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May 31, 2003

Other Medications

Question from El Paso, Texas, USA:

What vitamins are okay for someone with type 1 diabetes to take?


Any vitamins that you’d like to take. There is not much good long term information about vitamin needs for those with diabetes. Some studies would suggest adding anti-oxidants and so a multiple vitamin/multimineral pill such as Theragram M, Centrum or their generic equivalents would be reasonable — once or twice a day. This would give some extra vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, for instance. Nobody knows what is an ideal requirement. Some recommendations for a low dose of 81 mg/day or so of buffered aspirin are also reasonable also as an anti-inflammatory effect.

You should discus this with your dietitian and your diabetes team since they can give you specific recommendations based upon your own health history and risk analysis and also some knowledge of your family/genetic risks. The more cardiovascular problems that exist in your family, the more you may want to consider other options for decreasing along term diabetes related cardiovascular risks. Best risk reducer, of course, is improving glucose control and getting hemoglobin A1c as close to normal as possible while still avoiding severe and recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia.