Roxana Valdés-Ramos et al.
Microsoft Word – CDT_IEMD_CONTENT.doc
The present review evaluates the relationship between type 2 diabetes mellitus and individual or
combined vitamins. Antioxidant vitamins A, C and E are found decreased in diabetic subjects, possibly due to an increased need to control the excessive oxidative stress produced by abnormalities in glucose
metabolism. On the other hand, retinol binding protein exerts a modulating effect, as it has adipokine
functions. With respect to the B group vitamins, thiamin, pyridoxine and biotin have been found decreased but the mechanisms are not clear, however supplementation has shown some improvement of the metabolic control in diabetic patients. The absorption of folic acid and vitamin B12 is importantly decreased by the prolongued use of metformin, which is the first choice drug in uncomplicated diabetes, thus these two nutrients have been found deficient in the disease and most probably need to be supplemented regularly. On the other hand, vitamin D is considered a risk factor for the development of diabetes as well as its complications, particularly cardiovascular ones. Although some studies have found an association of vitamin K intake with glucose metabolism further research is needed. Studies on the use of multivitamin supplements have shown unconclusive results. After reviewing the evidence, no real recommendation on the use of vitamin supplements in type 2 diabetes mellitus can be issued, however patients using metformin during prolongued periods may need folic acid and vitamin B12.