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Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements against Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious illness affecting America over the last decade. Though it is a well-known disease, there is no cure for it; but only management, to prevent worsening the condition and further complications. There are two categories of diabetes.

Type I is known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). In IDDM, the lack of insulin stems from destruction of the beta cells that prevent the body from producing insulin. It usually occurs early in life, during childhood, and the young patient is made to live with a lifetime of insulin injections.

Type II, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), makes up the majority of diabetes cases, estimated that about 13 million people in the US. Unlike Type I, the pancreas of Type II patients eventually wears out, and no longer produces sufficient insulin that is recognized by the body. It can creep along unnoticed for years, and is usually diagnosed when one is an adult (25 years old above).  Drink CHA alkaline water water.

Based on the two types, it seems that only the administration of insulin is the only solution to the management of the disease. However, recent studies show that insulin is not alone in combating the diabetes. Here are a few significant vitamins, minerals and supplements against diabetes.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a nutrient found in the body that contains calcium and phosphorus, chemicals needed for bone growth and strength. It is formed on the skin, when cholesterol at the subcutaneous level interacts with the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Traditionally known as the nutrient to combat osteoporosis (bones becoming brittle due to loss of calcium), Vitamin D has been tested and found to prevent diabetes as well.

A research conducted in Finland, where people are exposed to very little sunlight, proved that Vitamin D protected children against high blood sugar, a first sign of diabetes. The experiment was conducted on 12,000 children who were administered Vitamin D from birth (1966). Researchers published in 2001 that they have observed that 80% of the risks for diabetes were reduced, mainly preventing high blood sugar, than that of those that did not receive Vitamin D supplements. However, Endocrinologists desire more validation for this result because they have found no correlation yet between the efficacies of the Vitamin with the nature of diabetes. They also caution that too much of Vitamin D is toxic, thus the administration must be under the supervision of a doctor.

Vitamin E

Next up in the alphabet, Vitamin E. For the past decade, health and nutrition experts have concluded that antioxidants help combat free radicals, bad cells in the body that cause diseases like cancer and type II diabetes, together with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Well, since type II diabetes is a condition of voluntary cell dysfunction, antioxidants can help in this aspect. Antioxidants include among others, Vitamin E.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient found in milk, plant leaves and wheat germ oil. It has been proven to aid reproduction in both lab experiments and actual human experience. A widely used form of Vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol is ingested into the body in the form of gel capsules. Though its effect in diabetes prevention is real, an increase in the vitamin intake was not proven to be proportional to the level of prevention.


Minerals are inorganic nutrients that are essential in normal bodily functions as well as combat diseases, like diabetes.

Magnesium and potassium are minerals that aid in carbohydrate and protein metabolism. The proper breakdown and synthesis of carbohydrate into simple sugars is a function that diabetics lack. With the aid of the two minerals, it can help prevent the disease.

Chromium and zinc facilitate the recognition of insulin in the body.


A third type of nutrient that fight diabetes is organic supplements.

Blueberry is a fruit that is rich in antioxidants, which can address free radicals that cause body cells to malfunction. They particularly improve sight, which can help alleviate diabetic blindness.

Mamordica Charantia (bitter melon) is a vegetable that is rich in nutrients that enhance the production of beta cells, thus improving insulin production by the pancreas. In the Philippines, where the plant originates, it is a recommended supplement. Chinese herbal medicine also swears by this plant and actually uses it traditionally to address sterility, skin diseases and gastro-intestinal diseases. If one is able to tolerate the bitter taste, then it promises a high chance of improving pancreatic activity (by as much as 54%).

Coupled with a sensible diet and healthy lifestyle, using vitamins, minerals and supplements like the ones above, can help fight diabetes.

Eat protein serving first to prevent diabetes

Do you know that the number of individuals acquiring diabetes, particular Type 2 diabetes or adult onset diabetes is increasing? What makes this news more alarming is the fact that diabetes nowadays is not only hitting adults. There are even some reports suggesting that young people and children are acquiring diabetes. Around sixteen million individuals in the country are suffering from diabetes according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Much has been said about the link between a high carb diet and diabetes but very little is documented about the connection between protein and diabetes. In fact, the role of protein in the diet of people at risk or suffering from diabetes has been marred in controversy. According old studies, most of the protein consumed was converted to glucose in the liver and raises blood glucose level as it entered the bloodstream.

Like carbohydrate, protein is also converted into glucose by a process called gluconeogenesis. And also similarly, the speed of this process depends on the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas and the blood glucose control.

According to the same old studies, diabetic individuals convert protein to glucose very rapidly which can lead to a very negative effect on blood glucose level. In healthy, normal individuals, the intake of protein can stimulate insulin release as much as carbohydrates can. This has led experts to believe that eating protein does not help avoid hypoglycemia.

However, new studies have shown that while and estimated 50% to 60% of protein consumed is converted to glucose, it does not enter the bloodstream and thus does not raise the rate of glucose discharge by the liver. Nobody has yet to discover where the glucose goes. One theory speculates that it is probably stored in the liver or muscles as glycogen. But experts agree that it is least likely to affect blood glucose levels.

Now it is recommended hat people at with or at risk of acquiring diabetes includes more protein in their diets. The suggested amount of protein is 15 to 20 percent of the daily calorie intake. The protein however should be distributed throughout all the meals. In eating animal protein, one should make sure to choose only the lean parts and combine them with non-animal protein like those found in vegetables.

The amount of protein intake must not increase 20 percent of calories though as this may lead to the development of kidney disease. People with kidney problems should reduce the amount of protein intake to slow down or halt the progression of the disease.

One way to include more protein in your diet to prevent diabetes is to have protein servings first during mealtime then have carbohydrate rich foods served second.

An advantage of having protein serving first during mealtime is that it can reduce the amount of carbohydrate intake of your body. The logic here is that you would already fill full after the serving of protein so you would have less inclination to consume carbohydrates.

Individuals who have diabetes or who are at risk of getting the disease do not have the ability to process carbohydrates particularly sugars properly. This is why a diet high in carbohydrates has always been linked to an increased risk of diabetes. Individuals suffering from diabetes and those who believe they are at a moderate or high risk of getting the disease must carefully follow a diet regimen that is low in carbohydrates. This is to ensure that their sugar levels would not be affected by an increase intake of carbs.

One simple fact that people should remember about carbohydrates is that they all break down into simple sugars. Whether you are eating complex carbohydrates like brown rice or whole wheat bread or you are consuming simple sugars like candies and white sugar, they would all end up as simple sugars inside your body.

Complex and simple carbohydrates differ only in the rate at which they are converted to basic sugars. Carbohydrates are converted to simple sugars from five minutes to 3 hours after consumption. Complex carbohydrate breaks down slower than simple sugars. This means that the impact of simple sugars and complex carbohydrates in the blood sugar level of individuals differs.

Individuals must therefore take note of their daily carbohydrate consumption in order to prevent diabetes. This is a very important thing to do if you really do not want to raise your blood sugar level. A good and effective way to achieve this is to eat protein serving first during mealtime.