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Vitamin B Complex & Diabetes

author image Larry Armstrong
Larry Armstrong began writing articles professionally in 1986. These articles have appeared in scientific journals such as “Hypertension” and “American Journal of Therapeutics." He received his Doctor of Medicine from the Baylor College of Medicine in 1985. His fields of expertise include medical physiology and biochemistry.
Vitamin B Complex & Diabetes
Vitamin B supplements may help people with diabetes. Photo Credit Diabetic Tools image by painless from Fotolia.com

According to the National Institutes of Health, diabetes is a disease that affects millions of Americans. The fasting glucose test can determine if you have this disease. Diabetes is indicated when a person's fasting glucose level is greater than 126 mg/dl. While a fasting glucose level below 99 mg/dl is normal, 100 to 125 mg/dl is generally considered to be pre-diabetes. This disease is known to deplete certain nutrients the body needs, such as vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.

What is B Complex?

Vitamin B complex usually means that an oral dietary supplement contains most of the B vitamins. The B vitamins are a class of water-soluble chemicals that cells need to carry on normal physiological functions. Many of the B vitamins have functions in fetal development, making DNA, red blood cells and maintaining the health of the nervous and immune systems. Deficiency of some B vitamins can have devastating effects. For example, maternal folic acid deficiency can lead to neurological birth defects.

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B Vitamin Sources

You can take oral supplements to supply all of the required B vitamins in one capsule. However, you can also eat the right foods to supply the necessary B vitamins. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that fortified breakfast cereals are a good food source for B vitamins. Poultry, eggs, fish, meat, green vegetables, peas, beans, bananas and whole grains also supply high levels of B vitamins.


Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes blood glucose to be elevated chronically. This is called hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. Under normal conditions, the hormone insulin is secreted by the body to control the amount of glucose in the blood. Most diabetes consists of one of two basic forms of the disease, called type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs because the body does not manufacture enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs because insulin's effect on liver, fat and muscle tissues is impaired, a condition known as insulin resistance.

Diabetes and Vitamin B

Diabetic people tend to lack vitamin B-1, or thiamine, in the blood. According to Diabetes Health, this is because diabetic kidneys excrete thiamine instead of retaining it. Low thiamine can result in a defect in the lining of tiny blood vessels, resulting in inflammation of the entire vessel. Research reported by the Internet medical resource Physorg.com has shown that vitamin B-1 administration can prevent blood vessel problems. This is significant because many people with diabetes develop blood vessel complications. The researchers say that high doses of vitamin B-1 may help prevent such problems but caution that more scientific research is needed to make a definitive determination.

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