Vitamins and Diabetes Care
By Robert Ehrman MD, Reviewed by Fran Daniel MPH
Individual foods can give you many different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, in one serving. For example, raspberries contain vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. These nutrients, plus all the food nutrients we have not yet discovered, work together in your body to ensure that you benefit from all of them. Using vitamins or supplements – which do not have the full range of nutrients that whole foods do — may not be needed unless you have a specific vitamin deficiency. (“Deficiency” means that your body does not have enough of an important nutrient.) It’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any vitamin supplements to see if you really need them.
Your healthcare provider may want you to take vitamin supplements if you are:
- On a low-calorie diet and do not eat a wide variety of foods
- On a vegan diet (no meat, fish, eggs or dairy products)
- On a restricted diet because you have food allergies, kidney disease or have trouble absorbing nutrients
WHAT VITAMINS ARE THE BEST?
Many people, including those with diabetes, may need to take vitamin D supplements. Experts say to take 400 international units (IU) each day. Recent studies suggest that this may not be enough vitamin D. Ask your healthcare provider if you should take vitamin D supplements, and how much to take every day.
WHY IS VITAMIN D SO IMPORTANT FOR GOOD HEALTH?
Vitamin D might be able to:
- improve pain and tingling in your legs, feet, hands, and fingers.
- keep bones healthy and strong
- help with blood glucose control
- help ease depression in women with type 2 diabetes.
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