Minerals are the vital constituents for the formation of body structures such as bones and tissues. They are also involved in major physiological processes such as proper metabolism and energy production. There are various minerals that are helpful in treating diabetes and slowing down diabetic complications. The most important mineral is Chromium. It is also known as Diabetic Mineral. It is because the main function of chromium in is body is to turn carbohydrates into glucose. Chromium also helps in the regulation and production of hormone insulin. It has been observed that due to chromium only the Insulin works effectively in the body and without it, insulin simply would not function. Good sources of chromium are nuts, cheese, whole, grains, oysters, mushrooms, brewer’s yeast, etc. Long time researches have shown that the symptoms of diabetes completely reverses particularly of Type –2 Diabetes mellitus.
It is because insulin regulates and normalize blood sugar and it also improves body’s ability to transport blood glucose into cells. It has also been seen that the chromium supplements improves glucose tolerance and thus brings it to normal. It reduces fasting glucose and insulin levels in gestational diabetes. It encourages the loss of body fat. It enhances insulin secretion and decreases trighlycerides Chromium also promotes muscular gains.
It is also associated with proper glucose regulation. It acts like insulin in the body and also enhances its effects. That is why this mineral is extensively known for its role in the management of diabetes. Food sources of vanadium include skin milk, lobster, vegetables, butter and cheese. Vanadium is named after the Scandinavian goddess of beauty and youth. Vanadium is also a building material of bones and teeth. Although, researchers have know vanadium for more than forty years but the mineral is not yet considered as a essential constituent for humans. It is essential for plants and animals. But Vanadium must be needed to be as an essential nutrient in our diet.
Vanadium in case of diabetics- improves fasting glucose levels. It also increases insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes. It lowers the insulin requirements in type –1 diabetes.
Manganese maintains the blood glucose level in normal range and hence is useful in treating diabetes and hypoghlycaemia. Manganese is also used in our body for fat and protein metabolism and the production of energy. It is needed for growth, maintenance of connective tissue, bone, cartilage and also helps in fatty acid synthesis. Manganese is also useful in the treatment of epilepsy, anosexia and iron deficiency. Moreover, the absorption of vitamin C, B and E depends upon the sufficient amount of manganese so the person’s multi vitamin supplement should contain sufficient amount of manganese in it. Dietary sources of manganese include whole green cereals, leafy vegetables, nuts and tea.
Magnesium is mainly important for hypoglycaemics because it helps in the digestion of sugar, starches and fats and also helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels. It has been known from many years that the secretion and action of insulin require magnesium. Hence for diabetic patient and for persons in whom intake of refined carbohydrates is too much, in them the supplement of magnesium is very much necessary. It is a person crave for chocolate, it may be an indication that he is low in magnesium. The dietary sources of magnesium are whole grains, nuts, seeds, cocoa milk, green vegetables, sea food, brown rice. Magnesium is also involved in thyroid hormone production. Magnesium along with calcium helps in muscle contraction and helps in producing energy especially in muscle cells. Magnesium is also involved in producing stomach acid and digestive enzymes.
Zinc is needed for proper release of insulin and many hypoglycaemics may be deficient. Zinc supplements are beneficial for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes. Some of the other Zinc’s functions include cholesterol, protein and energy metabolism growth, healing and immune functions. Dietary sources of Zinc include meat, eggs, sunflower seeds, milk, wholegrains, spinach etc. But a person should keep in mind that Zinc is destroyed when food is processed so they should eat the Zinc containing food in their natural form as much as possible. Moreover, Zinc absorption is reduced in alcoholics and diuretics. Stress also causes Zinc levels to drop rapidly.
Vitamins are an essential part of human body. The vitamin helps in improving digestion and therefore, increases the body’s ability to tolerate low glucose levels. They also know as Anti-Stress vitamins because of their good effects on the brain and nervous system.
The B-complex vitamins are a group of eight vitamins, which include Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), Pyridoxina (B6), Folic Acid (B9), Cyanocobalmin (B12), Pantothenic acid and bioten. A particular potential benefit of vitamin B supplements for diabetics is mainly its ability to lower blood levels of homocysteine (a suphur-containing amino acid). Hence, the vitamins B are also essential for breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose, which provides energy for the body. It also helps in breakdown of fats and proteins, which helps in normal functioning of the nervous system.
Vitamin B-6 is helpful in the women reporting with gestational diabetes and for protection against metabolic imbalances associated with the use of some oral contraceptive. Vitamin B6 is also useful in the management of carpal tunnel syndrome. It help in reducing homocysteine. It maintains fluid balance and is essential for cellular energy production. It is somewhat beneficial to prevent skin eruptions also. Therefore, the amaging family of vitamin B is very helpful. Vitamin B6 levels are even lower in people with diabetes who have nerve damage i.e. neuropathy. So, the administration of bath Vitamin B1 (25 mg per day) and vitamin B6 (50 mg per day) shows significant improvement of symptoms of diabetic neuropathy after four weeks, because Vitamin B1 is also found to be low in people with type 1 diabetes.
Biotin (The Vitamin B) is needed to process of glucose. Patient with Type-1 of diabetes showed fasting glucose level dropped by 50% on administration of 16 mg of biotin per day for one week. Biotin may also reduce pain from diabetic nerve damage.
Diabetic people also have low vitamin C levels. Vitamin C may reduce glycosylation. Vitamin C also lowers sorbital in people with diabetes. Sorbital is a sugar that can accumulate and damage the nerves eyes and kidney of people with diabetes. Vitamin C may improve glucose tolerance in patients with Type-2 diabetes. Vitamin C significantly reduces urinary protein loss in people with diabetes. Diabetic people should have 1-3 grams per day of vitamin C.
Vitamin B-12 is needed for normal functioning of nerve cells. Vitamin B12 taken orally, intravenously or by injection reduces the nerve damage caused by diabetes in most of the people.
The intake of large amounts of niacin (a form of the vitamin B 3), such as 2-3 grams per day, may impair glucose tolerance and shall be used by diabetic people only under doctor’s advice.
It is needed to maintain adequate blood levels of insulin. Vitamin D receptors have been found in the pancreas where insulin is produced hence the supplements of vitamin D, increases insulin level in people suffering form diabetes. But if should be given in accurate dose as high dose of vitamin D can be toxic.
Vitamin E prevents the destructive vascular damage that may occur in diabetes. Vitamin E supplements prevents the arterial degeneration in patients suffering from diabetes. Vitamin E decreases the requirement of insulin by diabetic people.
Vitamin E is available naturally in whole grain products, wheat products, fruits, green leafy vegetables milk, whole raw or sprouted seeds.