You know that good nutrition is important for staying healthy with diabetes, so you probably try to eat meals containing plenty of vegetables, a good protein source, good fats, and small portions of fruit, beans, and whole grains. But sometimes diet alone isn’t enough, particularly if you have diabetes-related complications or aren’t always able to eat balanced meals. Fortunately, Costco Pharmacy has a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other supplements that can help you stay well nourished and healthy.
* Be sure to speak with your doctor or primary care provider prior
to taking any supplements other than a daily multivitamin.
This vitamin is important for your heart, skin, and blood glucose level. It may also reduce your risk for getting cataracts. Although most people can tolerate up to 1000 mg daily with no ill effects, it’s best to check with your healthcare provider prior to taking large doses of vitamin C, which can interfere with certain medications.
Kirkland Vitamin C tablets (Available in 500 mg or 1000 mg doses)
Ester-C 500 mg (Contains 110 mg calcium in addition to 500 mg vitamin C)
Vitamin D is both a hormone and one of the fat-soluble vitamins. It’s needed to keep your bones and teeth strong and your immune system healthy so you’re less likely to develop infections. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to peripheral neuropathy, a common diabetes complication that causes pain and numbness in your legs and feet. Many people have low levels of vitamin D in their blood, so ask your healthcare provider to check yours if he or she hasn’t already done so. Then discuss how much you should take.
Diabetes can increase the amount of magnesium you need, especially if your diabetes isn’t well controlled. High levels of blood glucose cause magnesium to be lost in the urine. Taking magnesium is safe for most people, and the only side effect is loose stools. It’s also not recommended for people with kidney problems, so be sure to check with your healthcare provider to make sure this isn’t an issue for you.
Multivitamin formulas contain the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. The percentages you see on the label reflect the amount of each nutrient when compared to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
- Contains 70-100% of the RDA for all the major vitamins and minerals
- Provides smaller amounts of magnesium, calcium, and trace minerals (those present in your body in very small amounts) like copper and nickel
- Provides 100% or more of all the major vitamins and minerals with megadoses of the B vitamins and vitamins C and E
- Contains Panax ginseng, which may improve energy
- Speak with your healthcare provider before taking this supplement, since the doses for some nutrients may be too high for you.
- Provides 100% of most of the major vitamins and minerals
- Contains megadoses of vitamins B-12, C, and D, and chromium (a trace mineral that may improve your diabetes control)
- Contains fish oil
- Contains alpha-lipoic acid, which may improve blood glucose control and reduce symptoms of peripheral neuropathy
- Speak with your healthcare provider before taking this supplement since the dosages on some nutrients may be too high for you.
Fish oil can help to reduce inflammation and lower triglycerides through the action of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA contained in fatty fish. It can also cause your blood to become thinner, so check with your healthcare provider to make sure it doesn’t interfere with other medicines that have the same effect.
Kirkland Fish Oil 1200 mg (Contains 410 mg EPA and 274 mg DHA per softgel)
Schiff MegaRed Omega-3 Krill Oil 300 mg (Contains 50 mg EPA and 24 mg DHA per softgel)
Fiber is important for preventing constipation. Certain supplements, like psyllium, contain the type of fiber that can also lower your cholesterol and slow down the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream.
Lactase is an enzyme that enables you to digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. If you’ve been told you’re lactose-intolerant, you can take lactase to help you digest dairy.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that live in your digestive tract. Their balance can be upset by stress, illness, antibiotics, and certain foods. Taking probiotic supplements can help restore the proper balance.
Visit cdiabetes.com/guide to get a free “Costco Diabetes and Heart-Healthy Shopping Guide” eBook.
1. Carr AC, et al. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999; 69(6):1086-1107
2. Shehab D, et al. Does vitamin D deficiency play a role in peripheral neuropathy in Type 2 diabetes? Diabet Med. 2012 Jan; 29(1):43-9.
3. Sales CH, et al. Influence of magnesium status and magnesium intake on the blood glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Clin Nutr. 2011 Jun; 30(3):359-64
4. Evans JL, et al. Alpha-lipoic acid: a multifunctional antioxidant that improves insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Technol Ther, Autumn 2000; 2(3): 401-13
5. Bouwens M, et al. Fish oil supplementation induces anti-inflammatory gene expression profiles in human blood mononuclear cells. Am J Clin Nutr 2009 Aug; 90(2):415-24
6. Anderson JW, et al. Long-term cholesterol-lowering effects of psyllium as an adjunct to diet therapy in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. Am J Clin Nutr 2000 Jun; 71(6):1433-8
7. Vitetta L, et al. Probiotics, prebiotics, and the gastrointestinal tract in health and disease. Inflammopharmacology 2014; Mar 16 (e-published ahead of print)