I'm 58 and have prediabetes. What's the best multivitamin supplement for me?
A good multivitamin can't replace healthful eating, but it can help people with prediabetes, whose blood sugar levels are chronically elevated but who don’t quite have diabetes. Getting the full range of vitamins and minerals will help stave off metabolic syndrome—a group of risk factors including abdominal fat, high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels—which can lead to full-blown diabetes. Certain vitamins and minerals, as well as other nonvitamin supplements, have been shown to be instrumental in regulating blood sugar. Check with your MD, naturopathic doctor (ND) or nutritionist before taking any new supplement—especially if you take any medication or other supplements—to avoid interactions or side effects. Here are the nutritional supplements that I often prescribe for my patients with prediabetes. B vitamins work together as a group and are important for proper glucose metabolism and keeping blood sugar stable. People with prediabetes are often low in…
- Vitamin B-6, which is needed to properly metabolize protein and carbs and helps regulate blood sugar. I recommend supplementing daily with at least 15 mg of B-6, taken in divided doses twice a day. That's important because vitamin B-6 has a short duration in the circulation, so it's best to replenish it twice a day.
- Vitamin B-12, also instrumental in blood sugar control. Levels of B-12 tend to get lower and lower as we age (even without prediabetes). The recommended dietary allowance is 2.4 mcg per day. It's best to find out your level before supplementing—your doctor can test you and recommend the proper dosage, which, if your level is low enough, might include B-12 injections.