Manage Diabetes With Vitamin D and Vitamin E

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Filed Under: Diabetes, Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Vitamins D and E are great natural diabetes remedies.

Vitamin D deficiencies are linked with the development of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as impaired insulin secretion. This vitamin also turns on genes that boost production of antimicrobial peptides called cathelicidins, which destroy viruses, bacteria, and other germs. Since people managing diabetes are more prone to infections due to diabetic ulcers and periodontal disease, optimal levels of this fat-soluble vitamin is important. Have your vitamin D blood level tested, and take enough vitamin D3 to bring it into the 40–60 ng/mL range. I’m reluctant to give an exact dose, but my average patient requires 5,000 IU of supplemental vitamin D daily.

Vitamin E, the body’s premier fat-soluble antioxidant, improves glucose control and protects blood vessels and nerves from free-radical damage, which is accelerated by the diabetic condition.

Studies have shown that high doses of supplemental vitamin E may even reverse damage to nerves caused by diabetes and protect against diabetic cataracts and atherosclerosis.

Additionally, research suggests that approximately 40 percent of people living with diabetes have a gene variation (haptoglobin (Hp) 2-2 gene) that increases oxidative stress and doubles or triples their risk of cardiovascular disease. Israeli researchers found that when these people took 400 IU of vitamin E daily, their risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and death fell by 50 percent! Vitamin E’s benefits were so profound the study was terminated early so all study participants could benefit.

Oxidative stress also contributes to liver damage that, if untreated, can lead to diabetes complications such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The best-studied antioxidant for NAFLD also happens to be vitamin E, with doses averaging 800 IU per day. Everyone, regardless of health status, should take 400 IU of vitamin E every day.

Note: Take only natural vitamin E. You can tell it’s natural if it’s listed as d-alpha-tocopherol or d-alpha-tocopheryl. Synthetic vitamin E is listed as dl-alphatocopherol or dl-alpha tocopheryl (note the “l”).

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