Diabetes Treatment Basics – The first thing to understand when it comes to treating diabetes is your blood glucose level, which is the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat and also is formed and stored inside the body.
- It’s the main source of energy for the cells of the body, and is carried to them through the blood.
- Glucose gets into the cells with the help of the hormone,
- So how do blood glucose levels relate to type 1 diabetes? People with type 1 diabetes can no longer produce insulin.
- This means that glucose stays in the bloodstream and doesn’t get into the cells, causing blood glucose levels to go too high.
High blood sugar levels can make people with type 1 diabetes feel sick, so their treatment plan involves keeping their blood sugar levels within a healthy range, while making sure they grow and develop normally. To do that, people with type 1 diabetes need to:
take insulin as prescribed eat a healthy, balanced diet with accurate carbohydrate counts check blood sugar levels as prescribed get regular physical activity
Following the treatment plan can help a person stay healthy, but it’s not a cure for diabetes. Right now, there’s no cure for diabetes, so people with type 1 diabetes will need treatment for the rest of their lives. The good news is that sticking to the plan can help people feel healthy and avoid diabetes problems later.
Can type 1 diabetes reverse itself?
Is There a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes? – One of the first things people ask when they’ve been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is: is there a cure? The truth is, while type 1 diabetes can be managed with insulin, diet and exercise, there is currently no cure.
However, researchers with the Diabetes Research Institute are now working on treatments to reverse the disease, so that people with type 1 diabetes can live healthy lives without medication. With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas stops making insulin, a hormone that helps the body convert blood sugar into energy.
Without insulin, sugar builds up in the blood and can damage your internal organs, including your heart, kidneys, eyes, nervous system, and other parts of the body. This can lead to serious or life-threatening complications over time. Type 1 diabetes is not caused by a person’s diet or lifestyle.
Who has cured type 1 diabetes?
A northeast Ohio man has a whole new grasp on life while making medical history after the successes of participating in a clinical trial. Type 1 diabetes has controlled Brian Shelton’s life for more than 40 years. He was diagnosed at the age of 21. As he aged, the autoimmune disease became harder to control.
He’s what doctors called a brittle diabetic, meaning his blood sugar swings were severe and frequent. “I was a mail carrier for 30 years, and I would start walking up the street and then by the time I get to the end of the street I would pass out and start seizing right on somebody’s front yard, and I couldn’t get up,” Shelton said.
“That would almost be a daily thing.” He’s had an ambulance called for him hundreds of times, and even passed out on his motorcycle and crashed into a wall in 2020. Shelton currently lives with his ex-wife, Cynthia, who goes by Cindy. “Every day was exhausting because you could maybe do something for about a half-hour then it was like put everything down, go see where his numbers are,” Cindy Shelton said.
Can type 1 diabetes be fully cured?
Can Type 1 Diabetes Be Cured? – Currently, there isn’t a cure for type 1 diabetes. However, what we know about the condition is constantly evolving, new technologies and medicines are being developed, and researchers are making important breakthroughs. Right now, people of all ages are leading full, healthy lives with type 1 diabetes. You can too!
Can a type 1 diabetic pancreas start working again?
Researchers have discovered that patients with type 1 diabetes can regain the ability to produce insulin. They showed that insulin-producing cells can recover outside the body. Type 1 diabetes is a serious disease that affects many children and adolescents.
The disease causes the pancreas to stop producing insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are too high, the smallest blood vessels in the body eventually become damaged. This can lead to serious health problems further down the line, including heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and foot amputations.
Man temporarily cured of Type 1 diabetes
Professor Knut Dahl-Jørgensen and doctoral student Lars Krogvold are leading a research project, (DiViD), in which they want to ascertain among other things whether a virus in the pancreas might cause type 1 diabetes. They have previously discovered viruses in hormone-producing cells, the so-called islets of Langerhans, in the pancreas. Lars Krogvold, doctoral student at the University of Oslo and paediatrician at Oslo University Hospital. Photo: Private
What vitamins help type 1 diabetes?
Supplements – What Are Star Ratings? Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
- For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals.
- To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings.
- We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence.
For a supplement, little scientific support.
|3 Stars Alpha-Lipoic Acid 600 to 1,200 mg daily||Supplementing with alpha-lipoic acid may improve the symptoms of diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy). Alpha lipoic acid is an important nutrient for mitochondrial function. It has antioxidant properties and can act as a reducer of oxidized forms of vitamins C and E. A number of placebo-controlled clinical trials have found that supplementing with 600 to 1,200 mg of alpha-lipoic acid per day can improve the symptoms of diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy). Animal studies and early clinical research suggest alpha-lipoic acid may also help prevent diabetes-related damage to the small blood vessels and nerves in the eyes (diabetic retinopathy).|
|3 Stars Cayenne Topical (Diabetic Neuropathy) Apply an ointment containing 0.025 to 0.075% capsaicin four times daily to areas of nerve pain||Topically applied capsaicin (from cayenne) has been shown to relieve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Double-blind trials have shown that topical application of creams containing 0.025 to 0.075% capsaicin (from cayenne ) can relieve symptoms of diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy). Four or more applications per day may be required to relieve severe pain. This should be done only under a doctor’s supervision.|
|3 Stars Magnesium 200 to 600 mg daily||People with type 1 diabetes tend to have low magnesium levels and supplementing with magnesium may reduce the risk of deficiency-related problems, such as eye damage and neuropathy. People with type 1 diabetes often have low magnesium levels, and low magnesium status is correlated with poor glucose control and increased risk of complications. In magnesium-deficient pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, the lack of magnesium may even account for the high rate of miscarriages and birth defects associated with type 1 diabetes. Some studies have found that magnesium replenishment using supplements can improve blood glucose control and may reduce the risks of certain diabetes complications, such as cardiovascular disease and neuropathy, in children and adults with type 1 diabetes. Many doctors recommend that adults with type 1 diabetes and normal kidney function supplement with 200 to 600 mg of magnesium per day to maintain normal magnesium status; children with type 1 diabetes may benefit from a lower dose.|
|3 Stars Vitamin B12 1,500 micrograms daily||Supplementing with vitamin B12 may improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is needed for normal functioning of nerve cells and is also involved in homocysteine metabolism. People with type 1 diabetes have an increased risk of other disorders that can affect their B12 status, such as autoimmune gastritis, celiac disease, and pernicious anemia. Vitamin B12, taken at a dose of 1,500 micrograms per day for 24 weeks, has been found to reduce symptoms and disability due to diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy). In a preliminary trial that included 544 participants with diabetic neuropathy, supplementing with vitamin B12 (in the form of methylcobalamin) along with folic acid (in the form of methylfolate) and vitamin B6 (in the form of pyridoxal-5-phosphate) for 12 weeks was associated with a 35% drop in symptom scores and a 32% drop in pain scores. A comparison trial in 100 subjects with diabetic neuropathy found injections of B12 were more effective than the commonly used pain medication, nortriptyline, for treating symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. A number of other studies have shown B12, alone and in combination with other treatments such as alpha-lipoic acid and prostaglandin E1, can be beneficial in those with diabetic neuropathy. Oral vitamin B12 up to 1,500 micrograms per day is recommended by some practitioners.|
|3 Stars Vitamin B6 100 to 200 mg vitamin B6 daily||People with diabetes may have an increased need for vitamin B6. Supplementing with the vitamin may help maintain normal levels and prevent type 1 diabetes complications. People with type 1 diabetes may have impaired vitamin B6 metabolism, resulting in increased susceptibility to deficiency. Vitamin B6, along with other B vitamins, is critical for homocysteine metabolism and may thereby reduce their risk of vascular complications of diabetes, particularly diabetes-related kidney disease. Research in people with type 1 diabetes showed supplementation with B1, B6, and B12 lowered elevated homocysteine levels and improved kidney function. Vitamin B6 alone, at doses of 100 to 500 mg per day, also improved kidney function in a group of people with type 1 diabetes-related kidney impairment. In children with type 1 diabetes, taking 100 mg of B6 per day for eight weeks led to improvements in blood vessel function. The benefits of B6 in people with diabetes may also be related to its apparent ability to prevent the formation of damaging advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).|
|3 Stars Vitamin D Many doctors recommend a dose of 2,000 to 4,000 IU vitamin D daily, especially in the winter months||Vitamin D is needed to support healthy immune and pancreatic function. Supplementing with vitamin D may improve blood sugar control in those with type 1 diabetes, especially in those with low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is needed to regulate immune activity and research has shown it has an important role in preventing autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes. Vitamin D receptors have been found in the pancreas where insulin is made and some, but not all, preliminary evidence suggests that supplementation might reduce the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Case reports even suggest a combination of high-dose vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids may completely reverse the onset of type 1 diabetes. Vitamin D deficiency is common in people with type 1 diabetes and associated with poor glucose control. Supplementation with cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), in doses ranging from 2,000 IU per day to about 6,000 IU per day, has been shown in randomized controlled trials to slow the decline of pancreatic function in people with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes who have not yet suffered an extensive loss of pancreatic function. Furthermore, the majority of the research shows vitamin D3, in doses ranging from 2,000–10,000 IU per day, improves short and long term glycemic control in people with type 1 diabetes, particularly in those with low vitamin D status, possibly by preserving beta cell function and increasing insulin production.|
|2 Stars Acetyl-L-Carnitine (Diabetic Neuropathy) 500 to 1,000 mg three times daily||Taking acetyl-L-carnitine may improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. In a double-blind study of people with diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy), supplementing with acetyl-L-carnitine was significantly more effective than a placebo in improving subjective symptoms of neuropathy and objective measures of nerve function. People who received 1,000 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine three times per day tended to fare better than those who received 500 mg three times per day.|
|2 Stars Bilberry 160 mg twice daily of an herbal extract containing 25% anthocyanosides||Bilberry may lower the risk of some diabetic complications, such as diabetic cataracts and retinopathy. Animal research suggests bilberry extract may improve glycemic control and lower the risk of some diabetic complications, such as diabetic cataracts and retinopathy. Compounds called anthocyanins, found in bilberry and other dark berries, have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that appear to mitigate some of the negative impacts of chronically elevated glucose levels. One preliminary trial found that supplementation with a standardized extract of bilberry improved signs of retinal damage in some people with diabetic retinopathy.|
|2 Stars Biotin 16 mg daily||Biotin may improve glucose levels and reduce pain from diabetic nerve damage. Biotin is a B vitamin needed to process glucose. High doses of biotin have been suggested to reverse some of the negative effects of chronic low insulin levels on glucose metabolism. In a pilot trial, people with type 1 diabetes given 16 mg of biotin per day for one week experienced 50% reductions in fasting glucose levels. In a placebo-controlled trial, people with type 1 diabetes treated with biotin at doses of about 2–4 mg per day, depending on body weight, had improvements in blood glucose regulation and blood lipid levels after three months. Case reports suggest biotin may also reduce pain from diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy). Some doctors recommend a trial of 16 mg of biotin daily for a few weeks to see if blood sugar levels decrease.|
|2 Stars Chromium 200 mcg daily||Chromium has been shown to help improve glucose tolerance in people with type 1 diabetes. Chromium, a trace mineral that appears to increase the effectiveness of insulin, has been reported to improve blood glucose control in people with various forms of diabetes, including type 1 diabetes. Low chromium levels have been correlated with poor glucose control and human case studies and animal research suggest chromium supplementation may improve glycemic control and prevent some diabetic complications. The typical amount of chromium used in studies is 200 micrograms one to three times per day. Supplementation with chromium could potentially enhance the effects of drugs for diabetes (for example, insulin or other blood sugar-lowering agents) and possibly lead to hypoglycemia. Therefore, people with diabetes taking these medications should supplement with chromium only under the supervision of a doctor.|
|2 Stars Coenzyme Q10 100 mg daily||Supplementing with CoQ10 may improve blood sugar metabolism. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is needed for normal blood sugar metabolism. One research team reported that, in study subjects with vascular complications related to type 1 diabetes, adding CoQ10 to standard insulin therapy increased antioxidant status, reduced free radical damage to lipids, and improved blood vessel function. The same research group also reported that CoQ10 supplementation, at the unusually high dose of 1,000 mg per day, improved blood glucose control in those with type 1 diabetes-related kidney dysfunction. However, in a placebo-controlled trial, supplementation with 100 mg of CoQ10 per day for three months neither improved glucose control nor reduced the need for insulin in participants with type 1 diabetes. Although the potential benefits of CoQ10 supplements in treatment of type 1 diabetes remains uncertain, some doctors recommend taking 50–100 mg per day due to its likely ability to protect heart, blood vessel, and kidney health.|
|2 Stars Fenugreek 3 tablespoons of fenugreek powder with each meal||Fenugreek seeds are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower blood sugar by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and absorption. Fenugreek seeds are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower blood sugar by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and absorption. Fenugreek extract has also been shown to increase the number and function of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and improve blood sugar control, lipid levels, and antioxidant capacity in animal models of type 1 diabetes. In a controlled study in people with type 1 diabetes, incorporating powdered fenugreek seed into lunch and dinner meals (50 grams per meal) for ten days improved several measures of blood sugar control compared to a similar ten-day diet without added fenugreek.|
|2 Stars Fiber Refer to label instructions||Taking fiber supplements may help to stabilize your blood sugar. Dietary fiber has been found to have a small but notable positive impact on blood glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes. Clinical trials in people with type 1 diabetes suggest fiber supplements, when taken before meals, may reduce the post-meal rise in blood sugar. More research is needed to determine if regular use of fiber supplements benefits long-term blood sugar control in type 1 diabetes.|
|2 Stars Fish Oil 1,000 mg combined omega-3 fatty acids from fish, or 660 mg EPA alone, daily||Fish oil and its omega-3 fatty acid EPA may improve blood sugar control and help prevent complications of type 1 diabetes. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish are well known to reduce inflammatory immune activity and have beneficial effects in a range of autoimmune conditions. Observational research suggests higher levels during infancy and early childhood may be linked to lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes. One study done in Norway found that babies given cod liver oil regularly during the first year of life had a 26% lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes in childhood. However, not all studies have noted a connection between omega-3 fatty acids and type 1 diabetes risk, and some researchers have proposed the discrepancies may be explained by genetic factors affecting fatty acid metabolism. Higher intake of EPA, an omega-3 fatty acids from fish, has been correlated with better preservation of pancreatic cells that produce insulin and long-term blood glucose control in youth with type 1 diabetes. A small pilot trial found that supplementation with 630 mg of EPA and 330 mg of DHA (another omega-3 fatty acid from fish oil) per day improved blood glucose control in subjects with type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, better omega-3 fatty acid status may be helpful in slowing the progression of diabetes-associated complications such as kidney dysfunction and nerve pain. Although fish oil fatty acids generally have positive effects on triglyceride levels, some studies have found supplemental DHA can increase LDL- and total cholesterol, which may increase cardiac risk. For this reason, some doctors are wary of fish oil supplements for patients with type 1 diabetes and may recommend EPA-only supplements instead.|
|2 Stars Gymnema 400 mg daily||Gymnema may help normalize blood sugar control in people with type 1 diabetes. Test tube and animal studies have found several mechanisms by which gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) may help normalize blood sugar control in people with diabetes, including reducing glucose absorption in the intestines, and stimulating regeneration and activity of pancreatic cells that release insulin. In a controlled trial with people with type 1 diabetes, 400 mg per day of gymnema extract improved blood glucose control and reduced requirements for insulin. Some practitioners recommend using gymnema extracts standardized for their content of active constituents called gymnemic acids. Gymnema is not a substitute for insulin, but insulin amounts may need to be lowered in order to avoid hypoglycemia while taking gymnema.|
|2 Stars L-Carnitine 1,500 to 2,000 mg daily||Supplementing with acetyl l-carnitine may reduce symptoms of diabetic neuropathy in people with type 1 diabetes. Acetyl l-carnitine is an amino acid compound used to treat conditions affecting the brain and peripheral nervous system. Research reviews have concluded acetyl l-carnitine, in doses of at least 2 grams per day, can relieve pain and improve nerve function in those with diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy). A preliminary trial found 500 mg of acetyl l-carnitine three times daily for 24 weeks relieved symptoms of diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy) as effectively as vitamin B12.|
|2 Stars Sea Buckthorn Refer to label instructions||Animal and preliminary research suggests a connection between sea buckthorn and improved measures of blood sugar control. Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is a source of antioxidant polyphenols, and laboratory and animal studies suggest extracts from sea buckthorn have a positive impact on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. In one study, a sea buckthorn extract was found to lower the rise in blood glucose that occurs after a meal in healthy men. In a preliminary trial, children with type 1 diabetes who consumed a concentrated mixture of sea buckthorn berries and blueberries (concentration and relative proportions not stated) for two months had improved blood measures of glucose control. Double-blind research using sea buckthorn alone is needed to confirm these findings and to determine an effective per day amount of sea buckthorn.|
|2 Stars Selenium 100 to 200 micrograms daily||Selenium is an important antioxidant that, along with other antioxidant supplements, may help prevent complications in people with type 1 diabetes. Because oxidative damage is believed to play a role in the development of diabetic complications, such as eye damage (retinopathy), kidney damage (nephropathy), and nerve damage (neuropathy), antioxidant nutrients like selenium might play an important preventive role. In a placebo-controlled trial that included people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and related nephropathy, those given 200 micrograms of selenium per day for 12 weeks had increased antioxidant capacity but no change in markers of kidney function. One doctor reported administering a per day regimen of antioxidants including 500 micrograms selenium, plus 800 IU vitamin E, 10,000 IU vitamin A, and 1,000 mg vitamin C, per day for several years to 20 people with diabetic eye damage (retinopathy). During that time, the doctor observed that 19 of the 20 people showed either improvement or no progression of their retinopathy. In a three-month study, taking supplements providing 100 micrograms selenium, 600 mg alpha-lipoic acid, and 1,200 IU vitamin E per day resulted in improvements in neuropathy symptoms in those with long-standing diabetes. People who wish to supplement with more than 250 mcg of selenium per day should consult a healthcare practitioner.|
|2 Stars Taurine 500 mg three times daily||Supplementing with taurine has been found to improve blood vessel function in people with type 1 diabetes. Taurine is an amino acid that is not used in protein synthesis but serves other functions in the body. Because of its role in cardiovascular and nervous system health, it may be an important nutrient for people with type 1 diabetes. A small crossover trial with nine young men with type 1 diabetes found, compared to placebo, supplementing with 500 mg taurine three times per day for two weeks reduced arterial stiffness and increased the blood vessel dilation response to higher blood flow, indicating taurine improved their vascular function. Findings from animal studies suggest taurine supplementation may improve heart and blood vessel dysfunction associated with type 1 diabetes. Evidence from laboratory studies also suggests taurine may prevent or reverse damage to insulin-producing pancreatic cells. Taurine also reduced diabetes-related penile muscle scarring and erectile dysfunction in a rat model of type 1 diabetes.|
|2 Stars Vitamin B1 25 mg vitamin B1 with 50 mg of vitamin B6 daily or 600 mg lipid-soluble thiamine (benfotiamine) daily||People with type 1 diabetes may be deficient in vitamin B1. Supplementing with vitamin B1 may restore levels and improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Blood levels of vitamin B1 (thiamine) have been found to be low in people with type 1 diabetes, and low levels are correlated with greater risk of diabetes-related anemia and other complications. Supplementing with B1, along with vitamins B6 and B12, was found to reduce high levels of homocysteine in children type 1 diabetes in one placebo-controlled trial. High homocysteine levels are generally correlated with blood vessel dysfunction and reducing high levels may help prevent vascular complications of diabetes. In this trial, improvement in markers of kidney function were also seen. Several controlled trials have evaluated the effect of benfotiamine, a fat-soluble form of vitamin B1, on diabetic neuropathy in participants with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In one of these trials, 600 mg per day of benfotiamine was more effective than 300 mg per day or placebo for reducing neuropathic pain after six weeks; in a three-week trial, those receiving 400 mg per day of benfotiamine had greater pain reduction than those receiving placebo. However, 300 mg of benfotiamine daily had no benefits on nerve function relative to placebo in people with type 1 diabetes after 24 months, suggesting this dose may be too low to be helpful.|
|2 Stars Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner||Taking vitamin B3 (as niacin or niacinamide) might prevent or limit the severity of type 1 diabetes. High doses of niacin (a form of vitamin B3), such as 2 to 3 grams per day, are sometimes recommended to lower high triglyceride and cholesterol levels in people with type 1 diabetes. However, niacin’s ability to reduce cardiovascular risk in the context of type 1 diabetes has not been established. It is important to note that niacin doses this high, particularly in extended release formulations, may cause flushing, stomach upset, and liver toxicity, and should be used by people with diabetes only with medical supervision. Animal research suggests that niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 with fewer side effects, may prevent toxic damage to the pancreatic cells that make insulin. Although one intriguing study found niacinamide supplementation was associated with a lower incidence of type 1 diabetes in children at high risk, more recent studies have not confirmed a protective effect. A controlled clinical trial in subjects with recently diagnosed type 1 diabetes found the addition of niacinamide (25 mg per day per kg of body weight; approximately 2–3 grams per day) to intensive insulin treatment led to greater improvement in HgA1c over two years, but other clinical trials have found no benefit on glucose metabolism in similar subjects.|
|2 Stars Vitamin C 1,000 mg vitamin C plus 400 IU vitamin E daily||Supplementing with vitamin C may benefit people with type 1 diabetes by preventing free radical damage and protecting blood vessels. Vitamin C is important for lowering oxidative stress and preventing oxidative tissue damage linked to high glucose levels in people with diabetes. Vitamin C levels have been found to be lower in people with type 1 diabetes compared to healthy people, and low levels have been correlated with markers of decreased cardiovascular health in those with type 1 diabetes. In addition, because vitamin C uptake by cells is enhanced by insulin and suppressed by high glucose levels, people with type 1 diabetes have more difficulty meeting their cellular and tissue needs for vitamin C. In a placebo-controlled trial, 1,000 mg vitamin C along with 800 IU vitamin E per day for six months improved blood vessel function in participants with type 1 diabetes. Another placebo-controlled trial found the high dose of 6 grams of vitamin C per day for six months improved markers of capillary health. Several studies show vitamin C may protect blood vessels from free radical damage during the vulnerable periods of high blood glucose in subjects with type 1 diabetes. A small one-month study in children with type 1 diabetes found no effect of supplementation with 250 mg per day of vitamin C on vascular health. Another trial in nine type 1 diabetes-affected adolescents investigated doses of vitamin C ranging from 250–750 mg per day, depending on weight, combined with vitamin E for six weeks and saw no change in vascular function. Whether these negative findings reflect study factors such as low dose, short duration, and small number of participants is unclear.|
|2 Stars Vitamin E (Diabetic Retinopathy) 1800 IU daily||Supplementing with vitamin E may combat free radicals associated with diabetic retinopathy. People with low blood levels of vitamin E are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes, but no studies have been done using vitamin E supplements to try to prevent type 1 diabetes. Animal and preliminary human data indicate that vitamin E supplementation may protect against diabetic eye damage and nephropathy, serious complications of diabetes involving the eyes and kidneys, respectively, though no long-term trials in humans have confirmed this preliminary evidence. Glycosylation is an important measurement of diabetes; it refers to how much sugar attaches abnormally to proteins. Excessive glycosylation appears to be one of the causes of the organ damage that occurs in diabetes. Vitamin E supplementation has reduced the amount of glycosylation in many,although not all, studies of people with type 1 diabetes.|
|2 Stars Vitamin E (Diabetic Nephropathy) 900 to 1,800 IU daily||Vitamin E supplementation may protect against diabetic neuropathy. People with low blood levels of vitamin E are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes, but no studies have been done using vitamin E supplements to try to prevent type 1 diabetes. Animal and preliminary human data indicate that vitamin E supplementation may protect against diabetic eye damage and nephropathy, serious complications of diabetes involving the eyes and kidneys, respectively, though no long-term trials in humans have confirmed this preliminary evidence. Glycosylation is an important measurement of diabetes; it refers to how much sugar attaches abnormally to proteins. Excessive glycosylation appears to be one of the causes of the organ damage that occurs in diabetes. Vitamin E supplementation has reduced the amount of glycosylation in many,although not all, studies of people with type 1 diabetes.|
|1 Star Açaí Refer to label instructions||Açaí is rich in antioxidants and has been used traditionally to treat diabetes. Açaí is reported to be a traditional remedy for diabetes. Oxidative stress may contribute to diabetes onset and its complications, and açaí is rich in antioxidant polyphenols such as anthocyanins. Studies in people without diabetes show açaí consumption can raise antioxidant status in the body and improve lipid levels and blood vessel function. In animal research, açaí extract reduced diabetes-related kidney damage and dysfunction; however, direct evidence for açaí’s benefits in people with type 1 diabetes is lacking.|
|1 Star Amylase Inhibitors Refer to label instructions||Amylase inhibitors, taken with meals, may reduce the usual rise in blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Substances that inhibit amylase, the digestive enzyme required to break down dietary starches into absorbable glucose units, can reduce the usual post-meal rise in blood sugar levels in both healthy people and people with diabetes. Amylase inhibitors occur naturally in foods such as whole grains and legumes, as well as in many culinary herbs and spices and medicinal herbs, possibly contributing to their anti-diabetic effects. While some food and herbal extracts with amylase-inhibiting effects have shown promise in animal research, their benefits for type 1 diabetes await confirmation in clinical trials.|
|1 Star Asian Ginseng Refer to label instructions||Asian ginseng is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat diabetes. Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat diabetes. It has been shown in test tube and animal studies to enhance the release of insulin from the pancreas and increase the number of insulin receptors. Asian ginseng and its active constituents have also been found to improve blood glucose control and reduce complications in animal models of type 1 diabetes. Clinical trials in people with type 1 diabetes are needed to confirm these findings.|
|1 Star Evening Primrose Oil Refer to label instructions||Evening primrose oil may relieve nerve pain in those with type 1 diabetes. Supplementing with evening primrose oil providing 360–480 mg of gamma-linolenic acid per day for six months has been found in double-blind research to improve nerve function and relieve pain in people with diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy). However, one of the investigators involved in these clinical trials was subsequently found by the professional conduct committee of the General Medical Council (United Kingdom) to have falsified the results of his research. In the absence of more recent clinical trials, it is not clear whether evening primrose oil or GLA is of any value for patients with diabetic neuropathy.|
|1 Star Ginkgo Refer to label instructions||Ginkgo may improve metabolism and help prevent complications of type 1 diabetes. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) extract may be useful to people with type 1 diabetes because of its abilities to raise antioxidant capacity and reduce inflammatory signaling. A standardized ginkgo extract was found to improve insulin production and glucose metabolism and decrease triglyceride levels in an animal model of type 1 diabetes. Preliminary evidence from a trial in subjects with long-standing type 1 diabetes suggests it may have a role in protecting vision. Other animal research and a single small, uncontrolled, pilot trial indicate ginkgo may protect nerve function and prove useful for prevention and treatment of diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy).|
|1 Star Glucomannan Refer to label instructions||Glucomannan delays stomach emptying, leading to more gradual sugar absorption and possibly lowering insulin requirements for people with type 1 diabetes. Glucomannan is a water-soluble dietary fiber derived from konjac root (Amorphophallus konjac). Glucomannan delays stomach emptying, leading to a more gradual rise in glucose levels after eating carbohydrates. This could result in reduced need for insulin after meals in people with type 1 diabetes. In addition, glucomannan has positive effects on carbohydrate and fat metabolism, as well as the gut microbiota. These properties could lead to benefits in people with type 1 diabetes, but no research has been done to test this possibility.|
|1 Star Hibiscus Refer to label instructions||Hibiscus is a traditional remedy in India for diabetes. Hibiscus is a traditional remedy in India for diabetes. Animal research suggests hibiscus extract may stimulate regeneration of pancreatic cells that produce insulin, reduce high glucose and lipid levels, and protect against damage to the heart and kidneys induced by type 1 diabetes. Hibiscus is usually taken as tea, 1 to 2 teaspoons (3 to 6 grams) of dried flower infused into 1 cup (250 ml) of water, three times per day.|
|1 Star Inositol Refer to label instructions||Supplementing with inositol may improve diabetic neuropathy. Inositol, particularly in the forms myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol, has many functions in the body, including assisting in normal cellular responsiveness to insulin. A gene alteration that affects inositol metabolism may be associated with risk of type 1 diabetes and its complications, and people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have been found to lose more myo-inositol in their urine compared to those without diabetes. In one small pilot trial in seven people with type 1 diabetes, inositol supplementation (500 mg taken twice per day for two weeks) led to improved nerve function; however, two placebo-controlled trials failed to find a benefit.|
|1 Star Manganese Refer to label instructions||Supplementing with manganese may increase antioxidant defenses and improve blood sugar control in those with type 1 diabetes. Manganese is involved in the activity of an important antioxidant enzyme system in the body. A genetic variant linked to reduced activity of this enzymes system has been implicated as a factor in the development of type 1 diabetes and its complications. Low blood levels of manganese have been reported in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Animal research suggests that manganese supplementation can improve the functioning of this enzyme system, increase insulin secretion, and improve glucose metabolism. One team of researchers reported on a case of a young adult with insulin-dependent diabetes who received oral manganese (3 to 5 mg per day as manganese chloride) and experienced a significant fall in blood glucose, sometimes to dangerously low levels; however, three other people with type 1 diabetes they treated with manganese supplementation had no change in blood glucose levels. People with type 1 diabetes wishing to supplement with manganese should do so only with a doctor’s close supervision.|
|1 Star Mistletoe Refer to label instructions||Mistletoe extract has been found to stimulate insulin release from pancreas cells and improve health in animal models of diabetes. Mistletoe extract has been shown to stimulate insulin release from pancreas cells. Research in type 1 diabetic animals found that treatment with mistletoe extract reduced metabolic disturbances and improved general health. No research in humans has yet been published; however, given mistletoe’s worldwide reputation as a traditional remedy for diabetes, clinical trials are warranted to validate these promising preliminary findings. Traditionally, mistletoe is prepared by soaking 2 to 4 teaspoons (5 to 12 grams) of chopped mistletoe in 2 cups (500 ml) of water overnight. The mixture is drunk first thing in the morning and sweetened with honey if desired. Another batch may be left to steep during the day and drunk at bedtime.|
|1 Star Olive Leaf Refer to label instructions||Olive leaf extracts have been shown to improve blood sugar control in animals with diabetes. Olive leaf extract has been shown to reduce oxidative stress, inflammatory signaling, and autoimmune activity, and to improve glucose metabolism and protect pancreatic cells in animal models of type 1 diabetes. These results have not yet been reproduced in human clinical trials.|
|1 Star Onion Refer to label instructions||Research in laboratory animals suggests onion and its active constituents may lower blood glucose levels, raise insulin levels, reduce advanced glycation end-product (AGE) formation, and possibly prevent diabetes complications. Research in laboratory animals suggests onion and its active constituents may lower blood glucose levels, raise insulin levels, reduce advanced glycation end-product (AGE) formation, and possibly prevent diabetes complications. In one preliminary trial, people with type 1 diabetes had lower blood glucose levels four hours after eating about three ounces of raw onion than after receiving water.|
|1 Star Quercetin Refer to label instructions||Quercetin has been found to improve blood sugar control and prevent complications of diabetes in animal research. Quercetin has demonstrated multiple actions that may benefit people with type 1 diabetes, including reducing glucose absorption, increasing insulin release, and promoting glucose uptake by cells. Despite a wealth of animal studies indicating its potential in prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications, clinical trials have not yet been performed to explore whether quercetin actually benefits people with diabetes.|
|1 Star Reishi Refer to label instructions||Reishi may improve immune function and has demonstrated benefits in diabetic animals. Animal studies suggest reishi extract may improve immune function and wound healing in the context of type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, reishi has demonstrated anti-diabetic actions, such as lowering high glucose levels and increasing insulin levels, in animal studies. Clinical trials are needed to confirm these effects in humans.|
|1 Star Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E (Diabetic Retinopathy) Refer to label instructions||Antioxidant nutrients including selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E may combat free radicals associated with diabetic retinopathy. Because oxidation damage is believed to play a role in the development of diabetic eye damage ( retinopathy ), antioxidant nutrients might be protective. One doctor has administered a daily regimen of 500 mcg selenium, 800 IU vitamin E, 10,000 IU vitamin A, and 1,000 mg vitamin C for several years to 20 people with diabetic eye damage ( retinopathy ). During that time, 19 of the 20 people showed either improvement or no progression of their retinopathy. People who wish to supplement with more than 250 mcg of selenium per day should consult a healthcare practitioner.|
|1 Star Zinc 15 mg daily||Supplementing with zinc may lower blood sugar levels and improve immune function in people with type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes may be more likely to be zinc-deficient than their healthy counterparts. Low zinc status leads to impaired immune function and increased oxidative stress and has been linked to poorer glucose control. Zinc supplements have been found to increase antioxidant capacity and reduce lipid peroxidation in people with type 1 diabetes. Despite evidence that zinc may be beneficial in people with type 1 diabetes, some doctors remain skeptical of high doses due to one 1994 study in which zinc supplementation, at a dose of 50 mg per day for 28 days, increased glycosylation (glucose-induced protein damage). This trial is hard to evaluate because zinc supplementation increases the life of blood cells and such an effect artificially increases the lab test results for glycosylation. In fact, laboratory studies suggest zinc can inhibit glycation. Until this issue is resolved, those with type 1 diabetes should consult a doctor before considering high-dose supplementation with zinc.|
How close are we to a cure for diabetes?
Is there a cure for type 1 diabetes? – In type 1 diabetes, insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed by the immune system. This means you can’t make the insulin you need to live. To stop type 1 diabetes we need to disrupt the immune system’s attack on beta cells.
Does diabetes type 1 shorten lifespan?
Challenges of Aging with Type 1 Diabetes – Dr. Prieto explained that people with diabetes have similar issues of aging compared to others, “but with the potential added burdens of heart disease as noted above, as well as an increased risk of kidney disease/kidney failure, life threatening hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar), and loss of vision due to retinopathy.” These risks can be minimized with the best treatment and close monitoring.
Narayan KMV, Boyle JP, Thompson TJ, et al. Lifetime Risk for Diabetes Mellitus in the United States. JAMA,2003;290(14):1884–1890. doi:10.1001/jama.290.14.1884. Livingstone SJ, Levin D, Looker HC, et al. Estimated Life Expectancy in a Scottish Cohort With Type 1 Diabetes, 2008-2010. JAMA,2015;313(1):37–44. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.16425. Heald, A.H., Stedman, M., Davies, M., Livingston, M., Alshames, R., Lunt, M., Rayman, G., & Gadsby, R. (2020). Estimating life years lost to diabetes: outcomes from analysis of National Diabetes Audit and Office of National Statistics data, Cardiovascular Endocrinology & Metabolism, 9(4), 183-185. https://doi.org/10.1097/XCE.0000000000000210, Tran-Duy A, Knight J, Clarke PM, et al. Development of a life expectancy table for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Diabetologia,2021 Oct;64(10):2228-2236. doi: 10.1007/s00125-021-05503-6. Epub 2021 Jul 26. PMID: 34309688; PMCID: PMC8310903. Secrest AM, Washington RE, Orchard TJ. Mortality in Type 1 Diabetes. In: Cowie CC, Casagrande SS, Menke A, et al., editors. Diabetes in America,3rd edition. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (US); 2018 Aug. CHAPTER 35. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK567986/ Lung TW, Hayes AJ, Herman WH, et al. A meta-analysis of the relative risk of mortality for type 1 diabetes patients compared to the general population: exploring temporal changes in relative mortality. PLoS One,2014 Nov 26;9(11):e113635. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113635. PMID: 25426948; PMCID: PMC4245211. Ioacara S, Lichiardopol R, Ionescu-Tirgoviste C, et al. Improvements in life expectancy in type 1 diabetes patients in the last six decades. Diabetes Res Clin Pract,2009 Nov;86(2):146-51. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2009.08.012. Epub 2009 Sep 23. PMID: 19783316. Writing Group for the DCCT/EDIC Research Group. Association Between 7 Years of Intensive Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes and Long-term Mortality. JAMA,2015;313(1):45–53. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.16107. Diabetes Report Card: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/reports/reportcard.html
Notes: This article was originally published November 16, 2022 and most recently updated December 12, 2022, Margaret M. Burke, PharmD, BCPPS, is a pharmacist, medical writer, and educator with 30+ years of clinical experience.
Can a type 1 diabetic live a long life?
People with type 1 diabetes are living longer – Harvard Health Better blood sugar control may be the key to longer survival Ninety years ago, type 1 diabetes was a death sentence: half of people who developed it died within two years; more than 90% were dead within five years.
Thanks to the introduction of insulin therapy in 1922, and numerous advances since then, many people with type 1 diabetes now live into their 50s and beyond. But survival in this group still falls short of that among people without diabetes. shows that at the age of 20, individuals with type 1 diabetes on average lived 12 fewer years than 20-year-olds without it.
showed that people with type 1 diabetes with better blood sugar control lived longer than those with poorer blood sugar control.
How serious is type 1 diabetes?
Treating type 1 diabetes – It’s important that diabetes is diagnosed as early as possible. If left untreated, type-1 diabetes is a life-threatening condition. It’s essential that treatment is started early. Diabetes can’t be cured, but treatment aims to keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible and control your symptoms, to prevent health problems developing later in life.
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll be referred to a diabetes care team for specialist treatment and monitoring. As your body can’t produce insulin, you’ll need regular insulin injections to keep your glucose levels normal. You’ll be taught how to do this and how to match the insulin you inject to the food (carbohydrate) you eat, taking into account your blood glucose level and how much exercise you do.
Insulin injections come in several different forms, with each working slightly differently. You’ll most likely need a combination of different insulin preparations. Insulin is given to some patients by a continuous infusion of fast (rapid) acting insulin (pump therapy).
islet cell transplantation – where healthy insulin-producing cells from the pancreas of a deceased donor are implanted into the pancreas of someone with type 1 diabetes a complete pancreas transplant – this is still relatively rare and only a few centres of excellence offer this.
Read more about diagnosing diabetes and treating type 1 diabetes
Can type 1 diabetics donate blood?
ALERT: Due to the inclement weather across much of the country, Medtronic deliveries are currently experiencing delays and there will be longer than normal hold times on the phone. Visit www.Diabetes.shop if you need to place an order, get a sensor or belt clip replacement, or check the status of your supply order. X Donating blood is a selfless way to help others. A variety of medical conditions require regular blood transfusions — and regular blood donations make this possible. But people with diabetes should carefully consider any medical procedures involving blood, as their health depends on stable blood glucose and insulin levels.
- The good news is that people with diabetes who maintain their blood glucose levels are at lower risk for blood sugar complications.
- That means you can donate blood with diabetes safely.
- Still, there are a few more factors to consider before deciding to donate.
- If you are unsure, check with your HCP before heading to your local blood drive.
Blood donation basics According to the American Red Cross, blood donation is safe, sterile, and easy. It takes only 10 to 15 minutes to donate one pint of blood. There are roughly 10 pints of blood in the human body! Each blood donation is accompanied by:
Registration A review of your medical history A short physical
During the physical, donation staff will check your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and hemoglobin. It is during this stage that you should let them know you have diabetes so they can monitor for complications. Donating blood when you have diabetes People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes can donate blood, provided they are in good health.
Maintaining a clean bill of health Being free from illnesses like the flu Weighing more than 110 pounds Meeting the minimum age requirement according to state law
Researchers also found that A1C levels in people with diabetes can be affected up to two months after donation. That won’t stop people with diabetes from donating, but it may limit how often they can and should do it. Talk to your HCP If you want to donate blood with diabetes, there are two roadblocks you could encounter:
Consistent blood sugar fluctuations: The American Red Cross allows people with diabetes, including those who take insulin, to donate blood as long as their diabetes is ” well controlled,” It is likely that the attending physician at a blood donation facility will ask about recent bouts of diabetic ketoacidosis or hypoglycemia to determine eligibility. Using bovine insulin: Although this form of insulin is not commonly used anymore in favor of synthetic insulin, people using bovine insulin are not eligible to donate.
If you would like to donate blood but don’t meet the criteria, talk to your health care provider about ways you can improve your diabetes management. Tags: blood donation, blood donor, blood sugar, diabetes, diabetes advocacy, diabetes awareness, diabetes care, diabetes community, diabetes management, donating blood, living with diabetes
Why do people get type 1 diabetes?
What causes type 1 diabetes? – Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system, the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin -producing beta cells of the pancreas, Scientists think type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease.
Can stress cause diabetes 1?
How stress can affect diabetes – If you’re feeling stressed, your body releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. This should give you an energy boost for a ‘fight or flight’ response. But the hormones actually make it harder for insulin to work properly, known as insulin resistance,
As energy can’t get into your cells, your blood sugar levels rise. If your blood sugar levels go too high, it’s called going hyper (full name hyperglycaemia). We’ve got more information about hypers, how to avoid them and how they’re treated, If stress doesn’t go away, it can keep your blood sugar levels high and put you at higher risk of diabetes complications,
It can also affect your mood and how you look after yourself, which can start to affect your emotional health. But there are things you can do to take the pressure off,
Is fasting good for type 1 diabetes?
Aims: Fasting is common in several religions. The aims of this study were to determine if prolonged fasting (> 25 h) is safe for individuals with Type 1 diabetes and to identify factors associated with success. Methods: Patients intending to fast were instructed on insulin dose adjustments, frequent glucose monitoring and when to terminate the fast using a standard protocol. Clinical and epidemiological factors were recorded and a comparison was made between successful and unsuccessful fasters. Results: Of 56 subjects who intended to fast, 37 (65%) were successful. Individuals terminated their fast in the presence of either hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia and adherence to the protocol was high. There were no serious side-effects of fasting. Successful fasters had greater reductions in insulin dosage and higher HbA(1c). There were no differences between individuals taking intermittent insulin injections and those with continuous infusion pumps. Conclusions: Persons with Type 1 diabetes can participate safely in prolonged fasts provided they reduce their usual insulin dose significantly and adhere to guidelines regarding glucose monitoring and indications for terminating fasting.
What foods repair the pancreas?
– To get your pancreas healthy, focus on foods that are rich in protein, low in animal fats, and contain antioxidants. Try lean meats, beans and lentils, clear soups, and dairy alternatives (such as flax milk and almond milk). Your pancreas won’t have to work as hard to process these.
Research suggests that some people with pancreatitis can tolerate up to 30 to 40% of calories from fat when it’s from whole-food plant sources or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Others do better with much lower fat intake, such as 50 grams or less per day. Spinach, blueberries, cherries, and whole grains can work to protect your digestion and fight the free radicals that damage your organs.
If you’re craving something sweet, reach for fruit instead of added sugars since those with pancreatitis are at high risk for diabetes. Consider cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and hummus, and fruit as your go-to snacks. Your pancreas will thank you.
Can fasting repair pancreas?
Image source, SPL The pancreas can be triggered to regenerate itself through a type of fasting diet, say US researchers. Restoring the function of the organ – which helps control blood sugar levels – reversed symptoms of diabetes in animal experiments.
The study, published in the journal Cell, says the diet reboots the body. Experts said the findings were “potentially very exciting” as they could become a new treatment for the disease. People are advised not to try this without medical advice. In the experiments, mice were put on a modified form of the “fasting-mimicking diet”.
It is like the human form of the diet when people spend five days on a low-calorie, low-protein, low-carbohydrate but high unsaturated-fat diet. It resembles a vegan diet with nuts and soups, but with around 800 to 1,100 calories a day. Then they have 25 days eating what they want – so overall it mimics periods of feast and famine.
Can vitamin D reverse type 1 diabetes?
Unique Statistics: – Full-Text HTML Views: 1774 Abstract HTML Views: 539 PDF Downloads: 274 ePub Downloads: 228 Total Views/Downloads: 2815 * Address correspondence to this author at the Division of Pediatrics, Department of Health Sciences, University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy; Tel: 003903213733793; E-mail: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in bone metabolism but is also endowed with the capability of modulating inflammatory and immune function.
Recent studies reported a relationship between low vitamin D levels and several autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 Diabetes. Vitamin D regulates the expression of over 200 genes, also related to immune modulation, suggesting a putative role in these diseases pathogenesis. This review overviews the most recent advances on the association between vitamin D and increased risk of Type 1 Diabetes as well as between vitamin D and either glucose homeostasis or insulin sensitivity.
The effects of vitamin D in modulating the immune response and balancing anti-inflammatory cytokines, suggest that vitamin D system may represent an unforeseen target for the design of novel strategies for the treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases and in particular Type 1 Diabetes.
- Eywords: Childhood, Type 1 Diabetes, Autoimmune Disease, Vitamin D, Glycemic control, Extra-skeletal effects.
- T1D is a chronic immune-mediated disease characterized by selective loss of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells that occurs in genetically susceptible individuals,
- However, the low concordance rate among homozygote twins suggests that environmental factors might play a pivotal role in triggering beta cells destruction and clinical manifestations (Fig.).
Mounting evidences suggest a putative role of several agents, among which vitamin D seems to be involved. Beyond its pivotal role in regulating calcium and bone homeostasis, vitamin D exerts an action on the regulation of both innate and adaptive immunity as well as on cardiovascular and metabolic functions as VDR is nearly ubiquitously expressed in nucleated cells, in particular pancreatic beta cells, and in insulin responsive tissues such as skeletal muscle, myocardium and adipose tissue,
- In addition, a relationship between low vitamin D levels and the development and the severity of several autoimmune diseases such as RA, MS, SLE, IBDs, and T1D, has been reported,
- This review provides a summary of the actual knowledge of the role of vitamin D in preventing and treating T1D.
- Since a higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency has been reported in patients with T1D compared with the general population,
Furthermore, we discuss whether vitamin D supplementation may influence the immune regulation and the subsequent progression to T1D, in genetically susceptible individuals. A first evidence of vitamin D involvement in immune modulation derived from the isolation of the VDR in mononuclear cells.
|Fig. (1). Timing in the development of Type 1 Diabetes.|
Vitamin D enhances chemotaxis and phagocytic capabilities of macrophages and monocytes, which are important effector cells, fighting against pathogens. Furthermore, 1-25(OH) 2 D and the VDR activate the transcription of antimicrobial peptides such as defensin β2 and cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide via toll-like receptor signaling and the production of other cytokines such as INF-γ and IL-4 so 1-25(OH) 2 D is essential for effective pathogen clearance. In the later stages of infection, 1-25(OH)2D plays a role in the contraction of the immune response and has an anti-inflammatory effect on macrophages characterized by a decreased production of pro-inflammatory factors and an increased production of anti-inflammatory, promoting the macrophages M2 phenotype while inhibiting the M1 phenotype and thereby restoring the balance between these subsets, Moreover, monocytes and other innate APCs, in particular DCs, are important targets for the immunemodulatory effects of vitamin D. DCs are crucial in initiating effective adaptive immune responses against pathogens, and for maintaining self-tolerance and immune homeostasis.1-25(OH)2D induces an immature-like tolerogenic state in DCs characterized by decreased production of pro-inflammatory factors like IL-12 and TNFα and increased anti-inflammatory IL-10 production, These tolerogenic DCs are less able to promote the proliferation and cytokine production of pro-inflammatory T cells, while they enhance the differentiation of Treg cells and induce the apoptosis of autoreactive T cells, Interestingly, a positive autocrine loop exists in DCs and other immune cells, which allows to activate locally vitamin D because these cells express the enzyme CYP27B1, This expression leads to achieve a high local concentration of the active form of vitamin D, required for immunomodulatory effects. Early studies investigating the effects of vitamin D on adaptive immune system demonstrated the expression of the VDR and vitamin D-activating enzymes in both T- and B cells. In B cells, 1-25(OH) 2 D inhibits the proliferation and induces apoptosis; furthermore, it leads to the inhibition of plasma cells and the differentiation of post-switch memory B cells, and significantly reduces immunoglobulin secretion, The other major type of adaptive immune cells, T cells, is also an important target for the immunomodulatory effect of vitamin D. In this context it influences cell proliferation and differentiation, and modulates their cytokine production leading to a shift from a proinflammatory to a more tolerogenic immune status.1-25(OH) 2 D acts as an inhibitor of T cells cytotoxic activity, by suppressing Fas-Ligand expression in activated T cells, Moreover, it drives CD4+ differentiation suppressing Th1 and Th17 functions and enhancing a more favorable and less inflammatory Th 2 or Treg phenotype, Despite the consistent body of evidence provided by in vitro studies, the role of vitamin D in the development and treatment of autoimmune conditions is still largely debated and in vivo studies are less conclusive. Beyond its immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory action, Vitamin D also promotes pancreatic beta cell function via different mechanisms. Firstly, it exerts a direct action enhancing insulin secretion and beta cell survival by inactivation of NF-κb and other cytokines and exerting an anti-apoptotic effect via the down regulation of Fas-Ligand, Furthermore, vitamin D could indirectly affect insulin secretion by regulating intracellular calcium. In fact, insulin secretion is a calcium-dependent process and is influenced by calcium flux through the cell membrane. Vitamin D regulates calbindin, a cytosolic calcium-binding protein found in beta cells, Moreover, vitamin D influences intracellular calcium even in insulin responsive tissues, such as skeletal muscle and adipose tissue, promoting insulin sensitivity. At this level, vitamin D enhances insulin sensitivity also by directly stimulating the expression of insulin receptors and/or by activating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-δ, Finally, vitamin D inhibits rennin formation and local rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone system that impairs the action of insulin in vascular and skeletal muscle tissue leading to altered glucose uptake and insulin resistance, Autoimmune diseases are the result of a loss of immune homeostasis and an altered self-antigen recognition leading to the destruction of body tissues by autoreactive immune cells. The pathogenesis of these diseases is multifactorial and involves a combination of genetic predisposition, epidemiological risk factors and environmental contributors. One important factor may be the availability of sufficient vitamin D levels. In this context, in vivo studies with animal models of various autoimmune diseases showed that supplementation with 1-25(OH) 2 D could prevent the initiation and the progression of experimental models of MS and RA, decreases the incidence of diabetes and the severity of IBDs and SLE, From the other side, VDR and vitamin D deficiency have been correlated with a worsening of arthritis and IBDs severity, In humans, the fist body of evidences derives from the inverse relationship between UV exposure and the prevalence of some autoimmune diseases like T1D, IBDs, and MS, Furthermore, the incidence of RA and T1D decreases after vitamin D supplementation, Moreover, a normal vitamin D status is paramount in preventing RA related osteoporosis and the correction of a deficient vitamin D status should be suggested to each rheumatic patient, However, investigating the relationship between vitamin D intake and the prevalence of autoimmunity is challenging because dietary intake and UV exposure are estimated. Therefore, many studies focused on the correlation between serum 25(OH)D levels and autoimmune diseases. In fact, patients with autoimmune diseases, like MS, RA, T1D, and IBDs had lower 25(OH)D levels compared with controls and higher disease activity, Furthermore, some VDR polymorphisms have been associated with the risk of developing autoimmune diseases, In conclusion, autoimmunity has been related with vitamin D deficiency, intake, UV exposure, and VDR polymorphisms and, in experimental models, 1-25(OH) 2 D supplementation shows promising results. Although human studies are still inconclusive, these data warrant further investigation to establish if at-risk subjects could benefit from vitamin D treatment and more randomized-controlled trials are still needed. Besides the well-established association with HLA genes, more than 40 non-HLA genes, putatively linked to T1D, have been identified through a whole genome SNPs genotyping approach, most of them involved in vitamin D functions and immune regulation, In particular, alterations or polymorphisms in the genes coding for VDBP, VDR or enzymes involved in 1-25(OH) 2 D activation have been studied in T1D individuals. Conflicting results come from the association studies between polymorphisms in the genes involved in vitamin D function and T1D. In fact, an association between VDR polymorphisms and T1D, has been reported in Chilean, German and Taiwanese, but not in Portuguese and Finnish populations, More recently, a meta-analysis reported an association between the SNPs BsmI and Taq in the VDR gene and the susceptibility to T1D in children, Consistently, a systematic review by Tizaoui et al, suggested that VDR polymorphisms are involved in T1D pathogenesis, An association between low levels of VDBP and T1D has been described by Blanton et al,, although it is still unclear whether it could be related to VDBP polymorphisms, By contrast, studies on the relationship between CYP2R1 and CYP27B1, two hydroxylase involved in vitamin D pathway, and T1D susceptibility, led to conflicting results in different ethnic groups, A recent meta-analysis concluded that several genes of the vitamin D system show a significant association with T1D, highlighting a predisposing role for VDR polymorphisms and for the CYP27B1 gene, which encodes the main enzyme for vitamin D activation. In addition, Norris et al, have recently reported the association between plasma 25(OH)D concentrations and islet IA in children at increased genetic risk of T1D. Such an association was modified by VDR rs7975232, as increased 25(OH)D was related to reduced IA risk, A birth-cohort study in 10366 northern Finnish infants who received cholecalciferol supplementation since one year of age, revealed, irrespective of dose, and regardless baseline 25(OH)D status, a reduced risk of developing T1D throughout adulthood. Furthermore, in children who received at least the recommended vitamin D dose (2000 units/day) regularly, this risk was reduced by about 80%, A systematic review and meta-analysis of four case-control studies and one cohort study concluded that vitamin D supplementation could significantly reduce the risk of developing T1D, as vitamin D supplemented children had a 29% reduction in the risk of developing T1D compared to their unsupplemented peers. Moreover, there was some evidence of a dose-response effect, with those using higher amounts showing a lower risk of developing T1D and a suggestion that also the timing of supplementation might influence the subsequent risk. Such a reduced risk was also revealed in a cohort of patients with early diagnosis of rickets who were prone to develop T1D, A recent meta-analysis of studies with a case control or cohort design, aimed at evaluating the correlation between the risk of developing T1D to the intake of vitamin D either in early life or during pregnancy. A significant inverse association between early vitamin D intake and the risk of T1D was found in 5 out of 8 studies, whereas the association between maternal intake of vitamin D and risk of T1D in the offsprings is still controversial, Notably, Talaat et al showed that higher levels of islet antibodies, anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies and anti-insulin antibodies were significantly associated with 25(OH)D deficiency, supporting a role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of T1D and, as previously discussed, increased 25(OH)D levels have been correlated with a reduction of IA risk. In particular, in the TEDDY nested case-control study, being vitamin D sufficient (> 50 nmol/l) during infancy and childhood was associated with a reduction of risk of IA of 40% and 31%, respectively compared with those that were insufficient, In our previous studies, we found, in our region, a frequent vitamin D insufficiency in pregnancy and in newborns especially among migrants, Moreover, we highlighted an association between vitamin D status at birth and risk of having type 1 diabetes up to 10 years of age, also if only in the subgroup of migrant babies. Vitamin D levels were significantly lower in migrant than in Italian newborns and values lower than < 2.14 ng/ml had a high or to developing T1D, Taken together, the results of the available studies showed that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of IA and of developing T1DM later in life, at least in some selected populations and that vitamin D supplementation could reduce this risk with a dose and timing-dependent effect. The achievement of an adequate blood glucose control in patients with T1D is pivotal to avoid long-term micro and macro vascular complications. Over the years scientific literature focused on the possible role of vitamin D supplementation on metabolic status, in particular as a possible tool to get a better blood glucose control and a reduced insulin requirement. A retrospective study by Nwosu et al, which included T1D and T2D patients, reported a statistically significant decrease in HbA1c values following either ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol supplementation in T2D but not in T1D subjects, Moreover, the relationship between 25(OH)D and HbA1c was not confirmed in a recent multivariate model analysis of 7-18 years-old children with T1D, In a pilot study, Perchard et al, analyzed the effects of oral supplementation with cholecalciferol in two cohorts of T1D children, either white Caucasians or south Asians with serum 25(OH)D levels < 50 nmol/l. In spite of an inverse relationship between HbA1c and 25(OH)D levels in Caucasian, but not in Asian patients, the treatment failed to influence HbA1c, Conflicting results emerged from a recent retrospective study aimed at evaluating the effects of cholecalciferol on blood glucose control. This study demonstrated that both vitamin D and HbA1c pre-treatment levels highly influenced the effects of the treatment, insofar that the higher HbA1c and the lower vitamin D pre-treatment levels, the greater the reduction in HbA1c ( p <0.001) after treatment with cholecalciferol can be, In addition, a cross sectional Italian study confirmed the widespread hypovitaminosis D in children with T1D and reported lower 25(OH)D levels in migrants as compared to the Italian population. Notably, children with 25(OH)D levels < 25 nmol/l had at onset more severe ketoacidosis and a greater insulin requirement at discharge. Moreover, 25(OH)D status was negatively related to HbA1c and daily insulin dose during a 6 to 12 month follow-up, Altogether, recent reports from literature confirmed that lower serum vitamin D levels are detected in children with T1D and significantly associated with higher levels of HbA1c and impaired metabolic control, Interestingly, vitamin D supplementation can potentially improve blood glucose control suggesting a pivotal role in regulating insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis (Table ). Table 1. Studies on the association between vitamin D (25OHD) levels and glucose control in children and adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).
|Study||Participants||Vitamin D Supplementation||Mean 25OHD Levels After Supplementation||25OHD >75 nmol/l (% subjects)||Association 25OHD/HbA1c||Association Supplementation/HbA1c||Results|
|Savastio et al,||141 T1D (35 migrants, 106 Italians)||Subjects with 25OHD <75 nmol/l Cholecalciferol 1000 IU/day||56.6±23.7 nmol/l||20.6%||+||+||At baseline: significant inverse correlation between 25OHD levels and diabetic keto-acidosis severity. Relationship between HbA1c and 25OHD levels in a multivariate regression analysis.|
|Talaat et al,||250 T1D and 250 healthy controls||None||/||/||+||Not evaluated||Significant negative relationship between 25OHD levels and HbA1c values. Levels of islet antibodies, anti-GAD antibodies and anti-insulin antibodies were significantly associated with 25OHD deficiency. Significant association between 25OHD deficiency and high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.|
|Nwosu et al,||Total population: 88 T1D, 43 T2D Subjects with 25OHD <50 nmol/l: 33 T1D, 31 T2D||Subjects with 25OHD <50 nmol/l Ergocalciferol or cholecalciferol 400-7.000 IU/day for 8-16 weeks||T1D: 67.6±20.6 nmol/l T2D: 60.7±27.7 nmol/l||Not reported||Not evaluated||–||No changes in total daily dose of insulin per kg body weight in T1D and T2D. Significant decrease in HbA1c in T2D after 3 months of vitamin D supplementation but not in T1D.|
|Al Sawah et al,||197 T1D||None||/||/||–||Not evaluated||No differences in HbA1c across 25OHD levels (≤50; 50-75; >75 nmol/l). Not significant correlation between 25OHD and HbA1c in the multivariate model.|
|Perchard et al,||Total population: 51 T1D (35 Caucasian, 11 South Asian, 5 other) Subjects with 25OHD <50 nmol/l: 40 T1D||Subjects with 25OHD <50 nmol/l Cholecalciferol 100.000 IU (2-10 years)-160.000 IU (>10 years) single dose||Not reported||Not reported||Only in white Caucasian subgroup||–||At baseline: no significant correlation between 25OHD and HbA1c in the whole cohort. Significant inverse relationship between 25OHD and HbA1c in the Caucasian group. After treatment: no difference in HbA1c at 3 months or at 1 year.|
|Giri et al,||Total population: 271 T1D Subjects with 25OHD <50 nmol/l: 124 T1D||Subjects with 25OHD <50 nmol/l Cholecalciferol 400 IU (25OHD 30-50 nmol/l)-6.000 IU (25OHD <30 nmol/l)/day for 3 months||65.3±9.3 nmol/l||Not reported||+||+||Significant positive association between baseline HbA1c and HbA1c reduction after treatment. Significant direct relationship between baseline 25OHD levels and HbA1c reduction after treatment.|
Legend: GAD, Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase; HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin; T1D, Type 1 Diabetes; T2D, Type 2 Diabetes; 25(OH)D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Vitamin D may play a role in either T1D pathogenesis and insulin sensitivity. Although conflicting data on the effects of vitamin D on blood glucose control have been reported in literature, vitamin D supplementation should be considered a promising tool for the prevention of T1D.
- Indeed, most factors may account for such a reported variability, as study design, sample size, dosage, type and duration of vitamin D supplementation, sampling season and other confounding variables (such as honeymoon, anthropometric factors, etc ).
- Randomized controlled trials with long follow-up periods are required to confirm the pathogenic role of vitamin D in T1D and to define the best formulation, the optimal dose and the appropriate timing and duration of supplementation.
Notably, mounting evidences emphasize a possible role of vitamin D in the regulation of the immune response but plasmatic 25(OH)D concentrations required to exert an immunomodulatory role in T1D have not yet been established. Furthermore, it seems that an early vitamin D supplementation, during the first year of life, might reduce the later risk of T1D but the best time to supplement children with a current diagnosis of T1D is still unknown although it appears reasonable to precociously correct vitamin D deficiency to have an immunomodulatory effect on IA and a positive action on glucose metabolism.
|APCs||= Antigen Presenting Cells|
|DCs||= Dendritic Cells|
|HbA1c||= Glycated Hemoglobin|
|IA||= Islet Autoimmunity|
|IBDs||= Inflammatory Bowel Diseases|
|MS||= Multiple Sclerosis|
|RA||= Rheumatoid Arthritis|
|SLE||= Systemic Lupus Erythematosus|
|SNPs||= Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms|
|T1D||= Type 1 Diabetes|
|T2D||= Type 2 Diabetes|
|Treg||= regulatory T cells|
|VDBP||= Vitamin D Binding Protein|
|VDR||= Vitamin D Receptor|
|1-25(OH) 2 D||= 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D|
|25(OH)D||= 25-hydroxyvitamin D|
All the authors approved the final version of the manuscript that has not been previously published anywhere and has not been under consideration in any other journal. All the authors report no conflicts of interest. Author Contributions: SS, FC and GB conceived and designed the review; SS, GG, SB, AG, and GB contributed to the articles selection.
Can herbs cure type 1 diabetes?
– But what about the balance and blend between dietary supplements, herbs, and traditional medicine? Herbalists and naturopathic doctors we spoke with advised that supplements and herbs are not ever meant to replace insulin for patients who require insulin therapy.
- No supplement will fix a pancreas that has stopped producing insulin, and nobody with Type 1 diabetes can continue living without insulin.
- Instead, supplements and herbs are meant to work synergistically with other aspects of a comprehensive treatment plan.
- They might be used to replace deficient nutrients, help lower glucose levels, decrease insulin resistance, and reduce body reduce inflammation or other diabetic side effects.
A good naturopath will monitor the needs and balance between natural remedies and prescription medications. While evidence and studies of the effects of this are limited, the following herbs and remedies have been shown to have some efficacy in treating Type 2 diabetes, according to care providers we spoke with: • Curcumin.
A compound found in the spice tumeric, curcumin has been shown to both boost blood sugar control and help prevent the onset of diabetes. In a nine-month study of 240 adults with pre-diabetes, those who took over-the-counter curcumin capsules avoided developing diabetes, while a sixth of patients in the placebo group did.
• Ginseng. Used as a traditional medicine for millennia, studies suggest that both Asian and American ginseng may help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Extract from the ginseng berry was able to normalize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity in mice who were bred to develop diabetes in one study,
Fenugreek. Fenugreek, another spice and long-time traditional medicine for diabetes, has demonstrated efficacy in both animal and human trials. In one recent study of 60 people with Type 2 diabetes, adding fenugreek seeds to their diet was found to have a significant effect on controlling blood sugar.
• Psyllium. A plant fiber found in common bulk laxatives and fiber supplements, psyllium has also been used to treat diabetes historically by lowering both cholesterol and blood sugars. • Cinnamon. Numerous studies have shown that consuming about half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can result in significant improvement in blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.
- Aloe vera.
- Normally thought of as a topical remedy for cuts, some studies suggest juice from the aloe vera plant can help lower blood sugar.
- Dried sap from the aloe vera plant has traditionally been used to treat diabetes in the Middle East.
- Bitter melon.
- A staple of traditional Chinese medicine, bitter melon is believed to relieve thirst and fatigue, two possible symptoms of Type 2 diabetes.
Research has shown that extract of bitter melon can reduce blood sugar. • Holy basil. This herb is commonly used in India as a traditional medicine for diabetes. Studies in animals suggest that holy basil may increase the secretion of insulin. A controlled trial of holy basil in people with Type 2 diabetes some years ago showed a positive effect on both fasting and post-meal blood sugar.
Can diabetes be reversed at any stage?
We don’t call it diabetes reversal, because this might sound like it’s permanent, and there’s no guarantee that your diabetes has gone forever. – But yes, it may be possible to put your type 2 diabetes into remission, This is when your blood sugar levels are below the diabetes range and you don’t need to take diabetes medication anymore. This could be life-changing.
Can diabetes be fully reversed?
What if diet and exercise aren’t enough? – It’s not always possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. But even if you can’t get your blood sugar levels down with lifestyle changes alone and still need medication or insulin, these healthy habits help better manage your condition and may prevent complications from developing.
- If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, a healthier lifestyle not only helps you better manage blood sugar levels, but it’s good for your health in many other ways, too.
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Can diabetes be permanently reversed?
Can diabetes be permanently reversed? – Reversing diabetes permanently is not possible now, and there will always be a risk of blood sugar levels rising again. But a doctor can help you manage your glucose levels, which can slow the progression of diabetes and prevent complications.