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Diet Therapy - Diabetes


People with Type 1 diabetes (IDDM) have low vitamin C levels. Vitamin C lowers sorbitol in diabetics. Sorbitol is a sugar that can accumulate and damage the eyes, nerves, and kidneys of diabetics. Vitamin C may improve glucose tolerance in Type 2 diabetes (NIDDM).

The transport of vitamin C into cells is facilitated by insulin. It has been postulated that, due to impaired transport or dietary insufficiency, a relative vitamin C deficiency exists in the diabetic and that this may be responsible for the increased capillary permeability and other vascular disturbances seen in diabetics.

If you are diabetic, supplement your diet with 1-3 grams per day of vitamin C.

Diabetics with neuropathy have been shown to be deficient in vitamin B6 and benefit from supplementation. Peripheral neuropathy is a known result of pyridoxine deficiency and is indistinguishable from diabetic neuropathy. Vitamin B6 supplements improve glucose tolerance in women with diabetes caused by pregnancy  . Vitamin B6 is also effective for glucose intolerance induced by the birth control pill. 1,800 mg per day of a special form of vitamin B6-pyridoxine alpha-ketoglutarate-improves glucose tolerance dramatically.

Pyridoxine is also important in preventing other diabetic complications because it is an important coenzyme in the cross-linking of collagen and inhibits platelet aggregation.

Vitamin B12 supplementation has been used with some success in treating diabetic neuropathy. It is not clear if this is due to the correcting of a deficiency state or normalizing vitamin B12 metabolism.

Vitamin B12 is needed for normal functioning of nerve cells. Vitamin B12 taken orally, intravenously, or by injection reduces nerve damage caused by diabetes in most people.

Oral supplementation may be sufficient, but intramuscular vitamin B12 may be necessary in many cases. Take up to 500 mcg of Vitamin B12 three times per day.

Biotin is a B vitamin needed to process glucose. It has been shown to work synergistically with insulin and independently in increasing the activity of glucokinase. This enzyme is responsible for the first step in glucose utilization. Glucokinase is present only in the liver, where, in diabetics, its concentration is very low.

Supplementation with large quantities of biotin may significantly enhance glucokinase activity, thereby improving glucose metabolism in diabetics . When people with Type 1 diabetes (IDDM) were given 16 mg of biotin per day for just one week, their fasting glucose levels dropped by 50%. Similar results have been reported using 9 mg per day for two months in people with Type 2 diabetes (NIDDM). Biotin may also reduce pain from diabetic nerve damage.

Take 16 mg of biotin for a few weeks to see if blood sugar levels will fall.

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