbness of my neuropathy? Can fish oil protect my heart? You'd prefer not to waste money on the equivalent of Lucille Ball's Vitameatavegamin, but you want to improve your health. It's difficult to know, however, whether dietary supplements really help because there are insufficient clinical studies to validate the claims. Let's start with the recommendations of two major diabetes organizations: The American Diabetes Association, in its Standards of Care 2009, states: "There is no clear evidence of benefit from vitamin or mineral supplementation in people with diabetes (compared with the general population) who do not have underlying deficiencies." If a supplement is recommended for the general population -- for example, folic acid for pregnant women -- it is also recommended for people with diabetes. The Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines state that people with diabetes "should be encouraged to meet their nutritional needs by consuming a well-balanced diet. Routine vitamin and mineral supplementation is generally not recommended." These organizations aren't necessarily against supplements. They are, however, saying there have not been enough well-designed studies showing benefits. But Do Supplements Work? In developing guidelines, medical organizations give more weight to studies that are long-term and involve large numbers of people at different sites. The studies must be placebo-controlled -- some people get the supplement, and some people take look-alike pills (placebos) tha Continue reading >>
Vitamins And Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Go to: Vitamin A or Retinol The term vitamin A comprises various chemical components with a structural and functional similarity. The most active form is retinol, present in animal tissues, esterified with long chain fatty acids. Carotenes that are present in vegetable tissues are enzymatically hydrolyzed into retinal and converted to retinol in the enterocyte. Some xanthines are also converted into retinol. Vitamin A participates in multiple metabolic processes such as genetic expression, cellular differentiation and growth, having a very important role in the immune system, fetal development, sight, taste, hearing, appetite and spermatogenesis. Retinoids have a very important function as antioxidants, thus helping to maintain the organism’s homeostasis when subjected to various forms of stress . It has also been postulated that retinoids may be involved in hepatic lipid metabolism, adipogenesis as well as pancreatic β-cell function. While retinol binding protein (RBP), a protein that transports retinoids has an important effect on insulin sensitivity, acting as an adipokine . A mouse model that lacks the gene for retinaldehyde dehydrogenase 1, (Raldh1a1), that participates in the generation of retinoic acid to be utilized in lipid metabolism, shows better lipid profiles than mice with adequate Raldh1a1 production . Even though further research is needed to identify the precise mechanisms by which retinoids and their pathways effect carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in health and disease, it is clear that adequate vitamin A intake, concentrations reserves should be maintained in the normal healthy individual and particularly in those subjects with chronic diseases that involve carbohydrates and lipids. Very old age type 2 diabetic patients have lower plasma Continue reading >>
- Does Vitamins Help to Prevent Diabetes?
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- Olive oil in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies and intervention trials
Choosing A Multivitamin
A good diet can supply most if not all of the vitamins and minerals you need. But maintaining such a diet day in and day out can be a challenge, which is why many people take a daily multivitamin–multimineral supplement as a form of insurance. Taking a daily supplement makes particular sense for people who don’t eat much, such as people who are following a weight-loss diet. While a supplement can’t supply all of what is present in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, such as fiber and phytochemicals (healthy plant chemicals that may help fight cancer and other diseases), it can help to fill in some of the holes. The question then is how to choose a supplement that meets your needs. Which vitamins and minerals should it contain, and how much? What and how much Most people should look for a supplement that contains 100% Daily Value (%DV) of each of the following vitamins and minerals: Vitamin A (preferably in the form of beta-carotene) Folic acid Niacin Vitamin B1 (thiamine) Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin C Vitamin D Vitamin E Copper Zinc Premenopausal women should additionally look for a supplement that contains 100% DV for iron (18 milligrams), but postmenopausal women and men are generally advised to take no more than 8 milligrams of iron daily, and some people may be advised by their physician to take no supplemental iron. People with diabetes may additionally want to look for a supplement that contains 100% DV for chromium and at least 25% DV for magnesium. (Multivitamins never contain 100% DV for magnesium because it won’t fit into a single pill.) To quickly find a multivitamin–multimineral supplement that contains at least 100% DV of at least two-thirds of the nutrients it contains, look for the words “high potency” on the lab Continue reading >>
Vitamin D And Diabetes
Renewed interest in vitamin D, the so-called “sunshine vitamin,” has occurred recently because it has been linked to everything from cancer and heart disease to diabetes.1 Research studies continue to pour into the literature stating that vitamin D is a superstar when it comes to health. However, most of the research is based on observational, epidemiological studies, which are important for generating hypotheses but do not prove causality. A PubMed search in 2011 using the term “vitamin D” and selecting articles published in the past 2 years resulted in more than 2,864 hits. The following diseases and conditions have been researched to assess their relationship with vitamin D status: osteomalacia/osteoporosis,2–5 muscle function and falls,6–8 cancer,9–14 multiple sclerosis,15 hypertension,16 type 1 diabetes,17 rheumatoid arthritis,18 tuberculosis,19,20 mental health,21 cardiovascular events,22,23 infection,24,25 seasonal affective disorder,26 obesity,27 aging,28 and overall mortality.23 The challenge for health care providers and nutrition researchers is to determine whether vitamin D deficiency actually causes or increases the incidence of certain diseases or whether, instead, low levels of vitamin D are simply coincidental given that the majority of the general population, regardless of disease, is likely to have insufficient levels of vitamin D. In other words, do people who develop disease states just happen to be deficient in vitamin D, or do low levels of vitamin D cause the disease? Will supplementation with vitamin D prevent diseases, and can it be used to treat diseases such as diabetes? The purpose of this article is to summarize the latest information related to diabetes and vitamin D. For readers who desire further information, Holick29 has wr Continue reading >>
Diabetes, Type 2
What is type 2 diabetes? Also called adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder resulting from the body’s inability to properly use or ultimately make enough insulin, the hormone that helps regulate sugar, starches and other foods the body uses for energy. It is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all cases. Type 2 diabetes is nearing epidemic proportions in the United States as a result of a greater prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyles. The upswing is also due to the increasing number of older people in the population. What are the symptoms? Many symptoms of diabetes such as excessive thirst or irritability, can seem unimportant, which is one of the reasons why the disease often goes undiagnosed. However, early detection is very important because it can reduce the odds of developing the dangerous complications of diabetes. Common symptoms include: Frequent urination Excessive thirst Extreme hunger Unusual weight loss Increased fatigue Irritability Blurry vision If high blood sugar levels are not brought under control via treatment type 2 diabetes (and type 1 diabetes as well) can lead to a number of serious complications: Eye damage: People with diabetes have a 40 percent higher than normal risk of developing glaucoma, increased pressure within the eye that can lead to vision loss. They are also 60 percent more likely than normal to develop cataracts, which cloud the lens of the eye, blocking light and blurring vision. They are also at risk of diabetic retinopathy, damage to the retina that is the leading cause of impaired vision in the United States. High blood pressure: This disorder occurs at twice the normal rate among diabetics. Heart disease: Deaths from heart disease among diabetics are two to four Continue reading >>
Vitamin Supplements For People With Diabetes
Do people with diabetes need vitamin supplements? And if they do, which ones should they consider taking? Eating balanced meals and snacks is important for staying healthy and maintaining good glycemic control, emphasizes Nora Saul, M.S, R.D., L.D.N., C.D.E, a patient educator with the Joslin Clinic. Choosing whole foods over supplements is advantageous since foods provide a myriad of different nutrients for health in one package, whereas single vitamin supplements are single purpose. For example, raspberries contain vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, Saul points out. In fact, the use of supplements is usually not supported unless a deficiency state is suspected. Well controlled diabetes does not increase the need for supplementary vitamins and minerals. So who could benefit from a vitamin supplement? Those on low calorie diets, who do not eat a variety of foods Those following vegan diets Pregnant women Those whose medical conditions require a restricted diet, such as people with certain food allergies, kidney disease or diseases of the gastrointestinal tract that interfere with nutrient digestion or absorption. One vitamin that many people, including those with diabetes, may need supplementation of is vitamin D, Saul emphasizes. Although the current government recommendation is 400 IUs recent research has indicated that this may not be enough. In addition to being important for maintaining healthy bones, vitamin D may play an important role in blood glucose (sugar) control. We get vitamin D both from foods and the sun. Unfortunately, there are few dietary sources of vitamin D and for those of us in the Northern latitudes; the winter sun is not strong enough to allow our bodies to manufacture the amount we need. For many of us taking a supplement with 800 to 1000 IU pe Continue reading >>