Diabetes – a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar – affects over 1 in 10 Americans, but it can be managed with the right medicine and treatment.
While many diabetics lead normal lives, they need to monitor their sugar levels to avoid serious health complications, such as nerve damage.
However, supposedly healthy supplements could be causing more harm than good for diabetics due to their sugar content, so we want to help you find the best multivitamins for diabetics.
Whether you’re trying to meet the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals or remedy complications from your diabetes, multivitamin supplements have a wide range of benefits. However, many supplements (especially gummy supplements) contain added sugars that can cause more harm than good for diabetics.
Certain brands of supplements contain as much as 2 grams of sugar in each dose, making them as sugary as candy and equally risky for diabetics.
Fortunately, growing numbers of supplement brands are creating sugar-free and diabetic-friendly products with plenty of essential nutrients that won’t spike your blood sugar, and we can help you find the best multivitamins for diabetics with this handy guide.
Table of Contents
- Best Multivitamins for Diabetics
- How Can Multivitamins Help Diabetics?
- Multivitamin vs Nutritious Diet for Diabetes?
- Which Vitamins and Minerals do I Need?
- Which Multivitamins to choose for Diabetics
- How to Make the Most out of Multivitamin Intake
Best Multivitamins for Diabetics
Choosing the best multivitamins for diabetics isn’t easy, as some vitamins and minerals can worsen symptoms of diabetes, so you should ask a doctor before adding them to your routine.
With that being said, here are some of the multivitamins we recommend for diabetics, based on ingredients designed to benefit your condition and overall quality with an emphasis on 3rd party certification for safety:
1. Alpha Betic Daily Diabetic Multivitamin
Formulated specifically to meet the nutritional needs of people with diabetes or prediabetes, these supplements are packed full of ALA, Vitamin B12 and Biotin to support healthy blood sugar and energy levels.
What’s more, these supplements are gluten-free, sugar-free and free of artificial flavors or preservatives, making them great for people with dietary restrictions.
2. Nature’s Way Completia Multivitamin
With a long list of active ingredients including ALA, cinnamon and fenugreek, these are hot contenders for the best multivitamins for diabetics, if it wasn’t for the claims of (mild) side effects.
Some users have reported unpleasant smells and tastes as well as diarrhoea, but we cannot confirm these reports, so maybe steer clear if you have a sensitive stomach.
3. Multi-betic Diabetic Multivitamin
These supplements feature a whopping 23 nutrients and support blood sugar levels, eye health, immune system, bone health, cardiovascular health, and metabolism.
Although the pills may be uncomfortably large for some people, the wide array of nutrients and thousands of positive online reviews mean that Multi-betic’s product wins our pick for the best multivitamins for diabetics.
How Can Multivitamins Help Diabetics?
Certain vitamins and minerals may be beneficial depending on the severity of your diabetes and the type of treatment you use to control it. These nutrients may address certain symptoms of diabetes or reduce complications, but as with any supplement aimed at tackling disease, you should continue taking prescription meds and ask a doctor if they are right for you.
Because diabetes tends to drain nutrients – from your body trying to ‘wash’ out excess sugar from your blood – diabetics are more likely to be deficient in water-soluble vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, deficiencies in these vitamins makes it harder for your body to manage blood sugar, creating a vicious cycle that needs external intervention – from dosages of the best multivitamins for diabetics, for example – to break.
Multivitamin vs Nutritious Diet for Diabetes?
If people with diabetes are at a greater risk of vitamin deficiencies, then surely munching on multivitamins is the best way to keep your vitamin and nutrients topped up, right? Not necessarily: Vitamins and minerals in whole foods are more easily absorbed by your body because they contain a much wider spectrum of nutrients like fiber that help your body absorb and use these nutrients.
Furthermore, a healthy diet low in refined sugars will help you stay healthy and lower your risk of diabetes complications MUCH more than supplementing an unhealthy with multivitamins.
However, if you suffer from a vitamin deficiency that you struggle to get in your diet, supplements are extremely helpful, so we’ve included a list of nutrients that many diabetics lack to help you find the best multivitamin for diabetics.
Which Vitamins and Minerals do I Need?
Even without considering the ‘wash out’ effect that causes many diabetics to lose water-soluble nutrients through urine when suffering from high blood sugar, vitamin deficiencies are common in America, and many people should really be changing their diets and/or taking supplements.
Some of the most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies in America are Vitamin D, B12, calcium and iron deficiencies, so we recommend looking for multivitamins with some of these nutrients at the very least.
In addition to those nutrients, here are some other active ingredients you should look for when searching for the best multivitamins for diabetics, as they can directly help with risk factors and symptoms of diabetes:
ALA and GLA
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) and Gamma-Lipoic Acid (GLA) are naturally occurring antioxidants that may help diabetic neuropathy, improve the functioning of damaged nerves and reduce pain from oxidative damage.
Also known as Vitamin H, Biotin works in synergy with insulin and increases activity of glucokinase, which helps regulate blood glucose levels.
Carnitine (L-Carnitine, Acetyl L-Carnitine)
Regardless of sub-type, carnitine helps to break down fatty acids in the body, helping reduce levels of fat in the bloodstream, making it highly recommended when searching for the best multivitamins for diabetics.
Chromium is a trace mineral that helps you break down protein, carbs and fats, potentially decreasing insulin and cholesterol levels in diabetic users.
Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is a naturally-occuring compound that gives your cells the energy they need for metabolising carbs and much more. Clinical trials suggest that CoQ10 supplements can lower blood sugar and help oxygenate blood, making it highly beneficial for diabetics. RELATED: Read more on CoQ10 and its benefits in our article on the differences between Coq10 and Ubiquinol here.
Inositol, sometimes called Vitamin B8, is an important part of many key bodily functions – including maintaining healthy cell membranes and blood cholesterol levels – making it highly recommended in the best multivitamins for diabetics.
Manganese is a trace mineral which supports brain function and many of your body’s enzyme systems. Interestingly, manganese deficiencies are so common amongst diabetics that some people believe they are partially responsible for diabetes.
Magnesium may help manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, and deficiencies contribute to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, so you should keep your magnesium levels topped up.
Researchers have linked low levels of potassium with high levels of glucose and insulin in otherwise healthy individuals, so make sure your pick for the best multivitamins for diabetics has plenty of potassium.
Taurine is a naturally occurring amino sulfonic acid that may improve blood sugar control and fight diabetes. Its inclusion in many energy drink brands (which are terrible for your blood sugar levels) is ironic, so make sure to get your taurine from diabetes-friendly sources like sugar-free supplements.
Many type 1 diabetics have low vitamin C levels, which can contribute to increased levels of sorbitol, a harmful sugar that can contribute to diabetic complications, so diabetics should keep their Vitamin C levels topped up.
Although vitamin D is produced by your body when exposed to sunlight (which everyone has access to), it is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in the world, making vitamin D a must for the best multivitamins for diabetics and multivitamins in general.
Vitamin E supplements can fight toxins, oxygenate the blood and improve insulin activity, helping reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes and improving glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetics.
Deficiencies of zinc have been linked to the development of diabetes in some cases, and zinc itself might be needed for insulin metabolism, making it a beneficial mineral for diabetics.
Which Multivitamins to choose for Diabetics
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with diabetes can be tough, as you have to monitor your blood sugar, watch what you eat and get more vitamins than otherwise healthy people. Fortunately, there are many supplements aimed at diabetics to help them get the nutrients they need to stay healthy, but what should you look for in the best multivitamins for diabetics?
Ideally, your multivitamins should feature the vitamins and minerals we listed above (as they all have unique health benefits for people with diabetes), but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find a product with all of them.
Instead, we recommend that you search for a trustworthy multivitamin brand with 3rd-party certification and as many of these beneficial nutrients as possible while changing your diet to get more of the nutrients you’re not getting through supplements.
How to Make the Most out of Multivitamin Intake
Even if you’ve found one of the best multivitamins for diabetes on the market, you might not be getting the most from it. While many people assume that you just swallow a pill and get all the benefits of the vitamins and minerals it contains, the process of breaking down and absorbing the active ingredients of a supplement is a complicated biological process.
For example, many nutrients require another nutrient for your body to propely absorb them (such as how vitamin D is essential for absorbing calcium), so it’s vital that you get a wide range of nutrients in your multivitamins.
To further improve bioavailability and absorption of supplements, you should take them before a meal, preferably early in the day, so your body is more active while the supplement is in your system.
Although diabetes is an incredibly common disease – affecting 34.2 million Americans, just over 1 in 10 according to a 2020 CDC report – there are a lot of misconceptions about how to manage the condition.
Diabetes isn’t all about monitoring your sugar intake and injecting insulin, as a balanced diet and responsible use of supplements can a lot to manage diabetes symptoms without the need for prescription meds.
But as with any clinically diagnosed disease, we strongly urge you to follow the advice of medical professionals and don’t be tempted to supplement your way out of a chronic condition. Because while a healthy diet is exactly that, and the best multivitamins for diabetics have some truly wonderful benefits, nothing is as effective against diabetes as formally prescribed treatments.