Around six million people in Germany suffer from diabetes and its consequences. What even experienced diabetics usually do not know: Your body has an increased need for certain micronutrients, which can be covered even with a balanced diet difficult. However, optimal supply of these micronutrients can reduce the risk of consequential damage due to increased demand.
Kidney and vision damage, nerve disorders, atherosclerosis, heart attack or stroke - the list of possible long-term consequences of diabetes is long and known to most sufferers only too well. But very few people know that diabetics have an increased need for certain micronutrients. Failure to meet this need can further increase the risk of consequential damage and cause discomfort.
Which micronutrients matter?
Chromium improves glucose tolerance. This means that with the same amount of sugar consumed, the blood sugar levels rise less. This is attributed to a higher sensitivity to insulin. The recommended daily intake is at least 200 mcg, but some studies have also administered up to 1000 mcg. Diabetics often have reduced levels of magnesium. In insulin-dependent diabetics who suffered from magnesium deficiency at the same time, eye damage was more common. The increased rate of miscarriage and birth defects in mothers with this disease has also been linked to magnesium deficiency.
Many diabetics have zinc deficiency, which can lead to an impairment of the immune system. For this reason, experts recommend taking 15-25 mg of zinc daily. Another important dietary supplement in diabetes mellitus is alpha lipoic acid. This has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and relieve the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage). Studies suggest that low vitamin E blood levels are associated with an increased risk of diabetes. Every day, at least 900 International Units of Vitamin E appear to improve glucose tolerance in adult-onset diabetes. There is also evidence for a protective effect against the known and dreaded complications of eyes and kidneys.
Also, the vitamin C blood level of a diabetic is often reduced. Studies have shown that taking vitamin C can improve glucose tolerance and protect the kidneys. Similar results were reported for vitamin B6. The measured blood levels were particularly low in diabetic patients with nerve damage. Again, taking a dietary supplement could improve glucose tolerance. The concomitant intake of vitamin B1 and B12 is recommended especially in diabetics with neuropathy.
Biotin and coenzyme Q10 also play a role in glucose metabolism. The intake of 9-16 mg biotin for at least 1 week was able to significantly reduce the fasting blood sugar of diabetic patients in various studies. A positive effect on the pain of nerve damage has also been described. In order to prevent a possible coenzyme Q10 deficiency, as has been observed in the elderly, some experts advise daily in addition to the consumption of 50 mg coenzyme Q10.
Another type of protein, taurine, has been shown to lower blood levels in type 1 diabetes, which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Therefore, the intake of taurine can be quite useful.
Vitamins in diabetes - the mix makes it
In order to provide your body with sufficient micronutrients, diabetics can resort to special diabetic foods if necessary. Various manufacturers now offer preparations that are specially designed to meet the needs of diabetics in terms of composition and dosage. Although these do not replace the regular insulin injection, they can significantly contribute to a higher quality of life. It is best to consult your doctor or pharmacist.