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Diet Therapy - Diabetes


People with diabetes have a higher than usual need for vitamin E, which improves insulin activity and acts as an antioxidant and a blood oxygenator. Research has shown that people with low blood levels of vitamin E are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. Double-blind studies show that vitamin E improves glucose tolerance in people with Type 2 diabetes (NIDDM). Vitamin E was found to improve glucose tolerance in elderly non-diabetes.


A vitamin E deficiency results in increased free-radical-induced damage, particularly of the lining of the vascular system. Supplemental vitamin E may help prevent diabetes complications through its antioxidant activity, the inhibition of the platelet-releasing reaction and platelet aggregation, increasing HDL-cholesterol levels and its role in fatty acid metabolism. Vitamin E protects animals from diabetes cataracts.

The most impressive study on vitamin E and diabetes used a total of 1,350 international units of d-alpha-tocopheryl acetate daily, divided into three doses. Begin by taking 400 international units each morning. After two weeks, add another dose of 400 international units in the evening. After two more weeks, add another 400 international units in the afternoon.

It may require three months or more of supplementation for benefits to become apparent. The trace mineral selenium functions synergistically with vitamin E.

Note: If you have high blood pressure, limit your intake of supplemental vitamin E to a total of 400 international units daily. If you are taking an anticoagulant (blood thinner), consult your physician before taking supplemental vitamin E.

If you are diabetic, supplement your diet with 1-3 grams per day of vitamin C.

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