Reasons To Consider Vitamin A for Diabetes

Reasons To Consider Vitamin A for Diabetes

Health specialists assert that diabetes is a "global health crisis" because it is an incurable condition that currently affects more than 300 million people. Here are Reasons To Consider Vitamin A for Diabetes.

Reasons To Consider Vitamin A for Diabetes

vitamin A for Diabetes


Based on their estimates, the specialists went on to suggest that there could be "more than 439 million cases by 2030."

Because of these staggering numbers, medical professionals have spent years trying to pinpoint exactly what causes diabetes to come up with the best prevention and treatment measures.

Read: This is the Impact of vitamin A Deficiency and How to Prevent It

To understand how vitamin A can benefit people with diabetes, you first have to do what medical experts do, to what extent, and understand what diabetes is and how it affects the body.

Representatives from the National Institute of Diabetes and the Center for Digestive and Kidney Disease Health Information define diabetes as "a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high."

Glucose can be thought of as the fuel that keeps your body functioning as it should. It is made after you eat.

Your body metabolizes or breaks down food into substances, including glucose, which is primarily used as a source of energy. During this process, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats become glucose.

Glucose production occurs in your pancreas - the organ located between your stomach and large intestine.

If you look at a picture of the pancreas, it may remind you of the strange shape of corn. However, the pancreas is a major player among your other organs because it "helps indigestion" and "regulates blood sugar." It also "also produces the hormone insulin and secretes it into the bloodstream."

Insulin can be thought of as a messenger telling your body to only use as much glucose as it currently needs for fuel and to store the rest so you don't run out of energy between meals.

This action is done to "keep your blood sugar levels are not too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia)" before and after eating.

If for some reason your body makes too much insulin, doesn't use enough, or doesn't use it properly, you are more likely to develop diabetes and diabetes-related health problems. These insulin problems can be caused by anything from genetics to overeating and pregnancy.

Currently, it is believed that there is a link between obesity and type 2 diabetes. For example, research shows that type 2 diabetes, sometimes referred to as "adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes," is often caused by a poor diet coupled with a sedentary lifestyle. and doesn't move much.

In other words, relatively inactive people who eat a lot of simple carbohydrates and fats (for example, starchy foods, sweets, and fried foods) are at risk.

Typically, people with type 2 diabetes cannot "make enough insulin" or make the insulin that their body "can use properly."

This affects their ability to keep "their blood glucose levels within the normal range." Thus, some of them “may require diabetes medication or insulin therapy” in order to prevent an overall decline in quality of life.

Type 1 diabetes can affect anyone, regardless of weight, age, and diet. It is often a genetic problem that is "most commonly diagnosed from infancy to the late 30s".

The fact that it can affect anyone is one of the main differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Arguably, the most significant difference is the fact that the pancreas of these diabetics does not produce insulin at all.

For some unknown reason, type 1 diabetes causes the immune system to view the cells in the pancreas that are responsible for making insulin as "bad" and destroy them.

This, in turn, creates abnormal blood glucose levels. People living with type 1 diabetes must take prescription insulin by injection or an infusion pump as a stabilizer. Unfortunately, insulin currently cannot be taken orally.

Three other forms or types of diabetes are also considered genetic conditions: neonatal diabetes, young adult-onset diabetes (MODY), and adult latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA).

Medical professionals believe that excessive amounts of the hormone that pregnant women produce can prevent their bodies from responding normally to insulin.

Read: When is the Best Time to Take Vitamins?

For example, the amount of insulin that some pregnant women need may exceed what they needed before conceiving in large amounts. The demand for more insulin can put a lot of pressure on the pancreas and cause blood glucose levels to be higher than normal.

The good thing is, this spike in blood glucose levels is usually a temporary condition that ends after delivery. However, women who suffer from gestational age are at higher risk for eventually developing type 2 diabetes.

Now that you have an overview of what diabetes is, let's take a look at how vitamin A can help people living with diabetes improve their quality of life.

Benefits of Vitamin A for Diabetes?

According to Albert Salehi, senior researcher at Lund University Diabetes Center in Sweden, “insulin cells have a cell surface that expresses a receptor for vitamin A.”

Based on these findings, Salehi and his research team went on to suggest that vitamin A not only “plays an important role for beta cell development in the early stages of life, but also for proper function for the rest of life. ."

Various clinical trials have been conducted to study the effects of vitamin A on diabetics. For example, colleagues from the National Center for Biotechnology Information stated that “vitamin A deficiency causes hyperglycemia and loss of pancreatic beta-cell mass.” They came to this conclusion based on studies involving mice.

The researchers noticed that mice that were prescribed diets with inadequate amounts of vitamin A produced less insulin and developed hyperglycemia (that is, too much glucose).

The study also demonstrated "remodeling of the endocrine pancreas, marked cell apoptosis, a shift to a smaller islet size distribution, decreased cell mass, increased cell mass, and hyperglucagonemia."

Hyperglucagonemia is a condition in which the body secretes too much glucagon – a hormone made by the pancreas to help metabolize glucose. Re-administration of vitamin A, or adequate amounts of vitamin A, normalized the mice's ability to produce and secrete insulin.

In summary, the above-mentioned studies reveal that vitamin A deficiency causes the pancreas of each mouse to malfunction, which creates other adverse health conditions.

Indeed, humans were not used in that particular experiment. However, the way the mice responded to vitamin A deficiency led the researchers to believe that inadequate amounts of vitamin A might have the same or identical effects in people living with diabetes.

Long-standing studies of people with diabetes and their respective vitamin A levels have revealed interesting findings. For example, in the early 1900's, various medical experts found that “there is an increase in the amount of carotenoids in the blood of patients with diabetes mellitus.”

Carotenoids are "one of several orange or red pigments" that give plants their color, including some vegetables and fruits. Beta-carotene, on the other hand, is the "dark green and dark yellow" pigment that gives some fruits and vegetables their color. The body converts both substances into vitamin A.

In 1929 and 1930 researchers demonstrated that “patients with diabetes mellitus and xanthosis, that is, diabetes who appear to be more severe and difficult to control than those without hypercarotenemia.”

Based on statistics, the researchers found that "85% of the 500 cases of diabetes mellitus studied at that time had above normal carotenoid values."

As you can see, there is still much to be learned about vitamin A and its effects on people living with diabetes.

How Do You Use Vitamin A for Diabetes?

As mentioned earlier, vitamin A is an essential vitamin that is good for the body. That is, everyone needs it. Some people may think vitamin A is something that can be obtained without a prescription like zinc for acne, for example, which is somewhat true.

How much vitamin A intake does each individual need each day? It depends on a number of factors. However, representatives from the National Institutes of Health offer the following advice:

  1. The recommended intake of vitamin A for people aged 14 years and over is between 700 and 900 micrograms (mcg) of retinol activity equivalent (RAE) per day.
  2. The recommended intake for women who are breastfeeding ranges between 1,200 and 1,300 RAE.
  3. Lower values ​​are recommended for infants and children under 14 years of age (“Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin A,” 2013).
  4. Diabetics and people in general who may not be getting enough vitamin A can ensure that they are getting the recommended amount by taking supplements (for example, multivitamins) and adding foods that have high amounts of vitamin A to their diet. However, it's worth mentioning that you should discuss making changes to your diet with your healthcare provider beforehand.
Foods rich in vitamin A include but are not limited to, milk, cheese, fish and offal, most leafy and brightly colored vegetables and fruits such as apricots and melons. The exact amount of vitamin A in each serving of these foods can often be found by referring to diet and nutrition websites. In addition, this information is usually added to the labels of canned, boxed, frozen, and packaged foods in general.

In short, diabetes is still an incurable disease. However, the studies mentioned above show that the treatment can be as easy as the common cold through vitamin A and additional research