There are over 5 million people in the UK living with diabetes (90% with type 2 and 10% with type 1) and many more still undiagnosed. Diabetes is caused when the pancreas stops making insulin, or the level of insulin it can make decreases. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that can develop at any stage of life and can be linked to genetics. Type 2 diabetes is usually caused by lifestyle factors including being inactive and overweight and is most often diagnosed in adults. It can be prevented, but once you have it unfortunately there isn’t a cure, but it is possible to go into remission. Type 1 diabetes is managed by taking insulin, but like type 2 following a healthy diet, exercising regularly and taking a few keys supplements is hugely beneficial.
Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with a higher risk of the development of type 1 and 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. If you are not getting enough time outdoors in the sunshine it is likely that you will need to supplement with vitamin D. Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin D and calcium in those that are deficient can improve blood sugar control. Getting a blood test to check your vitamin D levels is the best way to find out if you are deficient and what dose of vitamin D will suit you best.
There is a difference in the gut microbiota in those with diabetes compared to those without. Probiotics support gut health and several of them have been shown to have anti diabetic properties. Studies have shown probiotics to help with managing blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and insulin sensitivity. Probiotics can help modulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, improve metabolic health in the body and support good gut health.
Supplementing with vitamin B12 can be beneficial for those who are on medication for diabetes as some of them can reduce the body’s ability to absorb B12. A complication of diabetes is neuropathy, which is caused when blood sugar levels are elevated for too long causing damage to nerves in the body. A deficiency in B12 can also cause this, and the two combined can make the neuropathy worse. B12 plays an important role in keeping nerves healthy and can reduce the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
There is no known way of preventing type 1 diabetes, but preventing type 2 diabetes is possible. This can be done by following a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Supplements can play their part especially in those who are deficient. Remember to always speak to your doctor before starting a new supplement especially if you are diabetic or taking existing medication as some supplements can interfere with medication or have a negative effect on diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes - https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-1-diabetes
Difference in gut micro - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8869176/
Probiotics support gut health - https://www.optibacprobiotics.com/professionals/latest-research/general-health/probiotics-for-diabetes\
Blood glucose - https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-68440-1
Insulin resistance - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6319478/
Modulate Immune system - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/iid3.1045