Vitamins for Diabetes

Vitamins for Diabetes

Having diabetes means watching your carbohydrate and sugar intake. The risk when you must limit foods from a certain food group is nutrient deficiency. While too many carbs can cause symptoms, some of them contain vitamins that are important for your health. If you worry that you aren’t getting enough, it pays to talk to your doctor about a supplement to ensure you’re making your daily quota. Here are the most important vitamins for diabetes patients.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D and diabetes have a relationship that has to do with glucose control. Most people know that vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and thereby promoting healthy bones. But it also plays a role in keeping glucose levels in check. A deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to insulin resistance. Older diabetics and those who are overweight may have a more difficult time absorbing vitamin D from the sun (one of the best sources of the nutrient) and could need a supplement to get adequate amounts. Food sources that can also boost levels include salmon, sardines, liver and egg yolks. Foods fortified with vitamin D are often high in carbs so watch them to balance your intake. 

Vitamin B12

This is a nutrient that can only be found in animal foods, so vegetarians and vegans are at a higher risk, including those who have diabetes. However, diabetes and B12 are very closely intertwined, no matter what dietary pattern you follow. It’s particularly important for diabetics who take metformin since this medication can cause low levels of B12. Vitamin B12 has also been shown to help control the pain associated with neuropathy. Anyone who doesn’t eat animal products could likely benefit from a B12 supplement. 


Also known as vitamin B1, thiamin is a nutrient that many diabetics are deficient in. That’s likely because it’s primarily found in grain foods, which are often restricted on a diabetic diet. Alternative sources include meat and fish, which some diabetics don’t eat if they are a vegetarian or vegan. Thiamin and diabetes should be given careful consideration since a deficiency is more likely in those with the disease. Adequate amounts might also control the pain that comes with neuropathy.

A supplement is an easy way to be sure you’re getting enough of the most important vitamins for diabetes and good health. Be sure you talk to your doctor before adding a supplement to your treatment plan, especially if you are on medication for your diabetes.

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