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What Is A Good Vitamin For Diabetes?

The Best Multivitamins For Diabetics

The Best Multivitamins For Diabetics

Diabetes is a condition in which your body cannot effectively use glucose for energy, and thus excess glucose stays in the blood, leading to high-blood sugar, or hyperglycemia. Diabetics are twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who aren't diabetic. Most type-2 diabetics follow a weight-loss diet, and multivitamin supplementation may be beneficial. If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor about supplementation. Video of the Day Vitamins Associated With Diabetes Diabetics tend to have lower vitamin C levels, possibly because higher blood-glucose levels impair vitamin C uptake, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. A supplementation of 2,000 mg may help improve blood-glucose and lipid levels. Vitamin E may help prevent heart, eye and kidney damage, which is a common complication of diabetes. Chromium has been reported to have a mild glucose-lowering effect and is often recommended for people with type-2 diabetes. Diabetics, especially type-1 diabetics may also be deficient in vitamin D. A supplemental dose may improve use of glucose and bone health. Research at the University of Melbourne in Australia found that lycopene and lutein levels are lower in diabetics, and supplementation could improve improve vision and decrease risks of diabetic eye disease. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation of 1 g daily can protect against heart disease. Choosing the Best Multivitamin A good multivitamin should have 50 percent to 150 percent of the daily value for each vitamin and mineral. It should have at least 15 kinds of vitamins and minerals, including: vitamin A, B-complex -- riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, folic acid, B6 and B12 -- vitamins C, D, E, K, chromium, iron, copper, zinc, calcium, magnesium, selenium. Diabetics should look for multivitamins labeled Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes: Supplements Overview

Type 2 Diabetes: Supplements Overview

Key Points There is limited scientific evidence on the effectiveness of dietary supplements as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for type 2 diabetes. The evidence that is available is not sufficiently strong to prove that any of the six supplements discussed in this report have benefits for type 2 diabetes or its complications. A possible exception may be the use of omega-3 fatty acids to lower triglyceridea levels. It is very important not to replace conventional medical therapy for diabetes with an unproven CAM therapy. To ensure a safe and coordinated course of care, people should inform their health care providers about any CAM therapy that they are currently using or considering. The six dietary supplements reviewed in this report appear to be generally safe at low-to-moderate doses. However, each can interact with various prescription medications, affecting the action of the medications. People with type 2 diabetes need to know about these risks and discuss them with their health care provider. Prescribed medicines may need to be adjusted if a person is also using a CAM therapy. aTerms that are underlined are defined in the dictionary at the end of this report. 1. What is diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body cannot properly convert food into energy. Most food that a person eats is eventually broken down into blood glucose (also called blood sugar), which cells need for energy and growth. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose enter cells. In people with diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin, or it does not respond to insulin properly. This causes glucose to build up in the blood instead of moving into the cells. The most common type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes (formerly called adult-onset diabetes or noninsulin-depen Continue reading >>

Diabetes, Type 2

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 >>

Choosing A Multivitamin

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 >>

Top 10 Supplements For Blood Sugar Control

Top 10 Supplements For Blood Sugar Control

We all know the sugar rush feeling after a particularly indulgent meal or beverage—a brief sensation of hyperactivity quickly followed by a sugar crash, that bone-weary exhaustion that makes you just want to crawl in bed. If this sounds familiar, you’ve had a glimpse into the roller coaster effect that sugar can have on our energy levels and how hard our body must work to keep it all in balance. You see, we quite literally run on sugar—every cell and organ in our body requires glucose. The food we eat gets broken down into glucose for ready absorption into our bloodstream and insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, helps our body take glucose out of the bloodstream and put it into our cells to be converted into energy or stored for later use. If we eat too much sugar or high-glycemic carbohydrates (think cakes, crackers, bread, and cookies), we experience a rapid influx of blood sugar. Our body must rush in to compensate with a spike of insulin to take care of the sudden overabundance of glucose, leaving us tired and irritable from the yo-yo effect. Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced is one of the most important steps you can take for overall health and vitality. Besides eating a wholesome diet rich in low-glycemic whole fruits, vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates, you can optimize your blood sugar levels by including supplements that promote glucose balance. Here are our picks for the top 10 supplements you can take to support healthy blood sugar levels. Alpha-Lipoic Acid This fat- and water-soluble antioxidant attacks free radicals in the body, protecting our organs and tissues. To balance blood sugar, alpha-lipoic acid helps convert glucose into energy in our body’s cells and can increase insulin sensitivity after just four weeks of supp Continue reading >>

Herbs And Supplements For Diabetes

Herbs And Supplements For Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes, but is becoming more common in children. This form of diabetes is caused when your body either resists insulin or doesn’t produce enough. It causes your blood glucose levels to be unbalanced. There is no cure. However, many people are able to manage their blood glucose levels with diet and exercise. If not, a doctor can prescribe medications that can manage blood sugar levels. Some of these medications are: insulin therapy metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others) sulfonylureas meglitinides A healthy diet, physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight are the first, and sometimes, most important part of diabetes treatment. However, when those are not enough to maintain your blood sugar levels, your doctor can decide which medications will work best for you. Along with these treatments, people with diabetes have tried numerous herbs and supplements to improve their diabetes. These alternative treatments are supposed to help control blood sugar levels, reduce resistance to insulin, and prevent diabetes-related complications. Some supplements have shown promise in animal studies. However, there is currently only limited evidence that they have the above mentioned benefits in humans. It is always best to let the foods you eat provide your vitamins and minerals. However, more and more people are turning to alternative medicines and supplements. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetics are more likely to use supplements than those without the disease. Supplements should not be used to replace standard diabetes treatment. Doing so can put your health at risk. It is important to talk to your doctor before using any supplements. Some of these products can interfere with other Continue reading >>

Helpful Supplements For Blood Sugar

Helpful Supplements For Blood Sugar

People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes often lack adequate levels of many vitamins and minerals, a consequence of poor eating habits. Supplements correct these deficiencies and help restore normal metabolic activity. They also complement a healthy diet and exercise. Here are 6 supplements for blood sugar to help fight these deficiences: silymarin, chromium, resveratrol, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin D, and magnesium. A perfect storm is brewing, nutritionally—and it could easily sweep you away. One of every three Americans has some form of prediabetes (often undiagnosed), and 25 million have full-blown type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese are the primary risk factors, although family history, inactivity, race, and age also can contribute. Eating whole foods and avoiding junk foods and sugary drinks can help. Ditto for muscle-building resistance exercises. People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes often lack adequate levels of many vitamins and minerals, a consequence of poor eating habits. Supplements correct these deficiencies and help restore normal metabolic activity. They also complement a healthy diet and exercise. And there’s a bonus: When you control your blood sugar, hunger jags decrease and weight loss becomes easier. Lower doses of these nutrients can help with prediabetes, higher doses with type 2 diabetes. If you take more than one of them, opt for lower doses. Silymarin. Three studies have proven this antioxidant extract of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) can lower fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels and reduce excess insulin. A longer-term indicator—HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) levels, which provide an average blood sugar level over six weeks—declined significantly, too. In one of the studies, people taking silymarin also lost about 8 pe Continue reading >>

Which Supplements Can Help Lower Or Control My Blood Sugar?

Which Supplements Can Help Lower Or Control My Blood Sugar?

Question: Answer: Many different supplements may help lower or control blood sugar in people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes who experience hyperglycemia (when blood glucose rises higher than normal). These supplements are discussed below. More details about each, including dosage, drug interactions, potential side effects, and ConsumerLab.com's reviews of products on the market, can be found by clicking on the links. Due to the seriousness of hyperglycemia, it is important to consult with your physician regarding use of these supplements. Cinnamon supplements may modestly improve blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes whose blood sugar is not well controlled with medication. In addition, one small study found that a branded cinnamon extract reduced fasting blood sugar by an average of about 10 mg/dL in prediabetic men and women with metabolic syndrome. Keep in mind, however, that only certain varieties of cinnamon have been shown to have this effect, and long-term safety studies have not been conducted. Curcumin (from turmeric) may improve blood sugar levels, according to preliminary studies, and one study found curcumin to dramatically lower the chances of prediabetes in middle-aged, slightly overweight men and women with somewhat higher than normal blood sugar levels. Alpha lipoic acid may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes, although it may only slightly reduce levels of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Chromium picolinate may help some people with type 2 diabetes decrease fasting blood glucose levels as well as levels of insulin and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). However, be aware that high doses may worsen insulin sensitivity in healthy people who are not obese or diabetic. Having adequate blood levels of vi Continue reading >>

6 Of The Best Dietary Supplements For A Diabetic Diet—and 3 You Should Avoid

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 >>

The Best Supplements For Diabetes

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 Supplements For People With Diabetes

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 >>

Is It Safe To Take Supplements If You Have Diabetes?

Is It Safe To Take Supplements If You Have Diabetes?

You will find supplements for anything and everything these days. Even when you do not suffer from an ailment, supplements are suggested to keep you healthy and ailment-free. According to CDC, use of supplements is common among US adult population – over 50% adults used supplements during 2003-2006, with multivitamins/multiminerals being the most commonly used. So when you are a diabetic, especially if you have prediabetes and type-2 diabetes, you may find yourself confronting a large number of options for supplements that claim to support, reduce and even cure your diabetes. Diabetes is quite a frustrating disorder and you may find yourself tempted to try out these supplements one after another. But is it really safe to take supplements when you are a diabetic? Let us find out. But before that you need to understand what exactly supplements are. Defining Supplements As the name suggests, a supplement is anything that adds on to something. A dietary supplement is therefore something that one takes in addition to one’s diet to get proper nutrition. US Congress in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act defines dietary supplements as having the following characteristics: It is a product that is intended to supplement the diet; It contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins, minerals, herbs and other botanicals, amino acids, and other substances) or their constituents; It is intended to be taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid; It is not represented for use as a conventional food or as sole item of a mean or a diet; and, It is labeled on the front panel as being a dietary supplement. Now let us look at some general benefits and risks of taking supplements. We will discuss these in context of diabetes later in the article. Benefit Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Vitamin Supplements: What To Know

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 >>

Best Vitamins For Diabetics

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 >>

Vitamin D And Diabetes

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 >>

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