In previous articles I have talked about diabetes; the foods to include or avoid, exercise and vital nutrients such as GTF Chromium Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, beta-carotene. Here we look at the recent research showing why diabetics may need more B vitamins.
Some of this research is related to homocysteine. Too much homocysteine (an amino acid) in the blood has been linked with many chronic diseases.
Homocysteine levels are likely to be elevated in all diabetes, especially if blood sugar levels are frequently high. Too much homocysteine increases the risk of developing cardiovascular complications of diabetes; leading to loss of limbs and sight. Another sometimes fatal complication of diabetes is kidney damage. Diabetics who have kidney damage are likely to have high homocysteine levels and low vitamin B12 levels. Supplements of folic acid and Vitamin B12, vitamin B6 have been shown to decrease homocysteine in diabetics this in turn decreases the risk of cardiovascular problems, and kidney problems. Interestingly either folic acid, or Vitamin B12 alone or taken together can reduce homocysteine levels.
When people with Type 2 diabetes cannot, (or will not) maintain stabile blood sugar levels with changes to their diet they are often prescribed Metformin to help stabilise blood sugar levels. If you take Metformin you should be aware of recent research showing Metformin depletes the body of Vitamin B12 and possibly of folic acid too. The most recent clinical trial called for regular testing of Vitamin B12 levels for anyone taking Metformin.
The research studies suggest using supplements of Vitamin B12 and folic acid to remedy the depletion rather that stop taking the drug. If I do use supplements I recommend the Entire Katoa Food State range for the optimum absorption, low dose and low toxicity; available from www.entirekatoa.co.nz
Original Article June 2014
Copyright Jaine Kirtley