Important Vitamins for Diabetes

posted on January 10, 2023

What are vitamins ?

Vitamins are micronutrients required by the body to carry out a range of normal functions. However, these micronutrients are not produced in our bodies and must be derived from the food we eat. Vitamins are organic substances, which means they’re made by plants or animals.

What is the function of vitamins?

Vitamins boost the immune system, support normal growth and development, and help cells and organs do their jobs.

Types of Vitamins

Vitamins are organic substances that are generally classified as either fat soluble or water soluble. The known vitamins include A, C, D, E, and K, and the B vitamins: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxal (B6), cobalamin (B12), biotin, and folate/folic acid.

Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K) dissolve in fat and tend to accumulate in the body.

Water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C and the B-complex vitamins, such as vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate) must dissolve in water before they can be absorbed by the body, and therefore cannot be stored. Any water-soluble vitamins unused by the body is primarily lost through urine.

What Vitamins should I take for a better blood glucose control and to prevent diabetic related complication

Vitamin B1

B1 (Thiamin) The B complex family. It helps to convert carbohydrates, fats and protein into energy or glucose, and it is required for the synthesis of DNA and RNA. People with diabetes are more likely to have low blood level of B1 and usually suffer from a high risk of thiamin deficiency. A deficiency can cause beriberi (a condition that features problems with the peripheral nervous system and wasting. It is helpful in relieving the pain of neuropathy.

Major sources of thiamine are: Cereals, whole grains, enriched refined grains, potatoes, seafood, liver, and kidney beans, legumes. cauliflower, eggs and orange

B12 (Cobalamin)

Plays a role in the body’s growth and development, and nerve function. Vitamin B12 is important for nerve function and development. A deficiency can cause symptoms such as numbness, weakness, difficulty walking, yellowed skin, and memory loss. The elderly, vegetarians, vegans, and people who have undergone weight loss surgery are at risk of developing a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Common sources of B12: Eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, milk, and milk products.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body. Many people with diabetes suffer from low level of Vit C level. Normal level of Vit C helps control the levels of sorbitol in the blood, which can be harmful at high levels and many contribute to retinopathy and kidney damage. It also helps to increase insulin sensitivity.  Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, green peppers, spinach, and tomatoes.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is both a nutrient in food and a hormone our bodies make through sun exposure. It is important for bone health because one of its main functions is helping the body absorb calcium. Vit D deficiencies are linked to the development of diabetes. Research conducted over the past decade suggests that vitamin D, besides building strong bones, may play an important role in preventing and treating a number of serious long-term health problems, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, some cancers, and multiple sclerosis.

The best dietary sources of vitamin D: are fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel; fortified dairy products; and breakfast cereals.

  • Regular sun exposure (10-30 min/ day) can help you achieve higher vitamin D levels.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is used for cell communication, to strengthen the immune system, and to form red blood cells. Much like vitamin D helps the body use calcium, vitamin E helps the body use vitamin K. Vitamin E fights external toxins, improves insulin efficacy and oxygenates the blood.

The best dietary sources of vitamin E: you can get the recommended daily amount of vitamin E by eating a variety of foods, such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, green vegetables, enriched cereals, avocado, fresh salmon, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds—.


Magnesium maintains a healthy immune system, strengthens bones, regulates heart rate and helps the body digest and use nutrients from the foods we eat every day.

It has over 300 functions in the body and plays a crucial role in hormonal control. Low magnesium levels have been linked with insulin resistance, while a study published in Diabetes care found that taking the Mg regularly might lower one’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes altogether.

Good sources of Magnesium are:  legumes, rice, beans, nuts, green leafy vegetables and wheat products.

Note: Try to get most of your vitamins from your daily food, it is the safest way to get them.


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